Foods and Drinks

Banga Spice: Fact, Recipe & Preparation

Banga spices are healthy and good-tasting seasonings used in making Banga soup. Banga spice has its origin in Nigeria, it all other names.  It is called amiedi by the urhobos, Banga by the Benin/Deltans and Akwu by the Igbos. However, it is a local spice.

The Banga spice, as said is very healthy and tastes good when prepared (Banga Soup), this spice is nothing else but a mixture of Obenetietien, Beletete, Aidan fruit, and chili pepper, rohojie, oburunbebe, onion, scotch bonnet, and salt.

Although, the Banga spice would not have been very healthy if not for its contents which are of high nutritional and medicinal value.

If you have not tasted Banga soup before, then this article is for you, as we’ll be sharing facts and also how to make the original Banga soup recipe, so without any further delay and time-wasting let’s get into it.

How To Make Banga Soup

You should also know that the recipe here, is the original way of making Banga soup (Niger-Delta part of Nigeria).

Below are the ingredients that are needed in making a delicious Banga soup, you can find all these ingredients in the market or supermarket.

(1) 10 cups of fresh palm fruits OR 400g of palm fruit cream

(2) 1kg of Assorted meat

(3) ½ cup of ground crayfish

(4) 3 packets of Banga spice (OR 1 teaspoon each of Ataiko and Irugege)

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(5) 1 medium-sized dry/smoked fish

(6) ½ cup of dried, crushed Beletientien leaves

(7) 1 Oburunbebe stick

(8) 500g or 1 cup of either fresh shrimps or prawns (you can add more seafood according to preference)

(9) 1 cup of shelled periwinkle

(10) 2-6 red scotch bonnet (Ata-rodo) peppers

(11) Half of a small onion, minced or diced

(12) Salt to taste

(13) Seasoning cube(s), according to taste

(14) And obviously, Water!

Below are detailed steps and procedures on Banga soup preparation;

Banga Spice: Fact, Recipe & Preparation

Step 1:

First and foremost, wash your pepper and fish, meat e.t.c, and set it aside. 

Now blend your Banga spices, that is if you source the spice mix individually but if you have the powder Banga spice, you can just skip the blending part and make use of the powdered spice.

Now set aside your Banga spice in a bowl or container, then soak your dry or smoked fished in hot water to remove dirt.

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Step 2:

Next, extract your palm kernel cream if you’re not making use of an already processed canned palm nut cream, now boil it for about 25minutes or maybe until it gets soft.

After it becomes soft, bring drain the boiled palm nuts and crush them in a mortar and pestle. After crushing, transfer into a bowl or container and add water to extract the creamy texture.

But you should note that the amount of water you add will determine if the palm cream will be thick or not, so take note.

Step 3:

Now, bring in a pot and your assorted meat, and boil for 20mimutes, drain and add water again and add seasoning cubes and salt in conjunction with your diced onions.

And allow it to cook and become tender. You can also precook your washed prawns/shrimps with salt and seasoning cube.

Step 4:

We now drain our palm cream, use a sieve for this and extract it into a container, pour it into the pot of cooking assorted meat, and allow it to cook for 20minutes.

Step 5:

After your assorted meat and palm cream have boiled for about 20minutes, then add your grinded crayfish and your blended Banga spice (i.e, if you don’t have the processed powdered Banga spice), add your dried fish and boil it for about 5 minutes.

Note: You can add a little water if it’s too thick for you. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

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Step 6:

Add your earlier cooked shrimps and prawns and periwinkles and beletientien leaves into your pot of assorted meat and spice, stir and allow it to simmer for 3minutes.

Step 7:

Bring down your pot of delicious Banga soup from the heat. You can serve with fufu or eba.

You should know that the Banga Soup is made with fresh fish traditionally, and the spice used in which is an equal mixture of Ataiko and Irugege.

Origin of Banga Soup

Banga soup initially originated from the Urhobo people in Nigeria.

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How Do You Extract Palm Fruit For Banga Soup?

To get the creamy palm fruit extract, wash your palm fruit thoroughly and put it into a pot. Boil for about 20minutes until it becomes tender.

Crush boiled palm fruits in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. Transfer crushed palm fruits into a bowl and add water to extract the juice/cream.

Why Is My Banga Soup Watery?

The amount of water you add to your Banga soup matters a lot because adding too much water during the palm nut cream extraction process will eventually make your Banga soup watery.

So make sure that you don’t add too much water, to get the standard thick texture required for a delicious Banga soup.

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