Banga soup is native to the Urhobos of South Southern Nigeria. It’s a delicious meal made from the juice extracted from palm fruits.
Traditionally, the soup is taken with starch, a sticky swallow made from cassava. Today it’s commonly eaten with eba,semovita and other swallow.
- 2kg palm fruits
- 5 medium size scotch bonnets
- Ground chilli pepper
- 2 big onions
- 2 cubes of seasoning
- Ground banga soup spice (optional,)
How to choose the right palm fruits
In southern Nigeria, there are two main specie of palm fruits.(those am familiar with)
Native palm fruits: this specie has smaller seeds and a thin cover.
The best way to identify them is to pick up a seed and pierce it with your finger or a semi sharp object. The cover is very thin and your nails would get to the seed quickly.
When used to prepare banga soup, this variety is sweeter but lighter.
Agric palm fruits (Local name) : this one has larger seeds and a thick cover. When pierced, it has more juice flowing out and the inner seed is placed deeper.
If you cook banga soup with this variety, it will come out very thick but lacking in taste. No matter how much ingredient you add, it will come out tasteless.
Most people combine both, 70 percent native palm fruits and 30 percent agric palm fruits.
I also use only native palm fruits as I don’t like a thick banga soup.
- If these names are not familiar, you can identify them by their features.
- Make sure to buy fresh palm fruits.
Wash the Banga fruits and put in a pot.
Blend the scotch bonnets with one whole onion.
Wash and boil meat with salt, some chopped onion, and one seasoning cube (don’t add too much water, as you won’t be needing meat stock.).
- Boil Banga seeds on high heat for one hour or until they are tender. (they are ready when you can easily press down on them with your fingers.)
- Take off the stove and pour in a sieve to drain out the water.
- Transfer to a mortal. (if you don’t have one, you can use a pot or a large bowl(The risk is that they may get damaged with repeated use).
- With a pestle, pound the Banga until the skin separates from the seeds.
- Add some water and mash with your fingers. ( as you continue, you will notice the water get thicker)
- Once the juice is thick enough, pour into another bowl( place a sieve on the new bowl to prevent seeds or shafts falling into the juice.)
Repeat this process until you get all juice from the seeds.
Make the juice as thick as possible because when you start cooking, it will get lighter before getting thick again. You don’t want to end up with a watery soup or spend hours cooking.
- Place a new sieve on a pot and pour in your Banga juice.
- Take out the sieve and place on the stove.
- Add your blended scotch bonnets and chilli pepper. (do this immediately you place the pot on the stove, if left to boil without pepper, it will spill over.)
- Allow to boil for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick you want your soup to be.
If you are using banga soup spice, add at this stage.
Leave to boil for 5 or 10 minutes, Add your meat, Salt, and one seasoning cube. If you have some chopped onion left, you can add them now,
- Boil for another 10 minutes, stir and take off the stove.
Your banga soup is ready. Serve with any swallow of your choice.
- If you have been cooking this soup for a long time and it’s taking forever to get as thick as you want, serve a small portion and Cook in a smaller pot.
- Banga soup gets thicker with time, it will be much thicker if allowed to stay until the next day.