Banga is the Nigerian name for Palm-fruit which Palm oil is made from and it’s also the base for most Nigerian soups. The raw extract from the fruit is very rich and has an amazing taste when used in cooking especially with some of Africa’s age-long herbs & spices.
These spices are usually hard to find in most western countries but you can find the ready-made spice mixtures and dried herbs in most African/Asian food stores.
In this recipe, I cooked my Banga soup with oxtail, fresh fish & Prawns, just the way I like it. You can use any preferable substitute.
Here’s the recipe for my delicious Banga soup:
- 3 Litres Palm-fruit extract
- 1 kg Oxtail (cut in median chunks & Pre-cooked)
- 1 1/2 kg Whole Fresh fish (any of your choice, cleaned and cut in big chunks)
- 500g Small Prawns
- 2 Medium Red Onions (Finely chopped)
- 3 Maggi Cubes
- 2 Tbsp. Banga Spice mix
- 2 Tbsp. Cameroon Pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. Salt
- 3 Strands of Lemongrass
- 2 Sprigs of Scent Leaf (a.k.a. Clove Basil – chopped)
- 1/2 cup Fresh Bitter Leaf (thoroughly Washed – Substitute for any preferred collard greens)
- Pour the Palm-fruit extract in a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the cooked beef with the onions, Maggi and Cameroon peppers
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then add the Banga spice mix and Cameroon pepper; and continue boiling for another 15 minutes.
- Tie the Lemon grass into a tight now and then add it to the soup with the fresh fish, prawns, scent leaf and washed bitter leaf, season with salt and then let it simmer for a further 30 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, occasionally stir the Banga soup gently whilst it simmer.
- Serve hot.
Try it. Enjoy it. Xx