Banga Soup is a hearty and delicious soup made from palm fruits filled with bold flavours. Usually, the palm kernels are crushed and the juice extracted, then cooked with seafood and perfectly seasoned.
This is a typical delicacy in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana, although the method and ingredients may differ slightly. Do not get me wrong, many African dishes use palm oil, but to be specific, palm kernel concentrate, palm cream and palm oil makes banga soup.
In Cameroon, Banga soup is a traditional food of the Bakweri people, while in Nigeria, it originates from the Niger Delta region. Igbo people also love this soup, and it’s called Ofe Akwu.
Why choose this recipe?
- Packed with minerals and nutrients.
- Rich in antioxidants.
- Less stressful and less complicated recipe.
- One pot recipe with little after cleanup.
- Easy to find ingredients.
What’s in my Palm Nut Soup?
Check the end of this post for the detailed recipe.
- Canned Palm Nut Concentrate: If using fresh palm kernel, wash, boil, then use a mortar and pestle to mash it up. Then add hot water, and squeeze out the juice. Most often, store-bought palm nut concentrate is used. African stores sell this with other banga soup spices if you are in the diaspora.
- Seafood: Traditionally, fish, periwinkles, and shrimps are usually used. Assorted meats and beef can be used. In this recipe, I used fresh catfish and shrimp.
- Ground Crayfish: Known for its specific and subtle taste, it can never miss out in this traditional dish.
- Banga Spice: A spice mix which involves many condiments with deep flavours. It can also be used for other soups.
- Prekese or Aidan fruit: Do not ground this. Just break it into halves and put one half inside the soup. You can also use a banga stick. Most often in Nigeria, oburunbebe stick is used.
- Salt and seasoning powder to taste.
- Water or stock to dilute the palm nut concentrate.
- Scent leaves for flavor.
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- 800g Palm nut concentrate
- 1 whole Catfish gutted and washed, cut into slices
- 7-10 Shrimps deveined and scaled
- ½ tbsp Banga spice
- ¼ cup Crayfish
- 1 tbsp Scent leaves or basil
- ¼ Prekese don't ground
- 1 medium Onion
- 1 medium Red bell pepper optional
- 2 tsp Hot pepper powder
- 3-4 cups Water or stock, might need more
- 2 tsp Seasoning powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- Coarsely blend the pepper and onion.
- In a pot, add the water or stock and let it boil. Now add the blended pepper mix, palm nut concentrate, salt, seasoning powder, crayfish, scent leaves, salt, Banga spice, Prekese and pepper powder. Stir till the palm nut concentrate dissolves.
- Bring to a boil for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Keep checking every 5 minutes to avoid burning, and add water if needed.
- As soon as the oil floats, bring in the shrimp, catfish, or any seafood you choose, and stir.
- Let it cook again for 10 minutes on medium heat until it thickens. Do not put your fish at the beginning, as it will overcook and scatter.
- Taste to adjust any seasonings and serve with a side of choice.
- If too much palm oil is at the top, scoop and discard.
- Feel free to add or reduce the stock or water. Adjust according to the consistency you want.