Delta-Style Banga Soup Recipe

Banga Soup is quite popular in Nigeria. It is an Igbo and Delta/Urhobo favourite. And because it is enjoyed by different tribes, its preparation method also vary from place to place. Each tribe making the soup to their taste. The Igbos make theirs and call it Ofe Akwu (that's palm fruit soup). Theirs uses ugu or scent leaves which is not present in the Delta version. Abak Atama, I suppose is the Efik style banga soup. By the way, the palm fruit is generally referred to as banga in the markets. In my home, we always, always cook banga soup with fresh fish (catfish specifically), but you can use other proteins of your choosing. 

Deltans love fresh fish so dearly, I guess it has to do with their history. I recently made a bowl for a customer and used a blend of beef, offal, dry fish and shrimps. I made some with fresh fish alongside, and I'm going to show you how. Banga spice is comprised of blended Tyko, Obeletientien, Rogojie and Oburunbebe stick.You can get these at the local markets from the Igbo women Selling soup ingredients. 

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 30-40 minutes



1 derica of palm fruit 

1 Medium sized catfish or any preferred fresh fish

5 chunks of Assorted meats of your choice

1 cup shredded stockfish (Panla/Okporoko)

4 medium dried fish ( bonga or shawa)

1/2 Cup Fresh Shrimps (Optional)

2 Tablespoons ground dried crayfish

1-2 Tablespoons banga spice

2 Tablespoons Crushed Obeletientien leaves 

1 Oburunbebe stick

4 yellow scotch bonnet 

1 Medium onion (chopped) 

1 tablespoon ground Cameroon pepper (This is optional but I like to use it because it adds flavour and gives the soup just a  little more hotness. 

Periwinkles (optional, I did not use any)

Stoke cubes

Salt to taste


Wash the palm fruits  to remove dirt, boil for about 15 minutes on medium heat or until the fruits are tender. Transfer the fruits into a mortar and pound till the skin look shredded and spongy.  Do not pound too hard, be gentle so you don’t break the kernels. Once done, add some warm water to the shredded fruits and mix thoroughly. 

Shredded palm fruits

Strain with a sieve to extract the palm oil and set aside. 

Clean the fish thoroughly. To do this, simply pour some hot water over the fish, leave for 3 minutes and watch the slime come off so effortlessly. Remove the slime and wash again with plain water. 

Boil your meats, debone dry fish and wash with hot water and salt; wash stock fish as well with some hot water. Wash shrimps if you’re using. 

I like to boil my stock fish alongside the beef and shaki so as to soften it faster. An alternative is to wash and soak in salty hot water overnight. 

I'm boiling shaki with beef because it won't affect the beef in any way unlike other parts of offal like the liver and intestines which discolour and alter taste. 

When the meats are tender, add the blended scotch bonnet, dried fish, turn off the heat and let it simmer
for a few minutes. 

Get your palm nut extract which you've set aside in a pot, I diluted the extract with some meat stock. Place on a hob and set heat to medium. Leave the pot open till the end of the cooking process.

Boil extract for 10-12 minutes, then add the banga spice, oburunbebe stick, ground crayfish, dried pepper, Seasoning and salt to taste.

Be sure to taste the extract before adding seasoning and salt, if you've used some meat stock. 

Add banga spice in bits. It is better to add more if needed than starting out with too much. Let it cook for a few minutes. You will notice the soup starts to thicken up. 

Now add the cooked meats in the soup and stir. 

If using catfish or any other fresh fish of your choice, this is  the time it goes into the soup. Add fresh shrimps as well and stir, by gently moving the pot from side to side to avoid breaking up the fish. Add periwinkles if you're using. 

Reduce heat and cook for another 10 minutes, by now, palm oil would have settled on the soup. You may decant some of the oil if you wish. 

Now, add the dried obeletientien, stir and cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Let the soup rest for a few minutes before you take out the oburunbebe stick. There you have it, banga soup is ready! 

Banga Soup is best enjoyed with starch or eba but you can also pair it with fufu. If you're not Igbo or Delta and want to get adventurous in the kitchen, this is one soup you should try. It's rich, delicious and can also be paired with white rice. 


Delta-Style Banga Soup Recipe Delta-Style Banga Soup Recipe Reviewed by Remi on 11:44 Rating: 5

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