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How to make Yuletide Banga Soup – Gourmet Guide234 Kitchen
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How to make Yuletide Banga Soup

The yuletide season is upon us again. Its a time when family and friends meet to celebrate different Holidays, ranging from Christmas to Boxing Day, New Year and several holidays.

The season is usually described as a rice full season, where different kinds of rice are prepared and relished in many homes and families

But, here in the Gourmet Guide234 Kitchen, we will guide you and show you how to relish good, healthy and immune boosting delicacies.

Lets go… Lets begin with BANGA SOUP

Banga Soup is one of the made -in – Nigeria delicious soups that we cannot do without as the bells begin to ring again.

In Nigeria, there are  two main types of these nuts. One is fleshy and succulent while the other has bigger nuts and less pulpy. Normally both are mixed together to get the best of the soup.

Banga soup without the use of palm nuts cannot be said to be complete, except you decide to use the already processed and prepared oil.

Banga Soup is common to states like Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers and Delta States.

Banga soup which is  made from the sauce squeezed from palm fruits, is botanically known as elaeis guineensis.

It is widely eaten in Nigeria and even in West Africa as a whole. Infact, in Cameroon, the East African neighbours describe the soup as mbanga soup.

Nutritional value of Banga soup

  • It is rich in vitamin k, magnesium and vitamin a and e.
  • It is cholesterol free, moreso, as the sauce is made from palm fruit.
  • It contains powerful natural anti-oxidants that help in protecting the body against cancer.
  • It equally helps to freshen the skin to look clean and supple.
  • It lowers cholesterol level and protects the heart against heart disease.
  • The sauce is made by boiling the palm-fruits in abundance, in a pot with water until the pulps are soft and tender.
  • The pulps are then transferred to a clean mortar and pounded until the sauce is extracted.
  • It is strained from the kernel skin; the chaffs are discarded while the sauce is transferred to the pot. Make sure the sauce is thick, which helps the soup not to be watery.

Let us move to the kitchen and have a taste of this soup!

Recipe for 4 servings

5 cups of fresh palm nuts

1 kilogram assorted meat[ combination of beef, shaki and others]

3 dried mangala or okpo fish

3 croaker fresh fish or cat fish

1 bunch of basil or scent leaf [shredded]

Salt and seasoning to taste

1 teaspoon banga spice

1 teaspoon ground cameroon pepper or

5 fresh blended peppers

3 tablespoons ground crayfish

1 large stock fish [optional]

Assorted goat meats can be used for this soup, fresh fish is also very good. Assorted dry fish is not a bad idea too.

Method

  • Wash and season the meat with salt, onion and seasonings.
  • Bring to boil and cook until quite tender.
  • Add all the meat combinations. Make sure the stock is thick enough. 
  • While this is cooking, wash the palm nuts, pour into a sizeable pot and bring to boil.
  • Allow to cook until very tender. This should be between twenty and twenty five minutes.
  • Once it’s tender, remove from heat, drain and transfer to a mortar.
  • Using a pestle pound until the fleshy part is separated from the nuts. 
  • Once this is achieved, pass the nuts through a sieve and  transfer the palm products to a large bowl, pour some warm water over the nuts and extract the syrup.
  • Make sure while doing this, the liquid does not become watery.
  • Discard the chaff and set the palm stock on fire.
  • Allow to boil for 20 minutes to allow the watery  palm sauce to thicken.
  • Add the meat stock and other ingredients, except the basil leaves, they will come last.
  • Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Wash the fresh or dry or smoked fish, including the stock fish  with some warm water and add to the boiling pot.
  • Add the banga spice, crayfish, salt and seasonings to taste.
  • Stir the soup with a wooden or a cooking spoon and add any other ingredient of your choice.
  • The shredded basil leaves will definitely be the last ingredient.
  • Other tribes prefer adding shredded bitter leaves, ugu leaves or even okro. Once any of these are added, cover and simmer for few minutes, remove from heat and serve hot alongside any swallow. You know what I mean, the likes of pounded yam, or even a warm plate of starch.
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