banga dp

Banga Soup: The Itsekiri Way (2)

Where I come from, Banga soup served without the native pot (clay earthenware baked in high heat) nor be am at all. There is this something-something that the native pot gives to the soup that gives it a peculiar taste. Some say this is the original Egbele korkor Miyor. I say, it can be any soup, as long as it can make a man want to pay your bride price or re-pay your bride price. 😉

It was not a small something o! Omo Oyibo (what I call my hubby) had been disturbing me for Banga soup for aeons, in short he was almost sulking. It surprises me that he has great love for this soup, even with a German mother and a foreign palate, when he hears Banga soup, his body starts to shake Gbigiri-gbigiri.

So I said, “Alright, I will make your day. I sent my girl to the market sharp-sharp to get some ingredients, since what I had at home was not sufficient. As she was about to leave, Omo Oyibo shouted, “Don’t forget the startch o!” I was like, Shuo! This man serious o! To cut the long story short, my girl waka-ed all over Lagos before she could find starch. Talking about starch, I will show you how to make it easily and neatly without qualms in a future post…an Itsekiri girl’s little secrets. 😉

Oya let us cook!

Serves: 8 (for those of una wey born plenty 😉 )
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes (+ -)
Food type: Main
Misc.: Serve hot

3 derica cups of Palmnuts/Banga (crushed, oil extracted)
1kg of beef (cut into chunks)
1 medium size onion (for cooking the beef)
6 soft rolls of ponmo (cut into two)
1 cup periwinkle/Imekpe (cleaned, remove the black spot)
Dried blended cayenne pepper (as much as you want)
1/2 tsp. iruguje (blended dry)
1 tsp. ataiko (blended dry)
1 tbsp. beletete or dried crushed bitter leaves
2 heaped tbsp. of dried crayfish (blended)
1 large size Smoked fish (cut to chunks)
Seasoning cubes
Salt to taste

itsekiri spices Check out what Ataiko and Iruguje look like.

beletete This is what Beletete looks like.


Step 1:
step 1
Cook the beef chunks with onion, seasoning cubes and salt until it is done. Carefully wash the dried fish with salt and water to remove dirt and sand. Then cut to chunks and rinse properly. (The fish in the picture above is the fish that was brought for my Omugwo…now my baby can taste a bit of it 🙂 ).

step 1 b
Clean the periwinkles. Place the washed palm nuts in a pot with water and cook until the skin is soft and falls of the kernel.

Step 2:
step 2
When the palm nuts are cooked, drain off the remaining water and pound in a mortar with a pestle or better still, take the lazy man’s route. Wash an empty coke bottle and pound it directly in the pot until the skin totally falls off. Shuo! Who get time to waste? Omo Oyibo wants his meal. 😀

Step 3:
step 3
Now, extract the oil by squeezing the skin. Then pour in some water to loosen it up. Pour it through a sieve, collecting the residue in a clean pot. Repeat this process until you get the oil out. Place the pot over flame.

Step 4:step 4
Add the grinded ataiko and iruguje with the dried cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

pic 1
Now, include the cooked beef with the meat stock and ponmo. Cook for a few minutes.

pic 2
Follow up with dried fish. Allow to linger in the pot over flame for a while.

Step 5:
step 5
Add seasoning cubes and crayfish. Taste for salt but be careful! Do not add too much salt…steaming banga soup in the native pot later makes the soup more tasty.

Step 6:
step 6
Add the periwinkles and beletete and cook until the soup thickens.

pic 3
Oh yeah! Soup turning out perfectly. At this moment, Omo Oyibo peeped into the kitchen with a huge grin on his lips. He was getting excited.

Matse’s tip: If you extracted the palm nut oil with too much water and the soup is light after this stage, add a handful or more of yellow garri to thicken up your soup. This is a trick I learnt from the grand mas. Only use this tip if the consistency of your soup is light.

I didn’t need it for the soup above…it was thick at the final stage

What is Banga soup without the native pot?

I spooned some into the native pot and set it over the flame for a few minutes until it started bubbling.
This is how it turned out.

banga dp 2 small Banga Soup in all it’s glory.

Serve with starch, yellow eba or any other swallow of your choice.

banga dp small Banga Soup

Here is what Omo Oyibo had to say;

Orgasm…. (Ooops! Did I write that? 😉 )

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38 thoughts on “Banga Soup: The Itsekiri Way (2)”

    1. Lol matsee you are very funny pls tell me what the herbs are in English I think I know two of them are nutmeg and ukazi leaves?

  1. Hello matse,i want to cook this,but how do I ask for ataifo and d odre one in d market? Is there a yoruba name for it or an english name to make it easier? Thanks a lot. Have tried a lot of yout recipes and its been nice. Keep it up ma.

    1. Hi Anu.
      There are so many names for these spices but I think Ataiko sounds quite similar in other languages. Just ask to see the banga soup spices and pick out what you want. The picture in this post will guide you.

  2. I love your recipe. I ate banga yesterday at a restaurant and had a feeling that it wasn’t the real deal. It was plain.
    I’ll have to follow your recipe when cooking mine. It’ll be Wow!

  3. This is the real banga soup. Three gun shots for Matse. Gbosa! Gbosa! Gbosa!
    I find all sorts of interesting banga soup recipes here and there but babe you nailed it gbam! From the pic i can already taste it. so native like my grand ma’s.
    I love the way you write , your pic, step by step directives and your down to earth demeanour. You sound like a next door neighbour lol
    Matse you are my favourite food blogger. you go straight to the basics and in a modern kitchen create authentic dishes. God bless you real good.

  4. This is a really great blog… I just stumbled on it through your comment on sisiyemmie blog… This is the way my Itsekiri friend(Rachael Oritsegheyi Edun) taught me during our NYSC in Ebonyi state. Thanks for the great reminder…

  5. Thanks Matse. I’m a Yoruba girl engaged to an Urhobo man who never jokes with his native food. I’ve learnt so much from your blog,and my man is all over me because I’ve prepared these foods for him. Do I have to wash d bitterleaf before sundrying? It’s his birthday soon and I want to give him some “home-treat”

    1. Anu dear, you can get dried bitter leaf in the market. Just ask the native spice vendors. Thanks for being a regular on this blog. Thank you.

  6. Hi Matse-

    First time on your blog. Did you know you can get the palm kernel oil already extracted ready to go in a can? No need to pound away in a mortar. I use it all the time for our palm nut soup. Its similar to Banga, its a Ghanaian dish. It save you so much time. Check it out at the link below

    1. Hi Afro Mozi.

      I am very aware of canned palm kernel oil but I am not a huge fan of them. It doesn’t give a rich taste like freshly pressed palm kernel oil.

      However, if you are in diaspora (abroad) and need to make banga soup, the canned ones will do just fine.

      Thanks for visiting the blog.

  7. After pounding away a few times, I discovered the canned one from Ghana and I’ve used it to make Ofe Akwu (Banga Stew) and it turned out just as good. Call me lazy, no problem 🙂
    That pounding and hot water squeezing takes a toll on my soul 😀
    My sis in law also taught me about different types of perm kernel – the native and one other one. She says one has more flavour and the other gives more thickness and so advised me to mix both in equal proportions. I don’t know how true it is.

    I’ve never cooked banga soup and will do so this weekend. Loooove your blog!

      1. I made the banga soup today and it was delish! Although, getting the Ataiko and Iruguje was a bit of wahala. Also, what i found as beletete was not brown and dry like yours but was like green shredded grass. Ur blog has revamped my menu, Thanks Matse!

  8. Hi, I stumbled on Ur blog and I absolutely love it. Ur writing style and pics make it so easy to follow. I enjoy cooking alot but I’m more into intercontinental dishes. I’m going to be ordering one of ur soups very soon. More grease to your elbow.
    p.s can I get email alerts of new posts.

    1. Hi Uyi. Welcome to MatseCooks, it’s a pleasure having you. You can subscribe on the right hand side of this page and you will receive all my posts. Thank you. 🙂

  9. Hi Matse i loooovee your blog i am Itsekiri and Okpe from Delta state Nigeria but live in Canada, so i relate very well with this soup and your blog,i am making this soup right away,thanks for your juicy easy to understand recipe’s and i love the fact that i can print them out too,thumbs up girl. Pls matse try and give alternatives to some ingredients we cannot find abroad like Starch etc. Thanks and God bless you.

  10. Hi Matse thanks for the recipe. Your recipes are easy to follow and I like the tips you give. After extracting the banga from the nuts, can the liquid be stored in the freezer and if so how long? This is to circumvent the extraction process the next time one wants to make banga. 🙂

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