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)
Salt to taste
Check out what Ataiko and Iruguje look like.
This is what Beletete looks like.
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 🙂 ).
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.
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. 😀
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.
Add the grinded ataiko and iruguje with the dried cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Now, include the cooked beef with the meat stock and ponmo. Cook for a few minutes.
Follow up with dried fish. Allow to linger in the pot over flame for a while.
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.
Add the periwinkles and beletete and cook until the soup thickens.
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 Soup in all it’s glory.
Serve with starch, yellow eba or any other swallow of your choice.
Here is what Omo Oyibo had to say;
Orgasm…. (Ooops! Did I write that? 😉 )