Banga soup is the Itsekiri woman’s “Egbele koko miyo” meaning “A cock can never reject maize seeds”. As a proud Itsekiri woman, let me show you how to cook it our way and your man will always come back for more. Being riverine natives we use fresh fish for this delicacy but the Itsekiri woman can put a twist to any pot of soup using variety of proteins. Honestly, that is where the secret lies.The Itsekiris call this soup Obienye 🙂
Ready? Let’s do it!
2 big derica cups of banga (palm nuts)
1 milk cup of periwinkle (optional)
Dried pepper (as spicy as you want it)
1 medium sized onion
1 teaspoon of blended Ataiko
1 teaspoon of blended Irugeje
1 tablespoon of beletete
2 tablespoons of blended dried crayfish (add more if you wish)
1 medium sized smoked fish
1 medium sized bush meat (Choice meat)
Assorted meat (Abodi, shaki, roundabout, ponmo)
4 Seasoning cubes of your choice (for cooking the assorted meat separately and for the main pot of soup)
Salt to taste.
* Wash and boil palm nuts in a pot – 45mins or till cooked
* When cooked, with a pestle, pound properly to loosen the skin off the nuts.
* Extract oil with some water and run through a sieve.
* Repeat process until you get the oil out and set aside.
* In another pot, wash and cook your assorted meat. Adding the sliced onion, 2 seasoning cubes of your choice and some salt to taste. Cut and taste bits of the meat until you get your required softness (some like theirs fairly cooked and others very cooked). Set aside.
* In a bowl of warm water, wash the bush meat and smoked fish with some salt to loosen off the dirt. Rinse properly,cut to size and set aside.
* Clean the de-shelled periwinkle by taking off the black scaly point on it, rinse properly and set aside.
* Pour the palm nut oil into a pot and set on your lit stove/cooker
* Allow to boil for 10 minutes, then add the blended ataiko and irugeje and boil
* Add the bush meat and periwinkle. Cook for 3 minutes
* Add the assorted meat cook for 2 minutes
* Then add the pepper, crayfish, 2 seasoning cubes and salt to taste and allow to cook until everything blends in
* Finally, add the beletete leaves and cook until the soup thickens a bit.
Serve with Starch, Poundo yam, Semo, Eba or Wheat meal.
*** The Itsekiris steam up the soup in a native earthen pot before serving.
*** You can find the herbs and spices required in your local Nigerian market.
*** For diaspora, you can substitute with canned palm oil and banga soup spice mixes in your African markets.