BANGA STEW (OFE AKWU) RECIPE

…whetting your taste bud one meal at a time

Banga stew is one of the Nigerian stew I grew up eating, popularly known as Ofe Akwu in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Banga stew is prepared with palm fruit extracts and made for plain white rice.  Some people especially people from the south-east part of Nigeria prepares what it’s called Banga soup which they use for swallow such as Eba, starch, pounded yam etc. The eastern part of Nigeria prepares Banga stew for rice not swallow. Banga stew is very tasty, perfectly nourishing and includes some natural ingredients. The natural ingredients take the taste to a whole new level.

Palm fruit cream is extracted from the fresh palm fruit. If you are using the fresh palm fruit, all you have to do is to cook the palm fruit soft, then use a mortar and pestle to pound and separate the nut from the flesh. The next step is to add water, wash and drain out the water (which is a mixture of oil and water).  The water drained out is called the palm fruit extract and its used for making the Banga Stew.

The good thing is that you can avoid going through the process of getting out the extract yourself. You can get the canned Palm fruit cream concentrate from the store. This works perfectly for individuals residing overseas because the fresh palm fruit is not available. If you are staying in any African country, you can always make it fresh if you so desire.

For this recipe, I used the canned palm fruit cream concentrate. If you are to use the fresh one just follow the process above. I always like my Banga stew very spicy so I added Cameroon pepper for more hotness. I also used chicken and I like grilling my chicken before finally adding it to my Banga stew, and the taste is absolutely elevating. Scent leaf is one of the major ingredients of Banga stew because of its unique aroma but note you can use any other leaves of your choice.

Ingredients

• 800gram of canned Palm Fruit Cream Concentrate

• Chicken

• Dried catfish

• Dried sliced scent leaves

• 1 large onions

• 3 tablespoons of ground crayfish

• 3 cloves of garlic

• 1 inch of ginger root

• 3 large fresh pepper

• Cameroon pepper (for more hotness)

• Salt (to taste)

• 2 stock cubes

• 1 ½ inches of okpeye

Procedure

❖ Wash the chicken into the pot, chop the onions and add to the meat, add some salt and stock cube.

❖ Cook the chicken until its soft but not too soft

❖ Once it’s done, separate the meat from the stock. Turn on your oven on High heat, place the chicken on the oven rack and allow to grill until its golden brown.

❖ Debone the fish, wash properly and set aside.

❖ Soak the dried scent leaves in warm water, then set aside.

❖ Peel the ginger, garlic and add to the blender, add the fresh pepper and blend, then set aside.

❖ Blend or pound the okpeye, then set aside.

❖ At this time, place the chicken stock in a sizable pot, add the blended mixtures, add the washed fish and place on the stove to cook for at least 3minutes or till the fish is soft.

❖ Open the canned palm cream and add to the pot. Stir and add water because the cream comes thick, cover and cook for until the oil separates from the water (i.e. the oil will come on top of the Banga stew). Add more water to get the consistency required.

❖ Add the grilled Chicken, crayfish, and the Cameroon pepper for extra flavor, then allow it to boil.

❖ Now wash and add the scent leaves. Adjust the taste and allow to boil gently for 2minutes.

❖ It’s done and ready to be served.

❖ Serve with white rice or brown rice.

Enjoy!!!

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Categories: stew

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