How To cook Delta Banga soup

Learn how to cook Delta Banga soup. Delta Banga soup is a traditional Nigerian dish made with palm nuts and various proteins and spices. It is a staple in many homes amongst the Urhobo and Isoko people of Delta state Nigeria where it originated from and is often served with starch, fufu, pounded yam, or eba, which are made from cassava or yam.

Before we delve deeper into how to cook Delta Banga soup, let me quickly mention that Delta Banga soup is completely different from Banga stew (Ofe Aku) cooked by and eaten by the Igbos. The methods of preparation, spices taste, and traditional accompaniments are not the same at all.

The main ingredients in Banga soup are palm nuts, which are extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree. When cooked and pounded, these nuts produce a thick, creamy sauce that forms the base of the soup.

Other common ingredients include smoked/dried fish, chicken or beef, crayfish, and dried/chili pepper.

The soup is seasoned with a blend of spices such as Benentietie, Irogoje, Otaiko, oburunbebe stick, chili pepper, and Maggi cubes (a type of bouillon), which give it a rich, savory flavor.

Banga soup is often enjoyed as a hearty and satisfying meal, and it is a popular choice for special occasions and celebrations amongst the Urhobos and Isoko in Delta state. It is also a common street food, often sold by vendors in markets and along the roadside. Whether enjoyed at home or on the go, Banga soup is a delicious and nourishing choice that is sure to satisfy the appetite.

Ingredients Needed to Cook Banga Soup


  1. Palm nuts: These are the main ingredient in Banga soup and can be found at any local Nigerian or international markets, or online.
  2. Dried catfish, stockfish, chicken, goat meat, or beef: These add protein and flavor to the soup. You can use any type of smoked or cooked meat that you prefer.
  3. Onions and Scotch bonnets: These add flavor and heat to the soup. If you can’t find Scotch bonnets, you can use any other type of hot pepper or chili flakes.
  4. Blended crayfish: This adds a unique and aromatic flavor to the soup.
  5. Seafood such as shrimps or periwinkle.
  6. Spices such as Obenetietie, Irogoje, otiako, oburunbebe (Banga stick )
  7. Salt and Maggi to taste

Utensils Needed to cook Delta Banga soup


  1. A medium-sized nonstick pot
  2. Filter/Sieve
  3. Mortar and pestle(You can substitute this with a plastic bowl and beer bottle)
  4. Cooking spoon
  5. Native clay pot


Below is a step-by-step description of how to cook a delicious Banga soup.
Step 1
  • Wash the Banga(palm nuts) with clean clear water

Step 2

  • Pour the clean Banga into a cooking pot and pour in clean water to fill slightly above the top of the Banga. Allow cooking for 35 minutes until it feels really soft when pressed with your fingers.

Step 3

  • Whilst the Banga is cooking, wash the meat, periwinkle, shrimps, and dried/fresh fish, and set aside.

Step 4

  • Once the Banga is soft, take it off the fire and drain off the water using a sieve.

Step 5

  • Now Pour the Banga into a mortar and pound continuously with a pestle until most of the chaffs come off the Banga. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, You can use a wide plastic bowl and a bottle as a substitute.

Step 6

  • Pour some water into the mortar and then use your fingers to mash the Banga while still in the mortar or bowl. This step is important as it’ll help loosen and squeeze out the Banga paste which is the major ingredient for cooking the Banga soup.

Step 7

  • Get another pot and place a filter over it, then pour the liquid content from the mashed Banga extracted in the step above.

Step 8

  • Repeat steps 6 and 7 above until you feel the liquid content is enough for your soup

Step 9

  • Add the washed raw meat of choice and ponmo with some salt and bullion to the mashed Banga liquid and cook on high heat for 30 minutes.

Step 10

  • Now add the spices such as Otaiko, Irogoje, Benetientien leaf, and the oburunbebe (Bangastick) to give the soup its aroma.

Step 11

  • Add chili or dried pepper, a little more salt, and bullion if need be, and crayfish

Step 12

  • Allow the soup to cook for around 15 minutes more, then add all the kinds of seafood you wish to add such as periwinkle, shrimps, and snails. You can also add fresh catfish and dried catfish at this point.

Step 13

  • Once you are satisfied with the taste and thickness of the soup, put down the entire pot of cooked soup from the stove. Now scoop some of the soup into a native clay pot and put it back on fire. Allow cooking for 5-10 minutes depending on how thick you prefer it. Then turn off the cooker once done.

As a personal choice, when I use fresh catfish for cooking Banga soup, I do not add meat. Likewise, when I cook with meat, I do not add fresh fish. This is because the catfish can scatter into pieces in the pot which would defeat the purpose of adding it in the first instance.

This doesn’t stop me from adding dried catfish to any kind of Banga soup, whether cooked with fresh fish or meat.

Delta Banga soup is best eaten thick and hot. If it is too light, you would not enjoy it. Also, you do not need to add any thickeners like cocoyam(ede) or Achi to the soup. The oburunbebe stick will thicken it.

Delta Banga soup is best served with Usi(starch) made from cassava extract and cooked on fire till the liquid substance binds together and forms a solid ball. Alternatively, it can be served with fufu, eba, pounded yam, or semovita/semolina.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, Banga soup is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. So why not give it a try and see how it works for you?


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