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BN Cuisine: How to make Ofe Akwu (Banga Stew) with Tinned Banga by All Nigerian Recipes

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Ofe Akwu (Banga Stew) can be prepared with fresh palm fruits or tinned palm fruit concentrate. I will give details of how to prepare delicious Ofe Akwu with tinned palm fruit concentrate (tinned banga). This stew is used to eat boiled white rice. You can also use the tinned palm fruit concentrate for Delta Banga Soup.

Using tinned banga for Ofe Akwu saves you lots of time and energy you would have used to extract the palm fruit concentrate and it is perfect for those who live outside Nigeria where palm fruits are not easily available. The good thing is that it tastes the same as when fresh palm fruits are used, that is if you buy a good brand: watch the video below for more information.

The recipe on this page is the same for Delta Banga Soup that is served with Starch, just replace the scent leaves with dried and crushed bitter leaves and add the other traditional spices for Banga Soup.

Ingredients for Ofe Akwu

Note on the ingredients for Ofe Akwu (Banga Stew)

  1. You can use any of the following meat: goat meat, beef or lamb for Ofe Akwu. It is not advisable to use chicken for Ofe Akwu because this stew is too traditional for chicken.
  2. You can use dried cat fish, mangala or smoked fish.
  3. You can add stockfish.
  4. Though I mentioned the quantities of meat and fish, add the quantities of these two ingredients as you wish.
  5. I recommend red onion for Ofe Akwu because it brings out the taste of this stew.
  6. The scent leaves give the Ofe Akwu its unique aroma and taste. If you are outside Nigeria, scent leaf (nchanwu, efinrin) has no alternative. I buy scent leaves direct from Nigeria. When they arrive, I rinse and slice them and store in my freezer as I stated in the video below. Some people use mint leaves as alternative but it is a no from me. I would rather use parsley.

Watch the Video

Before you cook Ofe Akwu (Banga Stew)

  1. In the video below, I grilled/smoked the pieces of beef I used in cooking the Ofe Akwu. This takes the Ofe Akwu to a whole new level of deliciousness. So if you want to do like me, crush two of the stock cubes into the pieces of beef, massage into the beef and grill in the oven till tender but not dry (see the video below). If you do not want to use grilled beef, skip this step.
  2. Soak the dry fish till soft then debone and break into pieces. If using smoked fish, rinse, debone and break into pieces.
  3. Open the tinned palm fruit concentrate, stir to mix and set aside.
  4. Wash and cut the scent leaves into tiny pieces.
  5. Chop the onion.
  6. Grind or pound the crayfish with the ogiri okpei.
  7. Grind or pound the habanero pepper.

Cooking Directions

  1. If you are using grilled beef, place the grilled pieces in a pot, add the deboned dry fish, diced onions and the remaining one stock cube. Pour water to just about the same level of the contents (about 2 small cups of water) and start cooking.
  2. If you are not using grilled beef, place the beef in a pot, add the diced onion and crushed stock cubes. Steam till water starts seeping out of the beef and continue cooking till the beef is tender. Add water when necessary as you cook. It is important that you have as little water as possible in the pot when the meat is done.
  3. If using step 1, cook till it boils and leave it to boil for 5 minutes. If using step 2, when the beef is done, add the deboned dry fish and cook for 5 minutes. In both cases, if using smoked fish, do not add it now, you will add it later.
  4. Add the habanero pepper, ground crayfish and ogiri okpei.
  5. Stir very well and add the palm fruit concentrate (tinned banga) in scoops. Stir and add more water if necessary to bring the stew to the consistency you like for your stews. It is advisable to have some hot water ready for this.
  6. Add the smoked fish (if you are using it), cover and let it boil on medium heat till you see some red oil float to the surface.
  7. Add the scent leaves and salt stir and cook till it boils again and it is done.

Serve with boiled white rice, boiled yam or white agidi. If you want to prepare Delta Banga Soup, click here.

35 Comments

  1. Opute Queen

    August 28, 2016 at 8:51 am

    A nice recipe, please can you send me the recipe thru my email

  2. Precious

    August 28, 2016 at 8:56 am

    She makes cooking so easy for me….whenever i feel like eating nigerian, she is one of my go-to -blogs…

    This right here am definitely cooking today…..everything but scent leave, I have….hurray

  3. UNCLE GWE GWE GWE

    August 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I will try this today?

  4. Mia

    August 28, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Beautiful recipe as usual from ANR, the lady is just amazing when it comes to authentic Nigerian recipes. I’m used to making this with fresh palm fruits but the canned banga saves so much time. I have a slightly different view on ofe akwu and chicken though, I think it tastes really good with local chicken.

  5. Lolo

    August 28, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Where can I buy the tinned banga concentrate

    • FasholasLover

      August 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

      You will find in any shop that sells African foodstuff. I think Trofai is better than the others.

    • Ada Nnewi

      August 28, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      Please what’s trofai?

  6. Onowu

    August 28, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Anambra Ofe Akwu is the bomb!?

  7. Oma

    August 28, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I like ofe akwu, but i wouldn’t make it for just me, too much work, lol, and i don’t like any canned something. Last time i made it sha was in March, for a family event. Thanks Flo for sharing!

    • Anon

      August 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Thank you. I’m so opposed to processed canned stuff.

  8. artklub

    August 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

    i read somewhere that scent leaf is related to basil, so you could consider using basil as a substitute

  9. kristin

    August 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    That’s how I went to one restaurant and ate ofe akwu that was tasting like tomatoes stew. If u want ofe akwu berra go and pound akwu

  10. Tochi

    August 28, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Yes, I use basil.

  11. Naijatalk

    August 28, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Ofe akwu, ebeano. Real Anambra delicacy. But this canned Palm nut fruit extract business though….

  12. Gorgeous

    August 28, 2016 at 11:54 am

    This is the most unhealthy food in the world. Please don’t feed your husband or kids this food often! Tooo oily, it’s like thick and packaged oil. Maybe the fresh one could be better!

    • Naijatalk

      August 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      You do know this is the same thing as Delta banga soup. The Efik and I think Edos have their own version. You do no know research has shown Palm fruit oil is actually healthy. Ignorance displaying itself.

    • NationalSquirrel

      August 28, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      This is NOT the same version as delta banga.
      Delta banga is the Niger delta/south south one made by the originators (ijaw, itsekiri, urhobo)

      This is delta ibo/other ibo version.

  13. Nini

    August 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

    The canned extract is a good substitute if you can’t get your hands on fresh palm fruits. Check the ingredients to be sure it’s 100% palm fruit extract without any additives. It’s as safe as using 100% canned coconut milk.

    • Anon

      August 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      “On the ingredients list it says 100% coconut milk. Now it is possible that they can sneak some guar gum and stuff in it without listing them.” I’ve heard that since guar gum is contained in such tiny amount, it doesn’t need to be listed.”

      “Be suspicious! Any coconut cream or milk HAS to contain a ‘thickening agent’ (i.e. guar gum) to give it that homogenous cream consistency.. no matter how ‘pure’ it may seem according to the packaging. I personally only trust the ones which separate into water and fatty solids. If you shake or blend these the emulsion will last for a couple of minutes rather than days and weeks and months.. if they are pure.”

      Anything in a can has some sort of stabiliser, thickener or preservative. Why do you think they last so long? Most cans contain BPA. There are now BPA Free cans. Very hard to find though.

      “Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the lining of certain canned foods. BPA especially leaches into canned foods that are acidic, salty or fatty, such as coconut milk, tomatoes, soup, and vegetables. More and more studies are linking BPA consumption to reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes and heart disease, so they are most definitely something to avoid whenever possible.”

    • Nini

      August 28, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      This is really helpful information. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. Ranyinudo

    August 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks Flo! Ofe-akwu is to me what Jollof is to many! Yum yum. @ Gorgeous…unhealthy u say?? Most of our igbo forefathers ate just this and they lived to be 100 and more! Biko respect Ofe-akwu!

  15. Nakoms

    August 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Yuk! what is this! what is that!

    Ama stick to my foreign foods!

    Demn!

    • Naijatalk

      August 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Happy to miss you. Please leave this Nigerian blog foreigner…..nonsense

    • FasholasLover

      August 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Thou do not know what thou misseth! Banga soup Isoko/Delta style with big dry fish, goat meat, and large prawns with fluffy starch. Heaven on earth. Just get an authentic Isoko/Urhobo/Itsheiri woman to teach you how to make it. Make sure you have the right amount of native spices. Make sure it is spicy too and not thick. YEEEE.

      Foreign FOOD, WHAT IS THAT? Bread, Potatoes and meat? Is that food?

    • Enifo

      August 28, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Fasholas lover, you this girl don kolo teytey. I swear. See at you make me remember home. I beg where my Mama oooooo.

      Isoko wha dooooo. Eeeeeehhhh!!!!!

    • NationalSquirrel

      August 28, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Urhobo/Itsekiri/Ijaw* banga. In that order.

    • Nakoms

      August 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      I was Just around……too easy to tease BN commenters; couldnt resist,

      Oboy forget that thing! I be orijinah dehta boy! Na banga dey take train me for school. My family is into palm oil production. My dad will cook the banga fruits very early in the morning before school so its soft by the time we get back from school for us to pound in wooden mortars. this was in the early days before we bought the semi mechanized oil mill.

      ahh! those were the days!

  16. Nakoms

    August 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I was just fooling around

    • artklub

      August 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      boy don’t play. haven’t you heard? the personal is NOW political. time to stand up – wink!

    • Enifo

      August 28, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Nakoms. Mavorh? You been fear me small o. Nakome is my very good friends name.

      .

  17. Tari

    August 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Went to the hospital recently and the number of women who came to have lumps taken out of their breasts were so much. It was scary. Some lumps were in other parts of the body. People be careful with canned foods. In Naija, go the extra mile of buy organic fresh food stuff. Choose life. Life expectancy is shortened by cannedfood filled with preservatives. I’d rather go to a local shop and make it as organic as possible and suffice with other spices rather than risk health issues especially reproductive.
    My period went crazy when i moved abroad. My body was reacting to all the new foods and stuff.. Whenever i returned home and stayed a few months, it became normal and my weight also adjusted. I had to do a personal research and chose all things organic as much as possible. Now my hormones are ok. I conceived easily and life is good. Pls don’t experiment with your life. Let’s be responsible. Apply wisdom, not appetite.
    Peace.

    • Nakoms

      August 28, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Word

    • Ada Nnewi

      August 28, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      OMG.. I just moved a few months ago and my period has been so irregular. I was wondering what happened cause it’s always like clockwork … thanks tari.. no more canned food for me.

  18. FasholasLover

    August 28, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    There are different brands of the palmnut concentrate. Trofai is made in Cote d’voire. There is another brand from Ghana. I always buy the Trofai brand. If you are buying, check for visible and clear expiry date. Those shop owners can be shady.

    • Jade

      August 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      the one from Ghana is Bankwus, what’s wrong with it though?

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