One of the pride of Africa is our unique cuisines. They are interesting what we make out of our tubers, grains, and seeds.
In Nigeria so to say, there are hundreds of classic cuisines that would not only leave you wanting more but will also you refreshed and enlivened.
As such, many (including you) would want to learn how to prepare these unique African cuisines, especially the popular Nigerian soups.
Great! In this post, you will learn the best methods and practices on how to prepare Afang soup, Ogbono soup, and Banga soup. These methods have been practiced by the best cooks known and their results seem more like enchanted products.
We shall take them one at a time, digesting each to the best level of understanding. To follow these steps more conservatively, I advise you get a note where you can jot things down. You can also get the ingredients ready so that you move along just perfectly. Can we go on now?
How to Cook Ogbono Soup
Ogbono soup is one of the soups in Nigeria called Draw Soup. It is made from a special seed called Ogbono (Bush Mango seed) and the seed confers it the thickening and drawing properties.
This soup is one of the popular Nigerian soups that have found its way in many great kitchens (of course yours will not be spared).
Ingredients for Ogbono Soup
You need the following ingredients to prepare quality Ogbono soup that would leave tongues salivating in want for more:
- A cup of Ogbono soup
- Enough meat and Pomo
- Dry fish
- Cameroun pepper
- ¼ cup of crayfish
- ¼ cup of palm oil
- Ogiri Okpei (Iru or Locust bean), if you choose. It is however optional.
- Ugu leaf (Nigerian pumpkin). You can also use bitter leaf.
- Seasoning cubes
- Salt to taste
Methods of Preparing Ogbono Soup
To prepare a delicious Ogbono soup, you have to follow the below-trusted steps..
- Wash and shred the ugu/pumpkin leaves properly.
- In a dry mill, grind the Ogbono seed and crayfish.
- Pour the ground mixture in a bowl and add some palm oil and mix thoroughly until a uniform mixture is obtained.
- Wash your meat, pomo, dry fish and stock fish; cook them together until they become tender.
- Into a pot on fire, put water depending on the thickness you want of the soup
- Add some palm oil and boil.
- Now, add the Ogbono, oil and crayfish mixture to the boiling water and stir until they are properly mixed.
- As the soup begins to thicken more, add more water (It is your choice to make the thickness of the soup). Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked meat, pomo, Stockfish and dry fish.
- Add the pepper, seasoning and salt to taste and cook for 3 minutes
- Now, put your ugu or bitter leaf depending on which vegetable you are using and cook for 2 minutes.
Now your delicious Ogbono soup is ready. It is best served with Eba or Fufu, but you can also try it with Semolina or any other Swallow of your choice.
What Are the Health Benefits of Ogbono Soup?
Ogbono soup is a Nigerian soup prepared with a range of healthy ingredients, which can add great values to your health.
- Research has found the Ogbono seed helps in weight management, anti-diabetic properties and analgesic properties too.
- Ogbono seed also helps to reduce the cholesterol in the blood serum.
- Ugu leaves contains so many vital vitamins which help the body in many positive ways
- The soup is compounded with many protein rich components to help keep your body built and safe.
How to Cook Afang Soup
The Afang Soup is one of the Nigerian cuisines native to the Efiks who are mostly found in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
Afang soup is basically a vegetable soup that combines both the great flavours of Afang (Okazi in some languages) and Waterleaf. To make the soup more delicious, you can add any type of meat of your choice to make the soup more delicious.
Ingredients for Afang Soup
To make a delicious and quality Afang soup, you must have the following ingredients:
- Well chopped Waterleaf about 2 bunches
- Thinly sliced Afang/Okazi leaves about 450g
- Goat meat, say 1 kg
- Pomo (Kanda) of about 300 g
- A head of Stuck fish
- 4 tables spoon of ground crayfish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Two cubes of Seasoning
- Prepared periwinkle
- ¼ cup of palm oil.
When you already have these things in place, follow carefully the steps below to prepare your superb Afang Soup.
Methods of Cooking Afang Soup:
It is assumed that you have ground your pepper and crayfish, washed, drained and sliced the vegetables, and prepared the periwinkle. Since that is done, you can go on with the steps below:
- Season your meat with some cubes, salt, and pepper. You can add diced onions if you so prefer.
- Cook the seasoned meat alongside the ponmo and washed stock fish until it is tender.
- To the above mixture add palm oil, prepared periwinkle and crayfish and allow it to cook for about 3 minutes.
- Now, add the waterleaf and allow it for 5 minutes to wilt
- Lastly, add the Afang/Okazi leaf and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
When you have done this, your original Nigerian Afang soup is ready. You can serve it with either eba (garri), pounded yam, semolina, Amala or Fufu depending on your choice.
What are the health benefits of Afang Soup?
You could be wondering if this Afang soup has any benefits to us health-wise. Well, Afang soup actually has numerous health benefits which are below listed:
- The present waterleaf helps to reduce the risk of getting diabetes
- Afang soup is rich with dietary fibre which in turn helps in digestion and avoidance of constipation
- Afang soup is rich in protein and therefore helps to build the body.
- Okazi leaf a very important wild herb which has so many health benefits; among the list of its components is iodine, which prevents goiter.
How to Make Banga Soup
The Banga soup is special soup most common in the South Eastern and the Niger Delta areas of Nigeria. Among the Igbos, it is called the Ofe Akwu (Ofe means Soup or stew while akwu is palm fruit). A marvelously prepared Banga soup actually has drawing aromas that keep your nose up for minutes.
In the South East, Banga soup is eaten with boiled rice, but in other parts of Nigeria, some eat it with Fufu, Eba, pounded yam and so on. Whatever companion you want the Banga soup to take, it is a loyal fellow and makes good companion with any.
Ingredients for Making Banga Soups
So to make this wonderful soup, you have to make the following ingredients available. They are what you can locally source:
- 1 kg of Palm fruits in place of which you can use tinned Palm Fruit concentrate which is 800 g.
- Meat (Beef or goat meat)
- Dry fish
- Ground crayfish
- Scent Leaves for Ofe Akwu or dried bitter leaves for the Niger- Delta style of Banga Soup.
- Seasoning cubes (2 cubes).
- Ogiri Okpei (Iru or Locust bean)
Other ingredients like periwinkle and or fresh prawn is dependent on individual choice.
Methods of Cooking Banga Soups
To prepare a mouthwatering Banga soup, you must follow a tested and trusted steps as the one laid down here for you.
- The first step is to extract the palm fruit concentrate. This is done by first cooking the palm fruit very well.
- After cooking the palm fruit for 30-45 minutes, drain the water
- Pound the palm fruit carefully in as not to crush the fruit.
- Wash the pounded palm fruit with warm water into a bowl. Be careful not to wash with too much water.
- Carefully sieve the palm concentrate into your pot.
- In a different pot, cook your meat and stock fish with some seasoning cubes, salt and diced onions until they become tender.
- Wash and shred the scent leaves. You can use pumpkin (ugu) leaves in place of the scent leaves, but the scent leave gives the Banga soup its unique aroma. If you are cooking the Niger-Delta style, you will use dried bitter leaves instead of either of the above.
- Now cook the palm fruit extract until you begin to see some red oil on the surface.
- Add your already cooked meat and fish. Add also the sliced onions, pepper, and salt to taste. Leave to boil for about 5 minutes.
- Now add the scent leaves and allow to simmer for 2 minutes
If you are using a canned Palm Fruit concentrate, after the cooking your meat and dry fish, you can simply introduce and then follow the rest of the steps above to get your superb Banga soup/stew.
After this, the Banga soup is ready. You serve with boiled white rice or soup, depending on what purpose you made it.
What Are the Health Benefits of Banga Soup?
Banga soup has so many health benefits. These health benefits are below listed:
- Palm oil is rich in vitamin A which improves vision
- The oily food keeps your hair and skin refreshed and nourished
- Banga soup contains unsaturated fat, thereby having lower risk of causing cancer or the build-up of cholesterol.
- The scent leaves and other vegetables used have so many important phytochemicals which improves human health.
With this article, you have been able to add to your chef tool box important cooking methods and how to prepare some special Nigerian cuisines. Leave a comment below if this article was of any help to you. Thank you for coming by.
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