What is Banga Nigerian Soup?

Soup is a blend of different elements complementing each other in an optimum way to create a full-flavored texture. It is usually consumed before the main course as it is lighter on the stomach except when used as a full course meal. 

A white ceramic bowl filled with soup

Origin of Banga Nigerian soup

Banga Nigerian is a traditional delicacy of the Niger Delta population, belongs explicitly to the ethnic group of Delta state known as Urhobo. This group titled the dish Oghwo amiedi, although known as Izuwo ibiedi by the Isoko ethnic group. 

Traditional Banga soup with a variety of meat

Banga soup mainly comprises oburunbebe spices, palm produce, and beletete, along with the protein of your preference. Beletete is just another name for Banga leaves which can be replaced with bitter leaf according to availability and preference. 

The preference to consume raw fresh fish with Banga soup is influenced by the fact that the river encompasses both Ishoko and Urhobo groups. It is culturally served with starch but can be substituted with semo, wheat, and fufu as well. 


Variety of spices on spoons

Banga soup is the outcome of different elements mixed together to produce an exquisite meal. These elements are as follows:

A variety of meat placed on a wooden table

Variety of meat: The tripe or any other part of beef can be used according to your preference. 

Beletete leaf: Beletete leaves can be replaced by bitter or scent leaves. 

Onion: Onions act as a unique element that uplifts the whole dish due to their fragrance and flavor.

Cameroon pepper or red chili flakes: These are added to add some heat to the soup! This element is optional. 

Shrimps on a platter

Seafood: Seafood can include catfish, shrimps, stockfish, and dry fish. 

Palm-nut fruit: fresh kernel fruit is preferred over canned nut fruits. 

Oburunbebe sticks put together

Oburunbebe stick: Oburunbebe stick enhances the flavor. 

Seasoning powder: Add salt along with the seasoning cubes or powder to add to its flavor. 


A man cooking soup in a pot

Scan the following steps to cook this delectable traditional Nigerian soup. 

Boil water for 30 minutes to soften the skin of palm kernel fruit. Then extraction of oil from the nut fruit can be done using a mortar. The light pounding will extract oil without crushing the nuts. Fill it with a small amount of hot water before straining the extracts using a filter. 

A woman straining the extracts

Pour it in a pot and boil till the oil floats on top and the mixture condenses and gets thicker. 

Next, pour water and put meat stock keeping the consistency and texture required in mind. The amount of stock used determines the thickness of the soup, so if you need a thicker soup, go for lesser stock. And let it boil for ten minutes minimum. 

Sliced meat with spices on a round wooden platter

After boiling for 10 minutes, add the variety of meat, chopped onions, and dried fish. Keep stirring till it’s time to blend the Cameroon pepper with oburunbebe spices, crayfish, and stock cube. Cover the pot with a lid for it to prepare for the next 10 to 20 minutes. 

Note: The time taken to boil the meat varies with the kind of meat used. Tougher meat requires more than 20 minutes of cooking, while easier cut meat requires less. 

Follow it by adding an oburunbebe stick along with raw fresh fish and keep cooking till the fish is cooked well. Also, you can remove the oburunbebe stick once it’s ready while shifting it into a bowl. 

Last but not least, add beletete leaves for one minute to give the soup an excellent, flavorful finishing. Also, if you don’t have beletete leaves, you can use bitter, or scent leaves instead. 

The soup is ready to be served with the preferred protein, starch, eba, and wheat meal. 

Banga soup in a red bowl

Is Banga soup healthy?

Banga soup in a black bowl

The answer to this question is Yes! Banga soup is not only known for satisfying the taste buds but is also nutritious in nature. Following are the health benefits that are provided through this dish. 

  • It has unsaturated fat. 
  • Rich in minerals and antioxidants
  • Recommended for patients suffering from vitamin A and K deficiency
  • It contains nutrients that regulate the functions of a healthy working brain. 
  • The extraction of palm oil in the soup can be vital to subside heart-related diseases. 

Tips to enhance your recipe of Banga soup

Spoons with different seasonings

Seasoning and the assortment of spices play a significant role in the outcome of a delicious Banga soup. Seasoned soups are better than condensed soup as you can control and alter the number of spices that go into the broth. 

Use beletete or Banga leaves to enhance the execution of Banga soup by giving it a strong and rich touch and flavor. Make plenty to savor it the next day! Banga soups taste better if kept overnight, so make sure to save some for later. 


Banga soup is a nutritious dish of the Niger Delta population, famous for its rich and exquisite flavor. It mainly comprises palm produce, oburunbebe spices, and beletete leaves with a protein of your preference. Fresh nut fruit and raw fish is preferred over canned products. 

It also has numerous health benefits that include regulating brain activity and acting as a source of vitamins and minerals. So be sure to get your hands on a bowl of Banga soup whenever possible. Are soups your weak spot in meals? Can’t live without a fresh bowl of soup every now and then? Extend your hands on the research of different types of soup, and you can start by going through our guide, what is American gumbo soup?