Banga

Ingredients

  • 4 litres of fresh palm nut sauce or an  800g tin of palm nut sauce, with 1 – 2 ‘tins’ of water
  • 2 red onons, peeled and blended with (4) red or yellow hot, fresh chili peppers (Scotch bonnet, habanero), to taste
  • 2 tablespoons crayfish (or dried shrimp), ground
  • 3 tablespoons Banga soup spice mix (alternative: a mixture of grains of paradise a pinch of cloves and  black pepper would do)
  • 1 tablespoon dried belentientien, rinsed  (dried mint – a pinch)
  • 2 Maggi stock cubes
  • 2 – 3 bruised lemon grass leaves (lemon grass stalk) , optional
  • Banga stick, optional
  • About 1.5kg ‘soup’ chicken pieces
  • 500g beef, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup shrimps and prawns (heads of prawns removed, blended, strained with chaff discarded and liquid set aside)
  • 1 – 2 fresh Tilapia fish
  • 1 teaspoon bitterleaf, washed and shredded
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Begin by putting the palm sauce in a large pot with the blended onion and chili mixture, ground crayfish, banga soup spice, belentientien, stock cubes and the banga spice stick (whose name I am yet to discover). Cook on medium-high heat, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and beef, along with the shrimp head liquid.
  3. Cook on medium-low heat till the meat is tender, checking for seasoning and adjusting accordingly. The soup should be reduced by at least a quarter to a third.

  4. Add the fish and shrimps/prawns once your meat is cooked, along with the fresh bitterleaf. Do not put the lid on the pot, so the soup doesn’t turn too bitter, and also stay too liquid. Gently stir and leave to simmer for 7 – 8 minutes, being sure not to stir too vigorously so the fish doesn’t break up.

  5. Remove from the heat and serve with a starch.

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