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Banga Rice, a traditional rice dish made with palm fruit concentrate, is one of the country’s Nigeria’s popular and loved dishes. The Urhobo people of southern Nigeria eat this dish frequently. The juice derived from the palm nut fruit is known as Banga. The juice extracted from the palm nut is cooked with parboiled white rice to make Banga rice.
The palm fruit extract is commonly used as a soup base in Nigeria’s southern regions, including the Niger Delta, South-East, and South-West. Most regions have their unique soups created specifically from it.
These palm fruit extracts are also used to make soup varieties including; Ofe Akwu of igbos, Ofe Utazi, Efik’s Abak Atama, Yoruba’s Obe Eyin, Urhobo’s Oghwoamiedi, and Izuwoibiedi for the Isoko people The herbs and spices utilized make a difference.
How To Make Banga Rice
This is a variation of jollof rice, a dish that Nigerians are extremely proud of and have reinvented in several ways including the Banga rice style.
Banga rice is delectable. It is made using a combination of Banga soup and rice. You can also prepare this dish with leftover Banga Soup or Ofe Akwu. It must be extremely soft since it absorbs the flavors of the components; it must not be dry or mushy. Its creamy flavor comes from palm oil extract.
To make the Banga Rice using the recipe below, you can use canned palm fruit concentrate or make your palm fruit concentrate from palm fruits.
How To Prepare The Banga Palm Nut Soup
- Wash palm nuts, and place in a pot with water to boil
- After 30 minutes it should be thoroughly cooked so drain the water
- Place the banga in a bowl/pot/mortar and pound gently to extract the juice OR knead with your hands.
- When the skin is peeled from the nuts, add warm water and sieve out the juice.
Repeat the process 2 more times to ensure you extract all the juice.
After prepping this palm nut extract, you can proceed to make your delicious Banga rice. Alternatively, you can buy the already made banga extract in the supermarket. But be warned: it may not be as sweet as fresh banga.
- 500 g Long Grain Rice
- 800 g Banga Palm nut soup
- 50 g Dried shrimps
- 1 Smoked catfish
- 270 g Fresh prawns
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 Sweet pepper
- 1 Red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 Onion
- 2 Maggi cube
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Banga spice
- Cray fish
- Scent leaves
- 124g Cooked cow skin (Kpomo) (optional)
- Chop the onions and cow skin into small pieces, discard the head of the smoked catfish and break it into smaller chunks.
- Do the same for the dried shrimps.Using a food processor pulse the bell pepper, sweet pepper, and scotch bonnet until they are fine but still visible.
- Soak the rice in hot water for 5 minutes then wash and rinse out the water to remove any excess starch.
- Soak the dried scent leaves in hot water for 5 minutes and then discard the water.
- Add Sunflower oil to a heated pan and pour in the onions, allow to simmer for a few seconds, followed by the sweet pepper, scotch bonnet and red bell pepper blend.
- Cook for about 2 minutes.Add the banga palm nut soup, cow skin, smoked catfish, half of the crayfish, half of the dried shrimp, Maggi, salt, banga spice and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the Long grain rice and 200g of water and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon stir the rice and add the remaining crayfish, dried shrimp, and scent leaves.
- At this point you can taste it and add additional Maggi or salt if needed, reduce the heat and cook for additional 10 minutes, enjoy.