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Palm nut Soup also known as Ofe Akwu is a delicious African delicacy Made from the creamy extract got from pulverized Palm nut fruits. ( locally known as akwu )
Ofe Akwu / Palm nut Soup is also enjoyed in some other African countries like Ghana and Cameroon. It is known as Mbanga in Ghana.
How to make Ofe Akwu / Palm nut Soup
Traditionally Palm nut Soup is made by Pulverizing cooked Palm nut fruits (Akwu). The Palm nut Fruits are cooked till flesh is tender and well cooked. Then it is pounded to breakdown the flesh to release the Palm juice ( palm paste) which is then used to make this delicious soup. Phew!! Like I said, that's the traditional way. To be honest it's not as difficult as it may sound. But if I have an easier way, why not? Lol. Today's method is all about easy peasy. I will be using Canned Palm Concentrate/ Paste.
Ingredients needed to make Ofe Akwu / Palm nut Soup
- You need just a few ingredients to make Ofe Akwu / Palm nut Soup and they include
- Your choice of Meats or a combination of meats. I like to use smoked turkey and or
What is the difference between Ofe Akwu and Banga Soup?
Though Ofe Akwu and Banga Soup are both made with Palm nut fruit Concentrate with similar methods of preparation, these two soups are from two different regions in Nigeria and have distinct taste from each other.
Ofe Akwu is usually eaten with white rice while Banga soup is eaten with Starch ( pronounced stash by the Niger Deltans. It is a kind of swallow food made from cassava)
The green leafy vegetables used to Make Ofe Akwu is Scent leaves ( nchoanwu ) while Bitter leaves ( Onugbu ) is used when making Banga Soup.
Banga Soup is made with special herbs and spices which give it that distinct Banga soup taste. Ofe Akwu doesn't require those special spices.
Because of the geographical location of Niger Deltans. Banga Soup is usually made fresh sea food. Igbos like to make Ofe Akwu with smoked meats.
What can be served with Ofe Akwu?
Ofe Akwu can be served with the following sides.
- Plain white rice
- White rice and veggies
- Plain white rice and beans
- White rice - Beans - Fried or boiled Plantain combo
- You can even eat it with any swallow food of your choice like pounded yam or eba
FAQs on how to make Ofe Akwu
Q. Can I make Ofe Akwu with Palm oil?
A. No. Ofe Akwu is made from palm fruits Concentrate which is a combination of palm oil and palm fruit cream. Making this soup with only palm oil won't yield the same result. It would be like eating just oil. The cream helps to thicken the soup as well.
Q. I can't get Palm fruit. What can I use as a substitute?
A. This recipe is for you. Instead of Whole Palm fruit, I used Palm fruit Concentrate/ paste for this recipe to make it easier for you and me ?. Good news is that Palm fruit Concentrate can be bought online or in any African or Afro-Caribbean store near you.
Q. Is Ofe Akwu the same as Banga Soup?
A. Literally, Akwu and Banga mean Palm fruit in Igbo Language and Urhobo language respectively. Based on the literal meaning one would naturally think that they are one and the same soup but they are not. Each has its own unique flavors based on the spices used. For instance, some special herbs and spices like Beletientien, Irugege etc are used to make Banga soup while it is not used in Ofe Akwu. You can read more in the difference between the two soups further up in this post.
Q. I live in Diaspora what can I use as a substitute for Scent leaves.
A. Frozen scent leaves are sold in African stores abroad. But if you don't find any. You can use either Basil or Parsley.
Q. Is Ofe Akwu Keto friendly?
Have more questions on this recipe? Drop me a comment below and I would gladly answer them.
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How to make the Easiest Ofe Akwu
- 800 g Palm fruits Concentrate 1 can
- 1 smoked fish cleaned and deboned
- ¼ cup ground crayfish
- 1 Tbsp ground Cameroon pepper
- 1 Tbsp crushed pepper flakes
- 1000 g smoked Turkey or beef
- 1 large Onion chopped
- Ogiri Okpei or iru
- 1 Tbsp bouillon powder
- 3 cups meat stock
- 1 handful of scent leaves washed and Chopped
- Put smoked turkey in a pot with the meat stock, add chopped onions and season with bouillon powder. Bring to a boil.
- Add crayfish, Ogiri okpei or iru, Cameroon pepper and crushed pepper flakes stir to combine then Turn heat down to medium.
- Scoop in the palm oil concentrate, stir and taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed then Cover pot and let soup simmer till it thickens to the consistency you want.
- Stir in the Chopped scent leaves and turn off heat.