The fruits of the oil palm are used in food, mainly as a source of refined oil. The husked fruits are also used fresh by extracting and sieving the unrefined oil containing pulp to prepare banga soups. The palm kernel within there remaining hard, thick shelled nut is also frequently eaten as a snack.
The whole palm fruit, as harvested, can be purchased from local farmers in African or it can be bought in smaller quantities (husked) in the markets. Palm fruit should not be stored for more than a few days. A way of prolonging its life span is to boil it for 10 minutes, cool and then freeze it. Alternatively, the pulp can be prepared and frozen.
Palm oil contains vitamins not present in most refined oils and is therefore an important ingredient in many soups and stews. It comes in several different grades. The most expensive and difficult to source is made for table use. It is flavoured with coconut and spices during extraction and is served uncooked with boiled foods such as yam or green plantain. It can also be used in the preparation of uncooked sauces.
The way to tell good palm oil (if you cannot taste it) is to look out for the colouring. It will be bright red, rather than too dark in colour
400g Palm Fruit Pulp
½ kg Beef
2 Dried Fish
2 Scotch bonnets
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon African Plate Cameroon Pepper
25g African Plate Crayfish (ground)
40g Dried Bitter leaf
1 tablespoon Banga Spice
- Put the palm fruit pulp in a pot with the meat, dry fish and salt. Boil on a low heat until the meat is tender.
- Blend the onion and scotch bonnet and add to the meat/fish.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the dried bitter leaf) and cook rapidly for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Add the dried bitter leaf and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve with African Plate Coconut Poundo.