Sanga (palm nut soup, Mbanga)

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» Sanga (palm nut soup, Mbanga)

Sanga is a popular Cameroonian dish, more specifically within the southern and central regions. This dish is traditionally made using cassava leaves, palm oil, and maize. The method of pounding the leaves is used to create a stew/porridge like consistency. Although widely available in Cameroon, cassava leaves can be hard to find in the UK. Therefore, we’ll be using its curly leafed cousin, kale, though you can substitute it for any member of the cruciferous family. 

The major ingredient in this recipe is called palm nut cream, also known as palm fruit pulp. It is similar to palm oil but made in a concentrated form. Palm nuts are typically grown in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and The Gambia. It is a common ingredient in West African cuisine and is frequently used in soups and stews. 

As palm nut cannot be grown in the UK, you will find it in tins in your local African supermarket, or you can buy it online.   Sanga in a bowl

Serves 6 people 

Prep time – 10 mins 

Cooking time – 42 minutes 

Total – 52 minutes 


Stage 1 – aromatics  

  • 1 white onion 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 800g palm nut cream/fruit 

 Stage 2 – water 

  • 1L water 

 Stage 3 – vegetables

  • 250g kale, chopped with stalks removed 
  • 1 tbsp salt 

Stage 4 – sweetcorn

  • 500g sweetcorn  

Basmati rice – stove top method 

Serves 6 people 

Prep time – 2 minutes

Cook Ttime – 23 minutes 

Basmati rice ingredients  

  • 300g basmati white rice  
  • 475ml water 

Sanga method 

  1. Blend onion and garlic cloves. Heat oil in a large pan on medium-high heat, adding your onion and garlic once hot. 
  2. Add the palm nut cream to the pan and fry for a few minutes. 
  3. Add the water in stage 2, place a lid on top until it starts to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and remove the lid. Allow to simmer in the pot for a 20 minutes. 
  4. Add all of stage 3. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point, start making your rice using the method below. 
  5. Add sweetcorn from stage 4 and simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  6. Serve hot with rice. 

Basmati rice method 

  1. Place the water and rice in a medium sized pan over medium high heat. 
  2. Bring up to a gentle boil then turn heat down to low and cover with a lid. 
  3. Leave for 13 minutes – do not lift the lid at this point. Leave the lid on to trap the steam. 
  4. Turn the heat off, keeping the lid on and leave for 10 minutes to finish cooking. 
  5. Remove lid, fluff with rice paddle or fork, and serve. 

Ngwafu Tansie. Founder of gwafuvegan.


Recipe written and created by Ngwafu Tansie. Founder of gwafuvegan. As a black queer chef, it's fundamental for me to represent within the hospitality industry and showcase my culture. Inspiring younger people that you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it.  

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