A WEEKEND FAVOURITE

Weekends carry a nostalgia for many of us. It is a time to re-live childhood breakfast habits and build new family memories. Beans are a staple legume that provides high protein and enriches the body. Children need it to grown and adults require a relevant amount to form a part of the Daily Required calories.


Akara is a snack that is originally from Nigeria but that has migrated to a number of West African countries as well as Brazil. It is a traditional snack from Nigeria that is also popular in Gambia, Ghana, Togo etc.  In most recipes, black-eyed peas are used. When they are not available, any other related bean such as cowpea can be used. Usually, the beans are soaked overnight so that the outer skin is removed. Then the beans are ground, seasoned with spices, and finally deep-fried. In Salvador-Bahia in Brazil, it is called acaraje and it is the popular fast food or snack made by baianas, the folkloric black women who dress in traditional white lace tops and large flowered skirts.
Find attached a must-try Akara recipe. Although Akara is a fried cake or fritter that is a common breakfast staple or fast food. variations including akara with other proteins or styles like a pan flat akara are available.

Give this recipe a try this weekend and let us know how good it taste.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup of peeled beans
  • 1 raw hot pepper (Ata rodo) – chopped
  • Salt – to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional. This helps to make the exterior crunchy)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion – chopped
  • oil for frying

Directions

  1. Combine the beans with 1/4 cup water in a blender.
  2. Puree the mixture to a smooth paste
  3. Pour the pureed beans into a bowl. Mix for 5 minutes with a whisk or mixer. This is to incorporate air into the batter.
  4. Set a deep pan on medium heat, add in some oil. Heat until oil
  5. Add in the salt, baking soda, chopped pepper and onions. Stir
  6. Scoop 1/2 cooking spoon of batter into oil. You do not want to spread out the batter in the oil, you want to pour batter directly on itself (the way you would pour water into a narrow bottle).
  7. Fry on each side until golden brown.
  8. Lift the akara balls out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towels.
  9. Repeat the process until everything is fried
  10. Serve with bread, garri, ogi (Pap) or fried yam. Enjoy!!
Note: The shape of the akara is affected by two factors: thickness of the pureed beans and your method of frying. Shallow frying  or watery batter will result in flat akara.
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