|Nigerian Akara (Acaraje)|
Akara is a deep fried Nigerian Snack and breakfast meal made with ground de-hulled(peeled) brown or black-eyed beans and spices.
It is a very popular snack that can be eaten anytime of the day. Although Akara is popular as a breakfast meal, it can also be served as a snack or enjoyed as a light dinner with Pap(ogi), custard or Agidi(eko).
Akara is also known as Acarajé/ Koose in Ghana or fried bean cake/ fried bean balls.
There are several varieties, but the Nigerian Akara is usually made with peeled blended beans and spices and then deep fried in vegetable oil. Palm oil can also be used for deep frying Nigerian Akara.
Here’s a detailed Video recipe on How to Make Nigerian Akara and below is an easy to follow recipe.Enjoy!
Nigerian Akara Recipe and Ingredients
– 1 cup of brown or black-eyed Beans (use beans flour as an alternative)
– 1-2 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers(atarodo)
– 1 small onion bulb and garlic clove(garlic is optional)
– 1 tablespoonful ground crayfish(optional)
– 1 stock cubes(knorr or maggi)
– Salt to taste
– Vegetable Oil/palm oil for frying
**First, peel the beans using this easy blender method.
But if you’ll rather peel beans the traditional method, then you need to soak the beans in water for 1 hour(or overnight); wash the beans and peel of the coat by rubbing in between your palms.
Tip: I always wash my beans in advance and store in the fridge;this helps to save a lot of time and makes the Akara preparation very easy.
**Pour the beans into a strong blender; add crayfish, stock cube, onions, garlic and pepper. Blend the mixture, until you get a smooth but thick consistency.
Add just a little water to the blender, to help it blend easily. Make sure to blend in batches, so that you won’t get granules and bean lumps.
Note that the consistency of the blended beans is very important , so aim for a thicker consistency.
If you are using beans flour, simply dilute in water and form a thick paste, then add ground crayfish, peppers , minced onions , seasoning and salt to taste.
Tip: After adding water to the first batch, you can pour a little of the already ground beans into the next batch,to help move the blades…instead of using more water.
This is a very important step in making Akara, because this is where the consistency of the mixture is determined.
Now to prepare the Nigerian Akara….
1. Pour the blended mixture into a bowl, taste for salt and add a little if needed. Mix thoroughly for a few seconds to fluff up the mixture and set aside.
2. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep pot or frying pan; the oil should be deep enough to cover an egg, that’s like 3 inches deep.
Heat up the oil until hot,but not extremely hot, so that the Akara does not just cook on the outside without cooking on the inside.
Tip: I always do a heat test, by dropping a little of the blended beans into the hot oil;If it browns instantly, then the oil is too hot, but if
it sizzles and still has a white color , then it is at the right
3. Using a tablespoon, scoop the blended beans and drop it gently into the hot oil.
Tip: Akara tends to soak up a lot of oil if the temperature of the oil drops, so be careful not to overcrowd the pot/frying pan, so that the temperature of the oil doesn’t go down.
4. Fry the Akara until brown and make sure you flip it over so that both sides brown at the same time.
5. Transfer the Akara into a sieve lined with paper towel, to help absorb excess oil. Enjoy!
Nigerian Akara is usually served with Pap(Ogi/Akamu),Custard , Eko/Agidi or Bread. It can also be eaten as a snack in combination with other finger foods.
See how to make Agidi/eko at home
Other related recipes :
* Nigerian Chin Chin recipe
* Nigerian Chicken Pie
* Nigerian Sausage Rolls
* Nigerian Egg Roll
* Nigerian Scotch Eggs
* Nigerian Fish Rolls
* Nigerian Fish Pie Recipe
* Nigerian Meat Pie
* Nigerian Buns
* Nigerian Puff puff