Akara also known as Acaraje is a Nigerian breakfast recipe
that is made from beans. It is also known as bean balls, bean cakes or bean
- One cup Beans(brown beans or black eyed beans)
- Two Habanero chilli peppers
- One Onion (medium)
- Some salt to taste
- Cooking oil preferably vegetable oil for frying
- A blender
- Pestle and mortar
- You will have to remove the beans coats and do not let the beans come into contact with salt as it is believed that salt destroys the leavening property of the beans. This is really what will prevent the spattering of the beans when frying them.
- After this you should soak your beans in some water for 2 hours to make them soft enough for the blender. If you have a heavy duty grinder that you can use then it will not be necessary to soak the beans for these extended periods of time.
- Now cut your onions and pepper into desirable sizes.
- Grind your beans in the blender making sure that you add in as little water as possible. The water should be enough so that the blades of your blender can move. When using heavy duty grinders for the Akara, some people do not even add in water. The less water added into the beans during grinding, the more the bean batter will stay together when frying which reduces spattering. At the grinding stage don’t add any other ingredients into the beans. It is known that if ingredients are added in too early this reduces the ability of the beans particles to stick together.
- Now put some cooking oil on your stove to heat up. The vegetable oil should at least be 3 inches deep.
- Put some of your grounded beans into the mortar. This quantity should be one that you can fry in one go.
- Now Stir your beans in some puree with your pestle in continuous circular motion. You will need to apply some pressure so that the beans particles can energizein the puree.
- The stirring technique makes sure that gas in the beans is released which acts like a leavening agent for the beans particlesmaking them to rise and stick together. This is just like yeastmaking the dough rise in the making of puff puff.Keep on stirring until the grounded beans appear whiter and you can see its peculiar aroma.
- Now add in some water until you get some consistency.
- Now check to make sure your oil is hot enough. It should be just hot enough to sizzle and not too hot because if it gets too hot the Akara will spatter everywhere as soon as the batter hits the oil.
- Once the oil is hot and ready add in the pepper and onions to the beans pureein your mortar and stir.
- Put in some salt to taste then stir again. The salt should be added in just before scooping the beans mixture into your oil. If the salt stays in your mixture for longer periods of time it destroys the leavening property in the beans. This leavening property is what makes the Akara to float in the oil and prevents spattering during frying.
- Now to fry your Akara scoop the beans mixture with a table spoon and pour it into the oil.
- Fry it till the underside is brown then flip it to fry the top side.
- When the Akara is brown all over remove it and place it in a sieve lined with paper towels.