Akara or bean cake has become a stable food in Nigeria. On almost every street corner you turn in popular places like the Obalende in Lagos, you are bound to find people that fry akara to make a living.
Akara is a soft and fluffy deep fried meal made from ground beans (Black eyed peas) and a host of other ingredients. It’s one of the most common meals you’d find on the breakfast table in most Nigerian homes.
Akara can be taken alone as a snack or served with Pap, Custard, Bread or Garri.
Ingredients for Making Akara
2 Cups Brown Beans
3 Chili pepper
2 Red bell pepper
2 Scotch bonnet pepper
1 small Red onion
2 Seasoning cubes
Salt to taste
Preparation of Akara
Skin the beans and set aside. Remove the seeds from the red bell pepper and wash. After this put the beans and all the pepper in a blender.
Blend till it is very smooth. Make sure you add as little water as possible so that the paste isn’t watery. Now pour the paste in a large bowl and mix consistently.
Thorough mixing is the secret to getting very soft and fluffy akara balls. Some people are so thorough with mixing they go as far as using a cake mixer.
After it is well mixed, add the salt and crushed seasoning cube.
Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat up. Scoop the mixture into the sizzling oil to form balls one spoon at a time and fry until golden brown making sure you flip frequently on each side.
Remove balls and drain in a strainer or on absorbent kitchen paper to drain the oil.
Your akara is ready and can be eaten alone or served as a side dish with any meal of your choice.
Some people argue that akara cannot be classified as a healthy meal because of the amount of oil used in preparing it. If you are health conscious, you can consider frying yours with olive oil or coconut oil.
Image Source: Chef Lola