Cookery Corner: How to Prepare Round Black-Eyed Pea Fritters a.k.a Akara!

 

Nothing warms up a Saturday morning like a plateful of old-time Akara served with a bowl of pap (akamu , ogi or koko) or stuffed in a freshly baked bread loaf. Yum Yum! They are also good for evening snack appetizer as well. These are quick, easy and tasty and involves only a handful of simple ingredients.

Akara, which is also known as black-eyed pea fritters or Acaraje, is a very delicious, deep-fried cakes made from black-eyed peas paste. It is a vegetarian-friendly meal eaten in most parts of West Africa and Brazil.

These yummy fritters are made from peeled black-eyed peas or the Honey Beans.  This is now blended, seasoned with salt, seasoning cube which are optional and diced onions – It is then formed into balls and deep-fried in palm oil or vegetable oil. Though the origin of Akara is said to be from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria but somehow it has found it’s way to the hearts of other African countries and even beyond.

Note:

  • When making Akara, a little salt goes a long way, so be careful.
  • You need very little water to blend the beans, adding excess water will result in a flat and an unpleasantly soft Akara balls. Remember our goal is to achieve a rounded akara or fritters.
  • If you don’t have a whisk to mix the batter, you can use a wooden spoon or spatula to beat which will give the same result. You can even go the traditional way by using a mortar and a pestle. It’s all well and good.
  • A well made Akara should be light, airy, soft, and relatively rounded. When the Akara appears flat, it means enough air has not been introduced into the batter. That is why it is very important to whisk the batter for a couple of minutes before frying it.

Here are some popular names for this meal – Acaraje, Black-eyed pea fritters, Koose.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups black-eyed peas
  • 1 Habanero Chilli
  • 1/4 Cup Red bell pepper measured out when diced
  • 1 Onion small sized
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Stock Cube
  • 2 to 4tbs Water
  • Vegetable oil enough for deep frying

Prep time: 9 hours 11 minuites

Cook time: 9 hours 11 minuites

Calories: 465 kcal

 Cooking Method:

  1. Soak the beans for about an hour and peel using the blender.
  2. Blend the beans into a paste (add 2 to 4 Tbs of water) for easy blending.
  3. Pour the batter into a large bowl and whisk together until it’s light and fluffy. Hand whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes or electric-hand mixer for about a minute or two.
  4. Blend the Habanero, bell peppers and Onions in a separate bowl and mix it together with the beans paste.
  5. Dissolve the stock cube in a 1/2 of a Tbs of Water and add it to the beans paste. Also add salt to taste (this recipe is very sensitive to salt so be careful. A little goes a long way) then mix everything together.
  6. Place some oil in a pan (enough to deep fry the Akara) and fry till golden brown. It’s good to press down the Akara balls a little bit just to get rid of any excess oil that might have been absorbed during the frying process.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with Pap, freshly baked bread loaf, Hot dipping Sauce or any topping of your choice. Enjoy!

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