Akara is a Nigerian street food made from deep fried bean batter. Akara is also known as Bean Cake or Bean Fritters, it is also known as Acarajé by Brazilians although the Brazilian recipe calls for the addition of shrimps to the batter. Akara is usually eaten as a snack, appetiser or as a breakfast dish, served with Hot Ogi (Pap), Custard or Oatmeal.
3 Cups Brown or White Beans
Vegetable Oil for frying
1 Red Bell Pepper ( Tatashe)
1 Scotch Bonnet (Atarodo)
1 Medium Size Onion
1 Tablespoon Ground Pepper/Atagungun (Optional)
2 Knorr Cubes
Salt to taste
Pick and wash your beans, then soak in water and peel. You can peel by hand or simply soak for 5 minutes in lukewarm water. Pour the beans in your electric blender and using the pulse function on your blender, pulse a couple of time. The beans will break, peeling most of the beans. Then pour the contents into a bowl and finish peeling by hand. This method will save you time and energy.
When it’s peeled, blend till smooth in a mill or electric blender. Do not add too much water. You’ll need to end up with a thickish consistency. If you add too much water, you’ll end up with very flat Akara.
Blend the bell pepper, onion and scotch bonnet roughly with as little water as you can…
If you end up using too much water, sieve out the water contents through a sieve….
Now, you need to incorporate air into your Akara batter. The air helps with the fluffiness and plumpness of Akara. You can use a whisk for this, whisk for at least 10 minutes till the batter becomes very fluffy or you can use a wooden spoon and stir vigorously in one direction for 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, you can use an electric hand mixer. See how fluffy mine looks after 8 minutes of mixing….
Next, add the blended pepper into the batter, also add the bouillon cubes, ground pepper and salt. Mix lightly or just fold the pepper in with the batter, do not over mix or you’ll end up losing the air you’ve worked up…
Now, add vegetable oil into a deep frying pan or wok. Quantity should be enough to deep fry the Akara balls. Place on a hob on medium heat, around 180 degrees. Make sure the heat isn’t too high and not too low either. When it’s hot, begin to scoop the batter into the oil. You can use an ice cream scoop or spoon for this…
Fry till golden brown, this should take 3-4 minutes. Remember to turn them over for even frying….
Transfer into a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil….
And it’s ready… Serve with Hot Ogi (Pap), Custard or Oatmeal….