Okay you know I had to do a post on akara. I have done one on akara crepes and mini pancakes and when my friend was going through my blog, she simply said “it is an abomination to do all these “oyibo akara” and not have the Almighty akara recipe too.” :)) So here I go. Please click the link for akara crepes http://www.nigerianlazychef.com/2015/02/akara-a-thousand-ways/
So I woke up one early cold morning and I wanted to make some oat meal for my ajebutters and I, but we needed a side since we had no bananas. I went through everything in the kitchen and it hit me “Akara!” I was not even worried as for the washing or no washing because I could either have them washed which is easy these days or not washed. I swear, washing beans used to scare the pants out of me lol! Growing up, I loved akara, but did not like the work. I am the last of seven children, so yes I had to wash the beans. It was part of my chores
For how to use the none washed beans, you simply soak the beans you would be using in some water and let it stay in the water over night or for a few hours before blending. I like to use the Honey or Oloyin beans as it is softer and sweeter. visit Shakirat at http://www.9jafoodie.com/ for more ideas on how to use the unpeeled beans.
Continuing my story, I quickly made some mini akara balls and paired it with some oat meal. If you grew up in Nigeria, Akara was a constant street food; It never went out of style. It is still in style and it is a staple in my home. My ajebutters love “Akara” and oatmeal. It is one of their to go meals. Sometimes, I make a lot of it and freeze some and once one little one cries for a snack I pop it right into the oven and 5 minutes later viola! Akara and bread :))
Recently, I made some veggie filled akara courtesy of Shakirat of 9jafoodie. She had made some and she titled it “Powered up Akara”(Please click her link above and simply search powered up akara or simply click on the link here –>> http://www.9jafoodie.com/?s=powered+up+akara
here is a picture of my plain akara balls and how I had Shakirat’s powered up akara:
I simply added some red kale, green kale, tomatoes, a small onion, bell peppers, one finger of cayenne chili and a small piece of ata-rodo into the blend when I was making the paste. I remember posting the picture on the food group “So you think you can cook” and Shakirat called it “The biggest vegetable cheat ever!
The first picture was a simple mini akara crepe filled with some tomatoes, onions and siracha chicken. The second picture is just mini akara balls. I like the little balls. I simply used a tablespoon to scoop the mix into the hot oil to fry.
Let us quickly get right to my recipe for the regular akara balls
Ps: sometimes I add herbs in to my akara. You may use cilantro, basil or parsley. Just chop them into tiny pieces or use the dried version
- 1½ cup of oloyin I,e. honey beans(any type of beans is okay)
- ¼ cup of crayfish
- 1 small ata-rodo
- Half of a medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves(optional)
- ½ an inch of ginger(optional)
- one egg(optional)
- oil for deep frying
- salt or bouillon to taste
- Soak beans for about 10 minutes or overnight and wash by either pulsing in a blender or rubbing the beans against both palms and draining out the skin.
- To pulse in the blender, simply pour the raw beans into a blender, add some water and pulse a few times to break it up. Pour the broken beans in a bowl and rub between your palms to remove the skin. Pour in some more water and the skin would float to the top. Pour the skin out and keep repeating the rubbing and draining process until the beans is free of the skins. If washing without the blender, simply soak and rub the skin between your palms, top up with water and discard the skins as they float to the top
- These days (according 9jafoodie)You do not have to wash the beans. You can just soak and blend it until smooth using red or brown beans. Most nutrients are in the skin anyway
- After washing the beans, blend it with all the ingredients (except the oil, and salt) until smooth. (If you are doing 9jafoodie's "Powered up Akara" you may add all your veggies; which I did at this point for my veggie akara. For the plain ones I simply just blended it without the veggies). Do not Blend with too much water. To have fluffy akara like mine, you have to be careful with adding water to the batter.
- Stir the egg into the akara with a whisk or mixer to incorporate some air into the batter. You may add the salt or bouillon once the batter is ready for frying.(adding salt in the earlier stage causes the akara to become watery. How? I have no idea, but it has happened to my batter before 🙂 )
- Heat up a deep frying pan or deep fryer with enough oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot enough; using a tablespoon scoop, pour the akara batter in little increments into the oil to fry and form balls. Fry each ball until golden brown and with a slotted spoon scoop out the cooked balls and drain unto a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Repeat the process until the batter is used up.