If you told me that I would be making Akara(deep fried bean fritters) in this format, I would have laughed in your face and kept it moving. Akara used to be a nightmare for me. Sometimes, I would fry them and they would end up flat and other times they would break up in the oil. But I never gave up, I kept teaching myself until one day I got them right. Here is my vegetarian version here
This version of Akara was something I had worked on before and kind of forgot about it; until my friend nudged me to make another this past weekend. I have to say, I absolutely loved it and I asked myself why I never shared this recipe.
It was so delicious and I enjoyed it with some Ogi(pap) a drink made out of fermented corn/millet. I am not a fan of pap, but I made some from scratch just to see how it would turn out and it was really good with the addition of some sweeteners and all that good stuff (post coming soon)
Anyway this Akara was such a hit that I had to make some more to store in the freezer for snacking and breakfast. I also shared it with an online magazine where I got featured. Thank you guys at the Upperdeck
Akara is still a Saturday morning staple for most Nigerian families. You can enjoy it with bread, garri or even pap or oatmeal. I can still perceive the aroma of the Akara from the Akara joint; which was close to my parent’s house. The sweet aroma of the bean batter against the hot oil, the melt in your mouth Akara ball folded into the cavity of a piece of Agege bread. Nawa!
Akara is so good, I have my ajebutters hooked on it. Now every Saturday morning when you ask them what they would want for breakfast, the reply is mostly “Akara!” Now that we have corned beef in Akara, they want this like everyday. Well, who wouldn’t?
Anyway, let’s do this 🙂
- 1½ cups of Nigerian brown or Oloyin (honey) beans
- One small onion (divided – chop half and set aside)
- 2 small garlic cloves
- ½ inch of ginger (grated)
- 1 habanero pepper or ata-rodo
- A little less than ⅓ cup of parsley (finely chopped)(A handful works)(optional)(You could try scent leaves or basil)
- 1 cup corned beef
- 1 tbsp of crayfish
- •Bouillon cube or salt
- •1 egg
- •1 tbsp of dry grounded pepper
- •Oil for deep frying
- Soak beans for about 10 minutes or overnight and wash either by 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 skins would float to the top. Pour the skins out and repeat the rubbing and draining process until the beans are free of the skins. If you are washing without pulsing, 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, 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 the garlic, habanero, crayfish and bouillon until smooth. To achieve fluffy fritters like mine, you have to be careful when adding water to the batter.
- After blending, stir the fritters batter with a whisk or mixer to incorporate some air into the batter while adding the chopped onion, chopped parsley, ginger, egg and corned beef.
- Heat up a deep frying pan or deep fryer with enough oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot enough, using a tablespoon or scoop, scoop the fritters 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 on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Repeat the process until the batter is used up.
- To retain the fluffiness of the fritters, make sure to thoroughly beat the remaining batter with a whisk or mixer for a few minutes in between frying.