.EASY NIGERIAN AKARA RECIPE. SO DELICIOUS YOU WILL ASK FOR MORE
I remember so clearly my childhood days and how much I looked forward to saturdays in Nigeria. Besides “Cadbury’s breakfast television” that showed the best cartoons and kids shows every saturday morning, Saturday was also the day when we would usually eat akara in my home. Akara is described by many as bean cake, bean balls or bean fritters. The aroma is so distinct and the the taste is definitely one of a kind. I could smell akara from miles away and there was always a queue to buy some delicious warm akara on saturday mornings. But who were we to complain, we would wait our turn.
It had been a long while since I ate akara but I knew one thing for sure. When I succeeded in making the perfect akara, I would feel nostalgic because I would be reminded of the distinct smell and yummy taste of delicious akara on Saturdays in Nigeria. I achieved this with my recipe which I will be sharing today. It is easy and quick. Akara may be served with ogi/pap (a pudding made from fermented millet or maize), garri or with bread. And if you are vegan, no need to worry, this is a vegan Nigerian akara recipe.
KNOW WHAT YOU EAT
Black eyed beans
Black eyed beans are a good source of plant protein. So for vegans and vegetarians, this is a very good protein substitute. They are also a good source of iron, zinc, fiber, potassium, and folate. Ninety percent of the fiber in black eyed beans is the insoluble type which helps with your bowel movement and prevents constipation. Fiber also helps keep your cholesterol levels healthy by preventing its absorption into your bloodstream. This in turn reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Also high fiber foods keep you full for longer, therefore great for weight management. The potassium in beans, just like in bananas keeps your blood pressure levels in healthy numbers and so reduces your risk of heart disease. They also have a low glycemic index and so you do not need to worry about a rapid rise in your sugar levels. Black eyed beans are low in fat and sodium and contain no cholesterol. The iron in black eyed peas prevents anemia which produces fatigue and weakness. Research performed at the Karolinska institute in Sweden also showed a decrease in stroke risk with an increase in potassium intake.
- 2 Cups of Black eyed beans
- 1 Bell pepper
- 1/2 Medium sized Onion
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (ata rodo)
- 1 pair Maggi cubes
- 2 tsp salt
- Sunflower oil or vegetable oil
- Pour two cups of black eyed beans into a bowl. Rinse once.
- Pour in water to cover the beans. The water should be twice the level of the beans.
- Leave overnight
- Next day, your beans would have absorbed a lot of the water and will be softer and losing some of its skin
- Put about 2 cups of beans in a blender. With that, add one liter of water and pulse the blender. (This causes the beans to lose more skin)
- Use a sieve to drain out the water and throw out the lose skin. (Repeat with all the beans)
- Next, Blend your beans with Onions, scotch bonnet, bell pepper.
- You may add your salt and Maggi cubes already.
- Add very little water to get the blender going. ( I like to taste my mixture to be sure it is as spicy as I want)
- In a pan, heat up a skillet (frying pan), add some vegetable oil (up to 1/2 inch) and allow to be hot before putting in your paste)
- Using an ice-cream scoop or a deep spoon, scoop and pour into hot oil. Fry in medium-high heat.
- While it fries, line a plate with some kitchen towels (paper towels). (This will help absorb some of the oil from the fried akara.)
- Allow the bottom to be golden brown before turning to the opposite side and frying.
- When both sides are nice and golden, your akara is ready.