These light and fluffy Akara balls; African Black Eyed peas fritters are delicious an easy to make. Don't let the process deter you from making this delightful African Saturday morning breakfast.
Akara and Akamu is a typical weekend breakfast in Nigeria. It's either a Saturday morning breakfast or a Sunday one. Most Nigerian homes can testify to this. Besides a yummy breakfast at home you can have this yummy breakfast on the road side if you desire since it is a very popular Nigerian street food as popular as puff puff.
What is Akara?
Akara is a deep fried food made from puréed beans. It is usually made with 4 ingredients; beans, salt pepper and onions. It is similar to moi moi since puréed beans is the base but moi moi is either steamed or baked and has a lot more ingredients and they definitely taste different. Both dishes taste delicious and are enjoyed with Pap, bread or garri.
Akara is called akla or koose by Ghanaians. It is also found in Brazilian cuisine brought to Brazil by the West African Slaves. Brazilians call it acaraje.
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While I was growing up, making Akara was a long process, but thank God with the kitchen gadgets and expertise it's a lot less of an arduous task. Let me give you a little preview of what it was like to make Akara back in the day.
How we used to make Akara
- Pick the dirt from beans
- Peel the beans by washing by hand
- Take it to the mill to be blended or blfbd at home if you have a powerful blender. (blending beans at home sent many blenders to an early grave)
- Transfer beans purée to a mortar, stir and stir with a pestle then fry ?. This process usually takes like forever from start to finish.
These days, this is how we roll
- Pick dirt from beans even if the brand you have has been precleaned it doesn't hurt to double check?
- Peel the beans with a blender alternatively you can use beans powder pre peeled beans sold in the store.
- Soak peeled beans overnight or for 2 hrs
- Blend then Transfer to a stand mixer or use s hand mixer. Beat with the whisk for about 5 mins with a stand mixer and about 8 mins with a hand mixer.
Phew 😅 I wanted to share with you what it was like back in the day so you would appreciate our modern day Akara. But if you never made Akara the old fashioned way you may not appreciate the difference because the steps seem similar but DO NOT be deceived you need a lot more elbow grease in the former.
One step you must not skip is the whisking step. It incorporates air into the batter.
I am glad that you read this post way up to this point. If you found it helpful, Kindly Share with your family and friends. Follow @mydiasporakitchen on INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST. Did you know you could pin this yummy fluffy Akara recipe for later. While you are there you can check out my other yummy recipes since you love good food, I promise you would love them.
Where were we? Oh yes how to make this amazing fluffy Akara balls. Let's get started.
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Watch how to make Akara Balls
How to make fluffy Akara Balls
- 2 cups Black eyed peas or honey beans (cleaned, peeled and soaked for 1 -2hrs)
- 1 habanero pepper
- 1 large onion (cut up for blending)
- Salt or bouillon powder to taste.
- ¾ cup of water
- 3 cups cooking Oil ( for deep frying )
- Transfer the soaked beans into the blender, add the onion, pepper and ¾ cup of water.
- Blend till smooth
- Transfer the batter to a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attached.
- Add salt then Whisk the batter for about 6 mins to incorporate air into the mixture.
- While you are whisking the batter, heat up the oil for frying.
- When the oil is hot, scoop the batter into the oil with your hand be careful not to let your fingers touch the hot oil. ( see notes for how to know if the oil is hot enough) Alternatively you can scoop the batter quarter cup by quarter cup. Do not crowd the pan.
- Fry till golden brown. Remember to flip the Akara to the other side so that the Akara balls brown evenly.
- Transfer to a frying basket lined with kitchen paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Serve Akara with pap
- Serve with bread as a burger
- Serve with garri
- You can enjoy Akara on its own too
- Soaking the beans softens it and makes it easier for your blender For best results, you need to use a powerful blender.
- DO NOT SKIP THE WHISKING STAGE.
- If you don't have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer or a whisk. You can also stir batter in a circular motion continuously with a spatular.
- Oil temp test; put a slice onion in the oil if it bubbles and comes up immediately, then the oil is ready to fry the Akara. The oil needs to be hot enough or else the akara would absorb too much oil.