Akara is a popular Nigerian snack made with beans, also known as bean cakes or bean-balls.
To make Akara, you need to first of all remove the beans coat. You should remove the coat from the beans just before you make the Akara.
You can’t use coatless beans that have been stored in the fridge or
freezer to make Akara or it will just spatter everywhere in the oil.
1 cup beans (black-eyed or brown beans)
2 atarodo (habanero) peppers
1 medium onion
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
- Remove the beans coat. It is important that you do not let salt come
in contact with the beans you will use in making Akara till you are
ready to fry it. Salt is believed to destroy the leavening property of
beans. Doing this will prevent spattering of the beans batter during
- Soak the beans in water for 2 hours to make it soft enough for your
blender. If you will grind it using the heavy duty grinders in Nigerian
markets, it will not be necessary to soak the beans for extended periods
- Cut the pepper and onions into desirable sizes.
- Grind the beans with your blender making sure you add as little
water as possible. The water should be just enough to move the blades of
your blender. The operators of the heavy duty grinders in our markets
don’t even add water when grinding beans for Akara. The less water you
add at the grinding stage, the more the beans batter will stay together
during frying thereby reducing spatter. Also, do not add any other
ingredient when grinding the beans for Akara. It is believed that other
ingredients, if added too early, reduce the ability of the ground beans
particles to stick together.
- Heat up some oil at least 3 inches deep.
- Put some of the ground beans into a mortar. This should be the quantity you can fry in one go.
- Stir the beans puree with the pestle in a continuous circular
motion. You need to apply some pressure so that you can energize the
particles of the beans puree.
- This stirring technique releases the gas that will act like a
leavening agent to the beans particles, making them rise and stick
together. Keep stirring till the ground beans appear whiter. Add some
- Check to make sure the oil is hot. The oil should be hot enough to
sizzle but not too hot. If too hot, the Akara will spatter as soon as
the beans batter hits the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions and pepper to the beans puree in the mortar. Stir well.
- Add salt to your taste and stir again. Salt should always be added
just before scooping the beans mixture into the oil or it will destroy
the leavening property of the beans.
- To fry the Akara, scoop the mixture with a tablespoon and slowly
pour this into the oil, dipping the spoon a little bit into the oil to
- Fry the underside till brown and flip to fry the top side too. When
the Akara balls are brown all over, remove and place in a sieve lined
with paper towels.
Once your Akara is ready, you can serve it with custard or akamu, agidi or fresh bread.
A perfect breakfast to start your day with…
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