Akara is the Nigerian name for bean cake. As the name implies, it is made from beans and eaten as breakfast in many Nigerian homes. In fact, in most Nigerian homes, Akara is mostly eaten on Saturday mornings as preparing the meal can be time-consuming.
There are several methods of preparing Akara, but we will focus on just 1 in this article.
- Scotch bonnet pepper(Ata Rodo)
- Seasoning cube
How To Prepare
- Properly wash and soak beans, then soak them in cold water for 30 minutes.
- Once the beans are soft, remove the shaft and the black eye until only the white part of the beans is seen. You can do this manually which would take about 30-45minutes, or use a blender and pulse it(this will should be done in less than 5 minutes)
- Pour the cleaned beans into your blender, pour in only a little water-just enough to make the blades turn- then add the scotch bonnet pepper, crayfish, and onion and blend till its smooth(not too smooth)
- If you do not have a high-powered blender, you can take it to the local mills to grind. They oftentimes do not add water when grinding. You only need to tell them what you want to use it for and they’ll know what quantity of water is needed if any.
- If you do not have a whisker, use a mortar and pestle to stir the blended mixture continuously in a circular motion for about 10 minutes. If you do have a whisker, stir the mixture in a bowl for around 5 to 10 minutes. This is an important step because the akara can become flat if the air is not properly absorbed by the mixture.
- Pour a liter of vegetable oil into a dry and heated frying pan and allow to preheat for about 2 minutes. Once the oil is hot, scoop desired amount of akara mix into the hot oil and fry till it’s brown. Then turn the other over to the other side to allow it to cook as well.
- Once both sides are fully brown, Akara is ready.
- You cannot use already washed beans(after removing the black eyes) kept in the freezer to make akara. Your mixture will end up in a spatter in the oil
- Add salt to the batter only just before you’re ready to fry. It is believed that adding salt too early will make the batter spatter
- Make sure the oil is hot enough to sizzle but not hotter than that. If the oil is too hot the batter will spatter.
Akara can be served hot with pap or custard, as a sandwich( Cut open an unsliced bread, add mayonnaise if you wish and then add some balls of Akara), eaten with fried yam or potatoes, or can be munched on its own as a snack.
It may seem like there are so many rules to getting the perfect akara. Some people do not get it right at first. If this happens to you don’t give up. Try again till you get it. You can get it right