Have you ever heard of Akara? The dish is originally from Nigeria, but it’s slowly spread to other parts of Africa and is enjoyed by millions of people.
Basically, Akara is a type of fritter that’s made with ground-up beans. These beans are typically black-eyed peas—which, interestingly enough, are actually beans, not peas—and are flavoured with nothing more than salt and chopped onions.
This mixture is rolled up into a ball, deep-fried, and sometimes served with a tangy pepper sauce. Many people enjoy Akara for breakfast as a great way to start their mornings, although we wouldn’t blame you if you’d want to chow down on these tasty morsels later in the afternoon or evening.
If you’re curious as to what this beloved dish might taste like, check out the recipe we’ve provided below. We’ll show you how to make the basic, vegetarian version, as well as the perfect sauce to serve it with.
- 2 cups of black-eyed peas
- ¼ cup of water (for blending)
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Soak the beans for 30 minutes in a large bowl of water.
- Once the skins have softened and have started to detach from the beans, rub them between your palms to completely remove the skins. The peeled beans should float to the top, leaving the skins at the bottom of the bowl.
- Transfer the peeled beans to a colander and check to see if they are fully cleaned. You may need to repeat the previous step a couple of times to ensure that all the skins have been removed.
- Once clean, transfer the beans to a food processor or blender and puree until the beans resemble a paste.
- Transfer the paste to a clean bowl, add in the blending water, and use a whisk or hand blender to whip the mixture until it’s light and fluffy.
- Add the chopped onion and salt to the mixture and give everything a good mix.
- Scoop out some of the mixture with a tablespoon and roll this into a ball. Repeat this process with the remaining mixture.
- In a hot pan of oil, carefully drop the balls and fry them until golden brown on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes. Remember to not overcrowd the pan to maintain a good frying temperature.
- Remove the cooked balls from the pan and transfer them to a tray lined with some paper towels.
There you have it—delicious Akara with a sweet and fiery pepper sauce to go perfectly with it. We guarantee that these recipes will smell amazing as you cook, and they’ll taste even better once you try them!
If you’re looking to sample the real deal, we’ve got you covered! We’re an African grocery and delivery service in Ontario, and we carry some of the finest ingredients you can use in these recipes to give you an authentic taste. Feel free to browse through our growing selection of products.