Akara is a Nigerian snack that is made from ground beans, mixed with seasonings into a batter and deep fried. It’s similar to Ojojo and Mosa. You can either make akara using actual beans (black eyed peas) or bean flour. For this recipe, I’ll be using bean flour.
As much as I like to cook from scratch and use fresh ingredients, I also like reasonable short-cuts that don’t take me too much out of my comfort zone. Bean flour would fall into that category for me. It smells and tastes just like beans and I’m yet to detect a difference taste wise. (I also used bean flour to make moi moi).
I will still try moi moi and akara with actual beans, but it’s a tad time consuming and I’m not a particularly patient person, so it keeps getting pushed further and further down my list, lol.
‘Neways, to learn how to make Akara using bean flour, here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup bean flour
1 cup room temperature water
1 knorr cube
1/4 red onion
1 s garlic clove (optional)
Ginger (size of garlic clove) (optional)
2 tsps Adobo seasoning
1-2 tsps ground red pepper OR
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 cups Canola oil
1. Peel and quarter a whole red onion (cut a whole onion into 4 parts and use one). Dice onions, set aside.
*I didn’t use a scotch bonnet pepper, but if you’re using one, chop it up too and add*
2. In a medium bowl, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, seasoning and onions.
3. Stir thoroughly *you want a cake batter consistency; not too thick & not too watery*.
4. Set aside, heat oil in a fry pan till hot (it doesn’t have to be smoking hot, drop 1/2 a tsp of batter into oil to test temperature, if oil is hot enough, batter should rise almost immediately, if its not hot enough, wait a few minutes longer).
5. Using a medium sized spoon (a tad bigger than an eating spoon), scoop batter into oil. Let underside cook for about 1-2 minutes till it starts to turn medium-dark brown.
6. Use a fork to flip each piece over for other side to cook, about 1-2 minutes also *I flipped these a min too soon, just flip ’em back over.
7. Layer a plate with paper towel to drain excess oil, then scoop akara out of the pan. And you’re done!
*I really didn’t want to call it ‘fried bean cake,’ but what exactly does akara mean translated?!*
- Akara can be eaten for any time of day and is usually eaten with bread (as a mock sandwich or ‘akara burger’) or ogi (fermented corn starch) otherwise known as akamu or pap.
- It shouldn’t be too hard or too soft, but should rather, have a happy medium texture-wise. I think it’s best eaten while its still piping hot.
- If your consistency is not quite right, adjust by adding more flour or water as necessary, 1 tbsp at a time though.
- If your knorr cube is hard, add it to a bowl with a few tbsps of water and microwave for some seconds, then mash. If you do this, be sure to gauge how much more water you add to the flour so it doesn’t become too thin.
- You can either use ground red pepper, the actual scotch bonnet pepper or a mixture of both. I like heat, but I don’t like eating the actual pepper, I prefer it blended. If you choose to use scotch bonnet peppers, try the red ones, it would make for a nice color contrast, though the orange or even green ones work just fine too.
- Onions really add to the taste of it and while I generally prefer red onions and always seem to have those, think yellow onions taste sweeter, so you can use those as well.
- I forgot to add ginger, but it would make it tastier. If you choose to add this, I’d grate instead of chopping it up. I don’t think its typical to add ginger, but hey, its your recipe!
- Typically, I believe its fried in palm oil, but I don’t use palm oil to fry snacks, I’d rather use in soups/stews, if at all. If you’d like to use palm oil, you can do so or do an equal mix of canola OR vegetable oil and palm oil.
I didn’t have any ogi/ogi baba/akamu or pap on hand, so I made do with custard!
Um, if that custard looks a bit wonky to you, its because custard is one thing I’m yet to get the same consistency every.single.time, I’m working on it tho!
Algerian Bouzgene Berber Bread with Roasted Pepper Sauce
Prep 20 m
Cook 20 m
Ready In,40 m
- Preheat your oven’s broiler. Place red bell peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet, and roast under the broiler for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally. This should blacken the skin and help it peel off more easily. Cool, then scrape the skins off of the tomatoes and peppers, and place them in a large bowl. Remove cores and seeds from the bell peppers.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the jalapenos and garlic, and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and transfer the garlic and jalapeno to the bowl with the tomatoes and red peppers. Using two sharp steak knives (one in each hand), cut up the tomatoes and peppers to a coarse and soupy consistency. Stir, and set sauce aside.
- Place the semolina in a large bowl, and stir in salt and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Gradually add water while mixing and squeezing with your hand until the dough holds together without being sticky or dry, and molds easily with the hand. Divide into 6 pieces and form into balls.
- For each round, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Roll out dough one round at a time, to no thicker than 1/4 inch. Fry in the hot skillet until dark brown spots appear on the surface, and they are crispy. Remove from the skillet, and wrap in a clean towel while preparing the remaining flat breads.
- To eat the bread and sauce, break off pieces of the bread, and scoop them into the sauce. It will slide off, but just keep reaching in!
Prep 15 m
Cook 25 m
Ready In 2 h 10 m
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Place flour in a large bowl, and stir in salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the corn oil and yeast mixture. Add the remaining water in small amounts until you have a soft moist dough that can be handled. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for at least 5 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Deflate the risen dough, and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball with a rolling pin so it is oval shaped, about 6 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick. Use a fork or dull knife to draw three lines on the top of each loaf. Place the loaves on a baking sheet. Mix together the egg and remaining tablespoon of water; brush the tops of the loaves with the mixture. Sprinkle caraway seeds over the tops, if using.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the loaves are shiny and golden brown.
Black Glutinous Rice Porridge
Prep 15 m
Cook 30 m
Ready In 45 m
- In a saucepan bring water and pandan leaf to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pandan leaf and stir in brown sugar and white sugar. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and remove from heat.