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!
Vegetable couscous – Algeria
Step 1: Set up
Gather your ingredients for the seven vegetable couscous made in honour of Algeria’s opening World Cup game against Belgium.
Serves 4-6 hands
60ml olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
2 turnips, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped into 3cm pieces
470ml water plus 1400ml boiling water
2 Courgette (zucchini), chopped into 3cm chunks
1 squash butternut, peeled and chopped into – 3cm chunks
240g (1 can) chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper to season
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
7 vegetable couscous – Algeria
Algeria didn’t reach full satisfaction against Belgium in their World Cup battle; putting up a well-organised fight, they lacked the final punch, much like this seven vegetable couscous (full disclosure!).
There are 11 steps and 11 pictures in the reppic – Epic Recipe in Pictures – to make this very simple, super-tasty vegetable couscous full of nutrition and goodness.
Full disclosure – this recipe, though easy to pull together for those in a rush, lacked the full depth and punch to do justice to Maghreb cuisine, needing fuller-tasting ingredients and spices to win this game, always going to be a tough one against the land of gourmet that is Belgium.
If you don’t want to take our word for it, give it a shot and let us know what you think, or better still, advise on any better recipe you know of in the comments .
Approximate time 50 minutes to 1 hour -10 minutes preparing the vegetables and 40- 50 minutes cooking time.
Crispy Fish with Charred Corn and Sun Gold Salsa Recipe
4 boneless white-fleshed fish fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each (such as whitefish or tilapia)
3 fresh juice tablespoons from about 3 limes, plus more to taste
4 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 4 ears corn
3 cups Sun Gold tomatoes, quartered
1 to 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter
Place fish fillets on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of lime juice and a couple pinches of salt. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add corn kernels, toss well with a wooden spoon, and then spread evenly out. Cook until starting to char on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Stir well, and cook until corn starts to char again, another 2 minutes. Continue process until corn is evenly charred on all sides but not burnt, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer corn to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, garlic, cilantro, and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Add additional lime juice as necessary. Set aside.
Dry fish fillets on paper towels. Use a fork to mix together flour and a 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a large baking dish. Wipe out skillet and return to medium heat. Add butter and heat until melted. Dredge two fish fillets in the flour, shake off the excess, and then carefully place them in the skillet skin-side down. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side, another 3 to 4 minutes. When both sides are browned and fish is cooked through, drain the fillets on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat process with the remaining 2 fillets.
Serve the fried fish with the corn salsa.
Roasted Meat Eggs Recipe
– 1 tenderloin of meat
– 4 eggs
– 1 chopped onion
– 1 can of mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 1 yellow pepper
– 2 tablespoons of oil
– 1 tablespoon of butter
– Salt pepper
– Wash and pepper the pepper and cut into strips.
– Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the chopped onion, add the peppery slices and drained mushrooms and cook until the water evaporates, salt and pepper.
– Spread the meat tenderloin and flatten it with a rolling pin as thinly as possible.
– Cut a piece of film paper and put the meat on top, spread the mixture of mushrooms over the entire surface and put the hard-boiled eggs at one end, start rolling the whole tightly to give it shape using the film paper and close the roll with wooden spikes.
– Heat the butter in a sauté pan and sear the roll 10 minutes on each side, continue cooking 15 minutes in the microwave oven.
– Serve immediately.