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Akara, also known as bean fritters, is a beloved Nigerian breakfast staple. These crispy golden puffs are made from mashed black-eyed peas and seasoned with a variety of spices. Akara is not only delicious but also quite versatile. You can enjoy it on its own with a sprinkle of chili flakes or pair it with pap (cornmeal porridge) for a complete and satisfying meal.

This recipe is inspired by the wonderful Sisi Yemmie, a popular Nigerian food blogger known for her creative and easy-to-follow recipes.

HOW TO MAKE AKARA! - SISIYEMMIE: Nigerian Food & Lifestyle Blog
HOW TO MAKE AKARA! – SISIYEMMIE: Nigerian Food & Lifestyle Blog

Ingredients:

2 cups dried black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper (deseeded and chopped, adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (deseeded and chopped, adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground crayfish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shrimp (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • Instructions:

    1. Soaking the Beans:

    Rinse the black-eyed peas thoroughly in a colander.

  • Transfer them to a large bowl and cover them with plenty of cold water.
  • Soak the beans overnight for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours for softer akara.

  • Tip: Soaking the beans helps break down complex sugars, making them easier to digest and reducing cooking time.

    2. Grinding the Batter:

    Drain the soaked black-eyed peas and rinse them again.

  • In a food processor or blender, add the peas, chopped onion, habanero pepper, scotch bonnet pepper (if using), ground crayfish (if using), chopped shrimp (if using), salt, and black pepper.
  • Grind the mixture into a smooth batter.
  • You can adjust the consistency by adding a little water if the batter is too thick.

  • Tip: The batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter.

    3. Seasoning the Batter (Optional):

    For an extra flavor boost, you can add a tablespoon of grated bouillon cube or Maggi seasoning to the batter at this stage.

  • Taste the batter and adjust the seasonings as needed.

  • 4. Frying the Akara:

    Heat enough vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. The oil should be hot but not smoking (around 350°F).

  • To test the oil temperature, dip the tip of a chopstick into the oil. If it bubbles rapidly, the oil is hot enough.
  • Scoop the batter by tablespoons and carefully drop it into the hot oil.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan, as this will lower the oil temperature and prevent the akara from crisping properly.
  • Fry the akara for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the akara from the oil and drain them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

  • Tips:

    For perfectly round akara, use a spoon mold dipped in the hot oil before scooping the batter.

  • Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a consistent oil temperature.
  • If the akara are browning too quickly, reduce the heat slightly.

  • 5. Serving and Enjoying:

    Serve your akara hot immediately after frying.

  • Enjoy them on their own with a sprinkle of chili flakes, or pair them with pap, oatmeal, or your favorite breakfast dish.

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    (Please note that these are approximate values and may vary depending on the ingredients used)

    Calories: 200

  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 8g

  • Conclusion:

    Akara is a simple yet flavorful Nigerian breakfast that is sure to become a favorite in your household. It’s a healthy and protein-packed way to start your day. With this easy-to-follow recipe and Sisi Yemmie’s inspiration, you can recreate this delicious dish at home.

    FAQs:

    1. Can I use canned black-eyed peas instead of dried ones?

    Yes, you can use canned black-eyed peas for convenience. However, rinsed and drained canned peas may require slightly less water when blending the batter, so adjust as needed.

    2. How can I make my akara spicier?