1.5 cups beans
5 scotch bonnet peppers
Half cup sliced onions
3 litters Vegetable Oil
1 shombo pepperor tatashe
Akara or Bean Cake is one of those Nigerian foods that everyone loves to eat. In Nigeria, akara is served as a snack when combined with bread. Otherwise, it is paired with either pap or custard and served as breakfast or dinner.
Tip and Tricks for making the perfect Crunchy Akara:
There are 4 species of black-eyed peas in Nigeria; you need the smallest one for this recipe. Ask for “akara beans” (beans used for making akara or moi moi). If you can’t find them, you can use any beans you find; they are almost the same. Although store- bought peeled black eyed peas work for this recipe, I recommend you to use shelled (black-eyed peas with the skin on). They deliver that perfect crunchy bite.
One key essential step is whipping the batter just like you would a cake, in fast circles to get as much air into the mixture as possible, making it light and airy. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes. You can’t miss out this step. And while you fry one batch, you have to continue beating the batter before frying the next.
Let it cook an extra 1-2 minutes for a more golden brown exterior and an even better crunch. Akara (bean cake) requires just 3 main ingredients.
Serving: 4 Persons
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Waiting time: 120 minutes
How to Prepare Akara (Bean Cake):
- Put the beans in a clean bowl, sprinkle just very little water (half cup), and start squeezing hard against your palm As you do this repeatedly, the outer coat will start peeling off. Sprinkle more water on but never allow them to soak; just keep squeezing and rubbing against your palm for 2 minutes.
- Add water and let the outer layer fall off freely. Keep rubbing against your palm, add more water and peel off. It takes about 10 minutes to de-coated beans.
- Soak the beans in water for 45 minutes. Blend the peeled beans using a smart blender or commercial grinding mill. Add the shombo or tatashe and blend. You don’t want to add too much water otherwise your akara will pour right into the oil and settle at the bottom of the pot.
- After grinding the beans for akara (bean cake), leave them to rest in a bowl for 1 hour. This makes the beans swell a little and ensure a better bonding between the molecules.
- Transfer to a mortar and further smoothen with a pestle for 15 minutes. If you don’t have mortar and pestle, use a blender and pulse them a couple of times.
How to Fry Akara (Bean Cake):
- Heat 3 liters of oil in a cooking pot. Let is heat up for 3-5 minutes before you scoop in some of the bartar to see if it floats. Scoop in more. Drop the sliced peppers and onions on top.
- Fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes turning once. Fry in batches and do not over crowd pan as this could lead to soggy akara. Remove from the hot oil with a slotted spoon, drain well, and serve.