Akras Recipe: How to Make Nigerian Fluffy and Airy Bean Fritters. "Akara" is a West African snack made from black-eyed beans that are ground, spiced, and fried.
- Publisher: Lofty Recipes
- Cuisine: African (Nigerian)
- Category: Appetizer, Snack
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Servings: 6
- Calories: 150 calories
About this recipe
Akras (spelt as akara by the locals, also known as bean cakes in English) is a popular snack in West Africa, especially in Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo. It is made from black-eyed beans that have been peeled, ground, spiced, and deep-fried in oil.
The end result is a crispy, savory and protein-rich fritter that can be eaten as a snack or served as a side dish.
The process of making Akras starts by soaking the black-eyed beans in water for several hours to soften them. The beans are then drained and peeled by rubbing them together between your palms or using a blender.
Next, the peeled beans are ground into a smooth batter with onion, scotch bonnet pepper, and spices such as salt, garlic powder, or paprika. The batter is then deep-fried in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.
Akras is a popular street food snack that can be eaten on its own or served with other foods such as bread, pap (a Nigerian cornmeal porridge), or custard.
It is also commonly eaten for breakfast with other breakfast foods such as yam, plantains, or potatoes.
Akras is a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, making it a nutritious snack or meal option.
To be concise, Akras is a delicious and popular West African snack that is enjoyed by many people in the region. Its unique flavor and texture make it a beloved food that is often a staple in West African households and a must-try for anyone visiting the region.
Origin of Akras recipe
Akras or Akara has its origin in West Africa, specifically in Nigeria, where it is believed to have originated among the Yoruba people. The dish has since become popular in other West African countries such as Ghana, Togo, and Benin, where it is often eaten as a snack or side dish
Akras has a long history and is believed to have been eaten in West Africa for centuries. It is made from black-eyed beans, which were first domesticated in West Africa thousands of years ago.
The process of soaking, peeling, grinding, and frying beans to make Akras is believed to have been developed over time as a way to transform the beans into a more palatable and nutritious form of food.
Today, Akras remains a popular street food snack and breakfast food in West Africa. It is often sold by street vendors who set up their stalls early in the morning to cater to those on their way to work or school. It is also a staple food in many households and is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Why make this recipe?
If you enjoy trying new and unique foods, then you should definitely give Akras a try! Here are a few reasons why:
- Delicious taste: Akras has a unique and savory taste that is both crispy and tender, with a slightly nutty flavor that comes from the ground black-eyed beans. The spices used in the recipe also add depth and flavor to the dish.
- Nutritious snack: Akras is made from black-eyed beans, which are a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. It is a filling snack that can help keep you satisfied between meals.
- Easy to make: Akras is a simple dish to prepare, requiring just a few ingredients and basic cooking skills. With a little practice, you can easily make a batch of Akras for a snack or meal.
- Cultural experience: Trying new foods is a great way to experience different cultures and traditions. Akras is a beloved snack in West Africa and trying it can give you a taste of the region's unique and delicious cuisine.
Akras is a tasty and nutritious snack that is worth trying. It's easy to make, full of flavor and nutrients, and can provide a unique cultural experience. So why not give it a try and see for yourself?
What does Akras taste like?
Akras has a unique taste that is both savory and slightly nutty.
The combination of ground black-eyed beans, onion, and spices such as salt, garlic powder, or paprika give it a rich, flavorful taste.
The outside of the Akras is crispy and slightly crunchy due to the deep frying, while the inside is soft and tender with a smooth texture.
Also, the spices used in making Akras can vary depending on personal preferences, but they typically add a mild kick of heat to the overall flavor. Some people also add a bit of ginger or other seasonings to enhance the taste further.
Overall, Akras has a delicious, comforting taste that is a favorite snack or meal option for many people in West Africa.
What would you need for this recipe
- Black-eyed beans: This is the primary ingredient in Akras. The beans are soaked in water to soften them, then peeled and ground into a smooth batter.
- Onion: Onion is used to add flavor to the batter. It is typically finely chopped or grated before being added to the batter.
- Scotch bonnet pepper: This type of pepper is used in many West African dishes to add a spicy kick. It can be finely chopped or ground into a paste and added to the batter.
- Salt: Salt is used to season the batter and enhance the flavor of the Akras.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil is used for frying the Akras. It should be heated in a deep pot or frying pan to ensure that the Akras is crispy and evenly cooked.
Optional ingredients that can be added to the batter include garlic powder, paprika, ginger, and other spices.
- Blender or food processor: A blender or food processor is used to grind the black-eyed beans into a smooth batter. If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle or a grinding stone to manually grind the beans.
- Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is used to combine the ground black-eyed beans with the other ingredients to make the batter. Any type of mixing bowl will work.
- Frying pan or deep pot: A frying pan or deep pot is used for frying the Akras. It should be deep enough to hold enough oil for frying and wide enough to accommodate the size of the Akras. If you don't have a frying pan or deep pot, you can use a wok or a Dutch oven.
- Slotted spoon: A slotted spoon is used for removing the Akras from the hot oil after frying. It should be heat-resistant and have a long handle for safety.
- Paper towels: Paper towels are used to absorb any excess oil from the fried Akras. If you don't have paper towels, you can use a clean kitchen towel or a wire rack.
The equipment needed to make Akras is simple and basic, and most home cooks will likely already have everything they need on hand. However, if you don't have a specific piece of equipment, there are usually substitutes that you can use to achieve similar results.
How to make Akras
Ready for a delicious and easy-to-make breakfast or snack? Try our Akras recipe! Made with black-eyed beans, onions, and spices, it's a Nigerian delicacy you won't want to miss.
- 2 cups black-eyed beans
- 1 small onion
- 1-2 Scotch bonnet peppers (or habanero peppers)
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Soak the black-eyed beans in water for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Drain the water from the beans and remove the skin by rubbing the beans between your palms or using a blender.
- Rinse the beans in cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the beans, onion, and pepper until smooth.
- Transfer the bean mixture to a bowl and add salt to taste.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a frying pan or deep fryer until hot.
- Using a spoon or your hand, scoop up some of the bean mixture and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Repeat until the frying pan or deep fryer is full, but not overcrowded.
- Fry the Akras until golden brown on both sides.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the Akras from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
- Serve hot with a side of pepper sauce or enjoy on its own as a snack.
How do you serve Akras recipe?
After making Akras, here are the steps to serve it:
- Drain excess oil: Once the Akras is fried, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the frying pan or deep pot and place it on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack. Allow the excess oil to drain off.
- Serve hot: Akras is best served hot, so it is important to serve it immediately after frying. Serve it as a snack or side dish, depending on your preference.
- Serve with dipping sauce: Akras can be enjoyed on its own, but it is often served with a dipping sauce. Some popular dipping sauces for Akras include hot pepper sauce, tomato sauce, or tamarind sauce.
- Store leftovers: If you have any leftover Akras, allow it to cool to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply place the Akras in the oven or microwave until heated through.
Rated: 5.0 of 5.0 from 984 reviews.
Recipe Tags: Akras, Akras Recipe, Recipe, Akara, Beans Cake, Top rated
What to serve with?
Akras is a versatile snack or side dish that can be served in many ways. Here are a few suggestions for serving Akras:
- Dipping sauce: Akras is often served with a spicy dipping sauce made from hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, and other seasonings. This adds an extra kick of flavor to the dish.
- Breakfast: In West Africa, Akras is often served for breakfast with a side of pap or oatmeal. This makes for a filling and nutritious meal that will keep you satisfied throughout the morning.
- Sandwiches or burgers: Akras can be used as a vegetarian protein source in sandwiches or burgers. It pairs well with lettuce, tomato, onion, and other sandwich toppings.
- Salad topping: Akras can be crumbled and used as a topping for salads, adding a unique texture and flavor to the dish.
- Soup or stew ingredient: Akras can also be added to soups or stews for a protein boost. It pairs well with vegetables and beans.
My recommendations and tips
- Soak the beans: Soaking the black-eyed beans for several hours or overnight will help soften them, making them easier to grind and resulting in a smoother batter.
- Blend the batter well: To achieve a smooth batter, blend the soaked beans well in a blender or food processor. You can also add a small amount of water to the blender to help with blending.
- Use the right temperature for frying: Make sure the oil is hot enough before frying the Akras. If the oil is not hot enough, the Akras will absorb too much oil and become greasy. Test the oil temperature by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and floats to the surface, the oil is ready.
- Don't overcrowd the frying pan: Fry the Akras in batches and avoid overcrowding the frying pan. This will help ensure that the Akras cooks evenly and becomes crispy.
- Season the batter well: Adding enough salt and other seasonings to the batter is important to bring out the flavors of the dish.
- Drain excess oil: After frying the Akras, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the frying pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain excess oil.
- Serve immediately: Akras is best served hot, so serve it immediately after frying.
How to store Akras
If you have leftover Akras, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Here are some tips for storing Akras:
- Cool the Akras completely: Allow the Akras to cool down to room temperature before storing it. If you store hot or warm Akras in the refrigerator, it can create condensation and make the Akras soggy.
- Place the Akras in an airtight container: Transfer the Akras to an airtight container and make sure it's tightly sealed. This will prevent air and moisture from entering the container, which can cause the Akras to spoil faster.
- Refrigerate the Akras: Store the container in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days. It's not recommended to freeze Akras as the texture can become mushy and lose its crispiness.
- Reheat the Akras: To reheat the Akras, you can either pan-fry it or bake it in the oven. If you pan-fry, use a small amount of oil and cook on medium heat until the Akras is heated through and crispy. If you bake, preheat the oven to 350°F, place the Akras on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
Potential ingredients substitutes
- Black-eyed beans substitute: If black-eyed beans are not available, you can use other types of beans such as navy beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas.
- Onion substitute: If you don't have onion, you can substitute with shallots or scallions.
- Habanero pepper substitute: Habanero pepper can be substituted with other types of hot peppers such as jalapeno or serrano peppers. You can also reduce or eliminate the amount of pepper if you prefer a milder flavor.
- Salt substitute: If you prefer a low-sodium diet, you can reduce or eliminate the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Vegetable oil substitute: Any neutral-tasting oil such as canola oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.
- Akras is a popular street food in Nigeria and other West African countries.
- Akras is a vegetarian and gluten-free dish, making it a great option for people with dietary restrictions.
- Akras can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or served with other dishes such as pap (a porridge made from maize flour) or bread.
- Akras is a good source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making it a healthy option for breakfast or snack.
- There are many variations of Akras recipe, depending on the region and personal preference. Some people add shrimp or fish to the batter for extra flavor, while others prefer to add vegetables such as grated carrots or chopped spinach.
Akras traditionally called Akara is a delicious and healthy Nigerian bean fritter that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is made with just a few simple ingredients, including black beans, onions, garlic, and spices.
Akras is gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian, making it a great option for people with dietary restrictions. Equally, it is also a good source of protein and fiber.
Akras is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a great way to start your day or enjoy a light meal. So why not give Akras a try? You won't be disappointed!