Welcome to September! We are already getting to the end of what has been a beautiful and eventful year so far. I am honestly looking forward to Christmas! I think I am ready to see what 2018 holds for me😊. Today’s recipe is one that is so dear to my heart, this is literally my childhood😍💖. I had this for breakfast almost every other Saturday in my home with Freshly baked Agege Bread (local bread). Agege bread is super delicious and verrrryyy soft, and it is definitely not healthy for your waist line; this is one of the many reasons why I was a chubby child growing up (I say chubby to be nice to myself 😀). When I say every other Saturday is because my Mom made it her mission to incorporate beans into my diet once every week, and this fell on Saturdays. So I and my brother were forced to have beans porridge instead of Akara some Saturdays. The beauty of this Akara starts with taking a long 15-20 minutes walk to the Akara seller (she was the best Akara seller I have ever had) down my street and purchasing Akara for the entire family and then stopping by the bakery on my way back home to purchase freshly baked Agege bread; literally the bread is usually still piping hot because I purchased it as it gets out of the oven. We enjoyed this with hot chocolate ☕(shout out to Bournvita tea) and some of my family members will also enjoy the Akara with custard (Pap) (I do not like custard at all); oh the memories☺ Akara is very delicious, soft and fluffy and definitely worth the effort. You can serve for breakfast with bread or as an appetizer with sweet chili sauce, literally whatever your heart desires.
PS: I advise getting step 1 and 2 done the day before or more. Beans can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Now let’s get to it.
Akara (Bean Fritters)
- 2 Cups of Beans (brown beans preferable)
- 1 Bell Pepper or Red Sheppard Pepper
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- 1 small Red Onion
- 1 Seasoning Cube
- ¼ Cup of Water
- 2-3 Cups of Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying
- Stand Mixer/ Hand Mixer
- Ice cream Scoop
- Step 1 To get your beans ready, soak beans in cold water for 6 mins, and then drain water.
- Step 2 In a blender, add 2 cooking spoons of beans and water enough to cover beans. Hit the pulse button only about 3-5 times so the skins can pull off the beans. Do not over do this step so you do not completely crush the beans, be very careful and us your eyes so you do not pulse more than needed. Also do not press the pulse button at a go, press the button for 2 seconds at a time.
- Step 3 Transfer beans in blender to the other bowl and repeat the same process with the rest of the beans. When you are done with the pulsing, rub beans between your palms to get the skins off the beans that did not get off in the blender. Pour the skins into a sieve so you do not block your drain. Repeat this process until you have clean skinless beans. I recommend using actual beans instead of bean flour because it tastes so much better and it has a better texture.
- Step 4 Add half of your cleaned skinless beans in your blender, add half of ¼ cup of water. Blend with your pulse button and then switch to smooth because you want your batter as smooth as possible. Add the other half of your beans and repeat process. The whole purpose of this batter is blending all ingredients with as little water as possible. Now this is where you use your eyes and sort of gauge what is going on in the blending. After adding your second half of the beans, if you are not able to get it all moving in the blender, add the second half cup of water as slowly as possible to make sure your beans blends freely and smoothly. You want to achieve a thick slightly loose batter.
- Step 5 Now add your onion, scotch bonnet and red bell pepper/red sheppard, seasoning cube and salt. Add salt according to preference and blend until you have a smooth batter. Transfer batter to your stand mixer and whisk for 5-7 minutes. Whisk continuously using a mixer or wooden spoon if you do not have any. Whisking your batter incorporates air which will make your batter fluffy and light.
- Step 6 Heat oil in your pan on medium heat until it is hot and ready for deep frying. To know when your oil is ready, use your ice cream scoop and add a little batter in your oil. If your batter shoots to the top immediately and it bubbles all around it, making the frying sound we all know and love, your batter is ready.
- Step 7 Scoop your batter into your oil and fry your Akara. You do not want your oil too hot as it will cook the outside faster than the inside. Fry for 5-7 minutes on both sides or until all sides are golden brown and properly cooked on the inside.
- Step 8 Your food is ready!!
- Step 9 Enjoy with Oats, Bread etc. or serve on its own as an appetizer.