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Akara – Black Eyed Peas Fritters

Last updated on June 1st, 2021 at 08:14 pm

Akara (Black Eyed Peas Fritters) is a very delicious, vegetarian-friendly meal. It is crispy, golden, tasty, downright irresistible, and quite filling.

Akara served  with bread slices and hot sauce

Akara – Black Eyed Peas Fritters

Akara, which is also known as black-eyed peas fritters, beans fritters, or Acaraje, is a very delicious, deep-fried bean cake made from black-eyed peas paste.

These are quick, easy, and tasty and involves only a handful of simple ingredients – black-eyed peas, peppers, onions, salt, and seasoning cube. It is a vegetarian-friendly meal eaten in most parts of West Africa and Brazil. 

The origin

Though it’s origin is said to be from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria but somehow it has found its way to the hearts of other west African countries and even beyond.

Ingredients for making akara - Beans, Onion, crayfish, bell pepper, habanero pepper, salt, and bouillon powder

Akara – Acaraje – Koose

Nothing warms up a Saturday morning like a plateful of old-time Akara served with a bowl of pap (akamu – fermented corn pudding) or stuffed in a freshly baked bread loaf. They are also good for evening snacks, appetizers, and as a simple, comforting snack.

How to make Akara: The setup on this one is extra-simple:

  • Soak for about 30 minutes or till the skin swells.
  • Peel off the beans with your hands (the hard way) or use a blender and pulse a couple of times to split the beans (the easy way)
  • Blend the peeled beans with peppers, crayfish, salt, and bouillon powder (or cube).
  • Whisk until the batter becomes airy and fluffy. This will take about a minute to 5 minutes depending on the tool you use. Electric hand whisk takes about a minute to two, regular hand whisk will take about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the diced onions.
  • Preheat the oil and scoop the mixture by spoonfuls into the pan
  • Fry till golden brown!

The result is hot fluffy fritters perfect for pairing with akamu (pap), bread, hot sauce, or just eat as is.

The texture is very important

It’s very important to be mindful of the texture of the Akara batter. Try to no blend too smooth, otherwise, the Akara will not form enough tiny air pockets which will result in dense Akara.

It’s also important to be careful of the quantity of water that is used to blend the beans. Too much water will result in a thin batter and this will cause the Akara to crumble inside the oil during the frying process. 

Don’t skip the whisking part, it is very important to incorporate air in the batter as much as possible before frying. This will help yield a light Akara.

How to serve Akara:

We serve Akara in diffrent ways:

  • Akara burger: I need to mention this first. We take Akara and place it between a small loaf of bread and eat it like a sandwich. We call it African burger. 
  • Serve it with pap, oatmeal, or custard.
  • Serve with a bowl of salad.
  • Dip in spicy sauce.
  • Eat as is.

 

Notes:

  • When making Akara, a little salt goes a long way, so be careful.
  • You need very little water to blend the Beans, adding excess water will result in flat and unpleasantly soft Akara balls.
  • If you don’t have a whisk to mix the batter, you can use a wooden spoon to beat it will give the same result. You can even go the traditional way by using a mortar and a pestle it’s all well and good.
  • A well-made Akara should be Light, airy, soft, and relatively rounded. When the Akara appears flat, it means enough air has not been introduced into the batter. That is why it is very important to whisk the batter for a couple of minutes before frying it.
  • Two cups of dry black-eyed peas yield about 4 to 4 ½ cups of peeled beans and this quantity will yield about 20 (a little more or less) pieces of Akara balls depending on the scoop you use.

Other black-eyed peas recipes you might want to try:

Here are some popular names for this meal – Acaraje, Kosai or Kosai, Black-eyed pea fritters, Koose.

This post has been updated — first published in July 2015.

Showing the inside texture of freshly made Akara

How to make Akara (Nigerian Beans Fritters)

Akara is a very delicious, vegetarian-friendly meal eaten in most parts of Africa. Though it's origin is from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria but somehow it has found it's way to the hearts of other African countries and even beyond.
4.72 from 35 votes
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Course: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Beans, Black eyed peas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20 Pieces
Calories: 70kcal
Author: Lola Osinkolu

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups black-eyed peas dry
  • 1 Small Habanero Chili
  • 3 ounces Red bell pepper approximately half of one red bell pepper
  • 1 small Onion finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Bouillon powder
  • 1/4 cup Water for blending - a little extra might be required
  • Vegetable Oil Enough for deep frying

Instructions

  • Soak the beans for about 30 minutes till the skin is swollen and peel off the skin by rubbing it between your palms, or simply use a blender by pulsing it a couple of times till the skin falls off.
  • Put the beans into a large bowl and separate the skin from the beans by adding enough water and gently swirling the beans around so that the skin can float. Pour off the skins into a colander. Repeat this process until the beans are clean.
  • Pour the clean beans inside the blender, add the water, red bell pepper, habanero pepper, salt, bouillon powder, and crayfish, and blend into a paste.
  • Pour the batter into a large bowl and whisk it together until it's light and fluffy. Hand whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes or an electric hand mixer for about a minute or two.
  • Add the finely diced onion and mix gently fold with a wooden spoon or spatula in one direction.
  • Preheat some oil in a pan (enough to deep fry the Akara). Drop heaping tablespoons of fritter batter into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding. Turn once or twice in between for even browning. Fry the fritters for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides.
  • It's good to press down the Akara balls a little bit just before taking them out of the oil to get rid of any excess oil that might have been absorbed during the frying process.
  • Remove fritters from the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Thanks for stopping by. Let’s connect!

You can find me on Facebook, and Instagram.  I love keeping in touch with all of you!

If you make this Akara recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen

Akara, Akaraje, Acaraje
Recipe Rating




Okegbemi David

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Akara is very nice food when taken with hot pap. To prepare is not hard, only to stear it very well. Mix with water averagely and make it soft before frying.

Randoplants

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Do you know if this recipe works or could be adapted for different kinds of beans? I have been given a lot of pinto and other beans, and I am wondering if these would work.

Thanks very much!

Anita Ada

Saturday 21st of August 2021

Aunty Lola. E reach to call you aunty oh. Mehn you just save my day. Been craving akara and I didn't want the road side own. Was determined today came across your recipe and decided to give it a try. Omo it was lit. Nice and delicious. God bless you.

Am elvis

Sunday 11th of July 2021

Hello ma, thanks for this teachings on how to make Akara beans, but My problem is my akara beans is always strong its not soft if I add water to make it soft it turns flat in the oil, pls what do I do to make a better Amara beans thank u, frm Elvis, ph,

Lola Osinkolu

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

The most important thing to do when making Akara is to introduce air to the batter. Whip the batter very well before frying it.

Camille

Sunday 30th of May 2021

Hi Lola! I love your recipes. I would like to make this, would you be willing to share the spicy sauce recipe? I do not see it.

Thank you!

Lola Osinkolu

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Hi Camille, here is the link to the spicy sauce https://cheflolaskitchen.com/west-african-pepper-sauce/