Want to know how to make Akara? Akara is a popular West African snack made from beans flour. The beans are ground into a paste, mixed with other ingredients like onions and peppers, and then deep-fried into small, round balls. Akara is a tasty and protein-rich dish often served as a street food or breakfast item. It is enjoyed by a wide range of people in West Africa, particularly in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon.
It’s a popular snack, so many individuals from various backgrounds and age groups appreciate its taste and versatility. It can be enjoyed on its own or with accompaniments like bread or pap. There are other beans receipes like moi moi that is also very nutritious and love by many.
Other Names of Akara
Akara goes by different names in various West African countries. Here are some of the names it is known by in different regions:
- Nigeria: In Nigeria, akara is widely known by that name, but it can also be referred to as “bean cakes” or simply “fried bean cakes.”
- Ghana: In Ghana, akara is commonly known as “kose” or “kosai.”
- Cameroon: In Cameroon, it is known as “acara.”
- Benin: In Benin, you may hear it called “feyetin” or “fey.”
- Sierra Leone: In Sierra Leone, it is referred to as “akla” or “akara.”
- Liberia: In Liberia, you might find it under the name “krain krain.”
- Togo: In Togo, it is known as “kako.”
These regional variations in names reflect the cultural diversity of West Africa, where similar dishes are prepared with slight differences and given different names in each Akara
What Are the Available Variations to Making Akara?
There are variations in how akara is made, and these variations can be influenced by regional preferences, available ingredients, and family recipes. Here are some common variations:
Beans is the common base for akara, some people may prefer to use brown beans or the white beans. The choice of spices and seasonings can also vary, with some recipes including ingredients like ginger, garlic, or even crayfish.
The texture of akara can vary from region to region. Some people prefer a smoother, more paste-like consistency, while others like it slightly chunky.
Shape and Size
Akara is typically fried into small, round fritters, but the size and shape can vary. Some may make larger patties, while others prefer small, bite-sized pieces.
Akara can be served on its own as a snack or breakfast item, but it’s also common to serve it with various accompaniments. In Nigeria, it’s often paired with bread, pap (a cornmeal porridge), or spicy pepper sauce. In other regions, it might be served with different side dishes.
The type of oil used for frying can differ, with some recipes calling for palm oil or vegetable oil.
The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. Some people like their akara very spicy, while others prefer it milder.
Some variations of akara include additional ingredients like diced vegetables, onions, or even bits of fish or shrimp for added flavor and texture.
it is important to note that these variations make akara a versatile dish with room for personalization and adaptation to personal tastes and ingredients.
How to Make Akara
- 1 cup of beans
- 1 small onion
- 2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
- 1 teaspoon of ground crayfish (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
Aside from this receipe below, there is another way to fry your akara balls. Using this method, you don’t blend the onions and pepper with the beans. The onions and pepper is sliced seperately. You only add sliced pepper and onions and salt to taste to a batch of blended beans you want to fry at a time. This version makes the onion and pepper more pronunced than when its blended together with the beans.
Directions on How to Make Akara
- Pour the beans into a big bowl, add water to it to soak for some time. Then pour out the water into a sieve, using your hands, peel off the skins by rubbing them together in your hands. This process is to remove the skins and create a smoother texture. If you have a food processor that can peel off the beans skin, then it reduces your labour of using hands.
- Rinse the peeled beans thoroughly using your hands and adding enough water to allow the skin float to the top while draining them out using a sieve. Do this until the beans is properly rinsed.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the beans, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, and crayfish (if using). Add a small amount of water as needed to create a thick, smooth paste. The consistency should be similar to that of pancake batter.
- Add salt to the mixture and stir well to combine.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a deep frying pan or pot to submerge the akara. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches about 350°F (180°C).
- Using a sizable spoon (the size of how you want the akara ball), drop spoonfuls of the akara batter into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan to allow even frying.
- Fry each side until golden brown and crispy. This usually takes 2-4 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried akara from the oil and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Akara is typically served hot and can be enjoyed on its own or with accompaniments like bread, pap, or spicy pepper sauce.