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Beans Fritters – Akara

Growing up beans fritters – akara was one of my favorite Saturday morning breakfast. We would eat it with custard or put it between a fresh loaf of bread as a sandwich.

Beans Fritters - Akara - Acaraje Recipe

As I’ve gotten older and have a family of my own, I realized how much work went into preparing it. Since it requires prep time, it’s mostly reserved for Saturday or Sunday morning. However, if you plan accordingly, you can make enough to last a few days. The origin is widely debated, Brazilians have their own version called Acaraje which I’m also familiar with, back home we called that one Akara kengbe. I remember buying those at the street fair; the process is pretty similar to Akara but with a few additional steps. Traditionally, these are made with brown beans, which frankly isn’t sold at the regular supermarket. We usually purchase it at a specialty store that caters specifically to the international audience. To stay authentic to the true nature of the recipe, I used brown beans however you can substitute with black-eyed peas to make life a bit easier. Traditionally, it’s fried in dende oil also known as palm oil, but I opted to used canola oil instead.

Beans Fritters – Akara - acaraje ingredients and prep workSoak beans for 20 minutes. Peel the skin by rubbing the beans between your palms; the process should take no more than 10 minutes. Once it’s clean, it will look like this. Trust me that’s the hard part. If you’ve gotten this far you’ve done better than most.

Beans Fritters – Akara - acaraje ingredients and prep workBack home we blend the pepper, onion and beans but since I just got the new Nutri Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ, I decided to follow the same instructions for hummus and pureed mine instead. The result was exactly what I wanted. The goal is to blend it without using lots of water. The texture should be as shown in the picture. If you add too much water, during the blending process it will be hard to go back.

Beans Fritters - Akara - acaraje frying - how to

While the beans are being pureed, heat oil in a medium to large frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop the beans into it and fry till golden brown

Beans Fritters – Akara

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried brown beans
  • 1 1/2 onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 habanero pepper (optional)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Canola oil

Directions

  1. Soak beans for 20 minutes. Peel the skin by rubbing the beans between your palms; the process should take no more than 10 minutes. Once it’s clean, it will look like this. Trust me that’s the hard part. If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve done better than most.
  2. Put the beans, bell pepper, and onion into a food processor. Process for about 60 seconds, if needed add a few drops of water
  3. Heat oil in a medium-large frying pan
  4. Transfer beans onto a bowl, add the remaining chopped pepper/onion, add seasoning salt to taste and mix thoroughly
  5. Using a tablespoon or ice scream scoop,  drop the beans into the hot oil and fry for roughly 2/3 minutes per side depending on how big it is
  6. Scoop onto paper towel to drain excess oil, repeat steps 5 until all the beans are gone
  7. Serve warm in between bread as a sandwich or you can eat it alone, or you can dip it into this habanero ranch dipping sauce if you’re up for the challenge.

Beans Fritters - Akara- acaraje - akara kegbe recipe

Beans Fritters - Akara
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: African
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried brown beans
  • 1½ onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 habanero pepper (optional)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Canola oil
Instructions
  1. Soak beans for 20 minutes. Peel the skin by rubbing the beans between your palms; the process should take no more than 10 minutes. Once it's clean, it will look like this. Trust me that's the hard part. If you've gotten this far, you've done better than most.
  2. Put the beans, bell pepper, and onion into a food processor. Process for about 60 seconds, if needed add a few drops of water
  3. Heat oil in a medium-large frying pan
  4. Transfer beans onto a bowl, add the remaining chopped pepper/onion, add seasoning salt to taste and mix thoroughly
  5. Using a tablespoon or ice scream scoop, drop the beans into the hot oil and fry for roughly ⅔ minutes per side depending on how big it is
  6. Scoop onto paper towel to drain excess oil, repeat steps 5 until all the beans are gone
  7. Serve warm in between bread as a sandwich or you can eat it alone, or you can dip it into this habanero ranch dipping sauce if you're up for the challenge.

 

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Kira is the founder of award-winning lifestyle blog focused on family, tech, fashion, beauty, food, fitness, and travel. Prior to launching The Afropolitan Mom, she was a marketing executive in the technology industry. She lives in the suburb of NJ with her husband and two kids. When she's not on carpool duty or scrolling through Insta, she spends time adding items to her shopping cart while binge-watching shows on Netflix!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Doug

    February 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m on a “fried food” kick right now, and I will give these a try…I mean, the beans make it a little healthy, right?

  2. Rosie

    September 14, 2015 at 10:48 am

    What a wonderful recipe – I’ve experimented with bean fritters, this is perfect Akara – good to know, I’m excited to try it!

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