Akara Nigerian Street Food
Akara as discussed in the previous article belong to the same family as gbegiri, it is another way of consuming beans in a unique yet nutritious way. The Hausas refer to this delicacy as “kosai”. Akara may be fried with either palm oil or vegetable oil but frying with vegetable oil is common. It is very popular in Nigerian streets and usually goes with bread or pap.
We wouldn’t be mistaken if we refer to Akara as fried bean cake. Akara is made with peeled beans blended together with bulb(s) of onions, ginger, scotch bonnet with tatashe, these ingridents are blended such that a smooth thick paste called “puree” is formed.
Once this puree is poured into a clean bowl or pan and mixed with seasonings, salt, baking soda, onions and sometimes crayfish, this puree becomes “batter”.
Nutritional benefits of Akara
Either peeled or coated beans is known for its abundance in soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol and regulates blood sugar.
It is served as a weight loss meal, hence, it’s rich and healthy for frequent consumption.
Often times, akara is recommended to hypertensive patients as a safe meal.
In order to fully enjoy these nutritional benefits, it is necessary that vegetable oil is used for frying.
- Puree: (peeled beans, tatashe, onions, ginger, scotch bonnet)
- Diced onions
- Baking soda (a pinch)
- Groundnut oil
- Small sized or ground crayfish
- Seasoning cubes
- Salt to taste
- Heat up vegetable oil (enough to cover the batter) in a frying pan.
- Pour puree in a clean bowl, add little water if paste is too thick, add the diced onions, baking soda, crayfish, seasoning cubes and salt to taste.
- Mix all together with a mixer in the absence of a mixer, mix with a wooden spoon or pestle in a continuous circular motion.
- When oil is hot enough, scoop 1/2 or a spoonful (it’s advisable the scoop is small enough for the hot oil to penetrate) of batter into oil and deep fry till it turns golden brown akara ball.
- Ensure to fry both sides of the ball to achieve good results.
Akara balls may be served with pap (ogi), garri flakes or bread.