Akara - Nigerian Fritters
Akara are fritters made from black-eyed peas. It is said to have originated in the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, and has since spread throughout West Africa. It is sometimes served with pap (a dish similar to American grits) or stuffed in a bread loaf. I remember when we were on the go in Nigeria, we would stop the van and buy some off the side of the road as a snack.
2 Cups black-eyed peas
1 Habanero Chili
1/4 Cup Red bell pepper measured out when diced
1 Onion small sized
Salt to taste
1 Stock Cube
1/4 cup Water for blending
Vegetable Oil Enough for deep frying
Soak the black-eyed peas 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 black-eyed peas into a large bowl and separate the skin from the black-eyed peas by adding enough water and gently swirling the black-eyed peas around so that the skin can float. Pour off the skins, into a colander. Repeat this process until the black-eyed peas are clean.
Pour the clean black-eyed peas inside the blender, add the water and blend into a paste.
Pour the batter into a large bowl and whisk 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
Blend the Habanero, bell peppers and onions in a separately and mix it together with the black-eyed pea paste.
Add the stock cube and salt to taste (this recipe is very sensitive to salt so be careful a little goes a long way) then mix everything together.
Preheat some oil in a pan (enough to deep fry the Akara). Drop heaping tablespoons of fritter batter into the hot oil, frying a couple at a time 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.