Akara or black-eyed peas fritters is a Nigerian vegetarian/vegan delicacy made with beans mainly black-eyed peas. Akara, also known as beans cakes, beans ball, beans fritters, or acaraje, is a popular street food enjoyed across Africa and beyond. Nigerian Akara is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also, Akara pairs well with corn pudding, bread, custard, as well as very delicious just by itself.
- Black-eyed peas (1 lb. bag or less)
- ½ big onion or 1 medium size Onion
- 1– 2 Fresh big bell peppers (Red or orange color preferably. I like using red/reddish bell peppers for this recipe.)
- 1 habanero (add more if you like spicy food)
- Salt and crushed red pepper to taste
- Oil for frying (I normally use peanut oil, and at least 3 inches deep)
- Follow this instructions on how to easily and quickly peel/deskin beans without tears.
- Wash/cut onions, bell peppers, habanero, and set aside. To the blender, add some beans, onions, bell pepper, habanero, plus little water (too much water will make your fritters runny, remember you will be frying them.)
- Then blend until very smooth; pour the mixture into a bowl. Repeat the above process to blend the whole beans.
- (Optional step if you have a mortar and pestle); add some paste into the mortar and use the pestle to “grind” in a circular motion. This eliminates air from the paste and further “prepares” it for frying. And if you do not have mortar and pestle, ignore, and just add the paste into a bowl, and use spoon to stir.
- Then in small increments, add salt and crushed red pepper to the paste, stir very well to combine, and taste before frying. Be mindful not to add too much salt; a tiny bit goes a long in this recipe. Also, you may not need to add crushed red pepper if you blended in the habanero.
- The best part of the work begins; frying. Ensure that you add enough frying oil into the pan (up to 3 inches deep), and place on medium heat, allow the oil to heat up, but make sure the oil is not too hot.
- Use a tablespoon measure to scoop the paste and gently drop into the hot oil. Be mindful not fill up the entire pot with too many Akara balls. When the underside turns brown, use a fork or wooden skewer to flip the balls so the other cooks as well. When both sides of the Akara balls are cooked, use a skimming ladle or spoon to scoop them off the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat this step to fry all the paste, enjoy with family, and friends. WATCH THE RECIPE VIDEO BELOW: ⬇️
Usually, the exact quantity of the ingredients will depend on the amount of akara you want to make. If you are new to akara, you start with 1 – 2 cups of dry beans. Adjust as you wish. Look at my beans paste, and possibly model yours that way.
Add onions, fresh bell peppers, habanero according to your taste. Typically Nigerian AKara doesn’t need other spices such as Maggi, curry, thyme, nutmeg, etc. That’s why those spices aren’t included in this recipe. Akara is super simple and naturally tastes better that way. However, you do you when you are in the kitchen!
Do not use too much water to blend your Akara beans. Usually, Akara paste is thicker than moi-moi paste.
Do not overcrowd the pot while frying the fritters
Avoid overheating the oil; if it is too hot, the outside of the fritters might cook while the inside is still raw.
While frying the Akara, be mindful not fill up the pot with too many Akara balls.
Depending on the size of your pot, add Akara paste to cover only half of the pot because the Akara will rise and likely double in size. They need space to cook properly.
Please do not add (too much) salt to Akara paste as you would do in regular meals. Akara requires a minimal amount of salt because it goes a long way, if not, your Akara will be too salty and almost un-edible. The trick is to add a little increment of salt and taste for flavor. Then you can add (small) salt according to your liking (or health need); you can also add more peppers, and then fry.
Usually, the serving size of Akara will depend on how big or small the balls are; I make mine small just like photos on this post and I eat plenty.🤣😊🤷🏾♀️
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Nigerian Breakfast
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: West Africa- Nigerian Recipe
Keywords: Black-eyed peas fritter, Akara, Kose, Nigerian Akara recipe, Ghana Akara recipe, bean fritters,