Akara, bean fritters – Nigeria


I celebrated Christmas Day with a simple braai with friends in the garden, in true South African style. For starters I made one of my favourite snacks, Nigerian bean fritters. They are super simple to make and are a great party nibble. All you need is black eyed peas/beans, onion and some vegetable oil for deep frying. It takes very little time, just remember to soak your beans overnight. This time I served the fritters with a Ghanaian ‘peppe’ style tomato sauce, but I am still experimenting with the perfect dip to go with.

Makes about 40-50 fritters

  • 500 grams dried black-eyed beans
  • 1/2 onion
  • salt
  • A little cold water
  • Vegetable oil for deep drying (canola or peanut oil) For the real genuine style you could add some palm oil.

For the sauce:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 fresh chili pepper
  • Salt and papper
  • Tomato paste, optional

Soak the black eyed beans overnight. Put them in a food processor/mixer with half an onion cut in pieces, a pinch of salt and a little water (a teaspoon or so) and pulse until you have a smooth paste. Be careful with adding the water, the paste should not be too runny. It should be fluffy.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pot until very hot. The oil should be a about 4-5 centimeters deep. Put one spoonful after another of the paste in the hot oil and fry them until golden brown all around. If you notice they get very brown quickly then turn down the heat a little to make sure they cook through. Take the fritters up and drain on paper towel.

For the sauce you quickly blanche the tomatoes, half onion and fresh chili pepper in hot water until the skin on the tomatoes begin to peel. Place all in a mixer and pulse until you have a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more chili if you want a hotter sauce. Add tomato paste if you want a thicker sauce.




Our Xmas braai was interrupted by rain – sadly I have no recipe against bad weather.

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