Good ol’ Akara
We all have several different methods for making the ultimate akara balls but this is my own personal tip.
Believe it or not as simple as it is to make Akara , it has the power to disgrace even the best cooks if you break certain rules.
Never add too much water in grinding.
I remember when I was young when we wanted to grind peeled beans for Akara my mum sent us to the grinding mill with 2 separate bowls. One to collect the milled beans and the other for the water, so as not to add too much water to the beans.
NEVER let your beans paste be runny it would be impossible to redeem the akara as it would definitely turn out flat.
Incorporate enough air
I have found that the chief key to achieving puffy fluffy akara balls is in the mixing. Mixing well allows enough air to be incorporated into the paste.
Traditionally, after blending the beans, it is poured inside a mortar, then a pestle is used to mix the paste until it has doubled in size. Meaning it has incorporated air that has made it light and fluffy
If you have a hand mixer or stand mixer your life has been made easy. Just use the whisk attachment and mix it for 10 – 15 minutes at medium speed or mix till the paste doubles in size.
If the paste is too watery from the start, incorporating too much air is a recipe for soggy, very oily akara, it would rise fair enough, but it will become like a sponge that has soaked oil.
If you don’t have any of the above get ready to work those arms. Use a ladle or a hand held whisk. Mix till fluffy.
Here is what a fluffy mix would look like
*Personal tip for a first timer
I don’t blend my onions or pepper with my beans. I roughly blend it separately and add salt and seasoning.
When the beans paste is fluffy add the roughly blended and seasoned pepper. What I do is that like with sponge cake I fold the pepper mix in three additions so as not to allow the paste deflate.
You can blend Beans/Peppers/Onions together to a smooth paste.
Mix the blended paste till air is well incorporated and the paste has doubled (or nearly doubled) in size.
When the paste has risen, add salt and seasoning to taste while mixing stop mixing after adding the salt and seasoning.
Fry in a deep pan.
I have found that using deep pans instead of shallow pans give better result. So i always use a deep pan to fry my akara balls. Deep frying helps your balls to come out better.
*Please Note :
The oil must be HOT! This is a trick I learnt years ago. Put a very tiny drop of water in oil when you put it on fire. As the oil heats up it starts to make a little noise, you’ll know your oil is hot when the oil stops sounding.
I have tried several methods in the past including adding eggs to the paste and I have decide to stick to this method and it has never failed me.
Give this a try and give me feed back.