Akara is a typical weekend breakfast dish in Nigeria and Senegal. It’s also a very popular street food throughout West Africa.
Senegal sits on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa. It was French colony until 1960 and French cuisine has influenced Senegalese cuisine. Apart from the French, West African and Portuguese cuisines also have an influence on this cuisine. Fish is common in Senegalese cuisine. Chicken, eggs, lamb and beef are also used extensively and pork isn’t due to the nations large Muslim population. Peanuts are the main crop along with rice, couscous, black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and lentils. These fluffy, crispy morsels utilize the abundance of black eyed peas in the region. This dish is super easy to make, unique, and will impress your guests.
Akara- Senegalese Black-Eyed Pea Fritters
- Large skillet or wok
- Large bowl
- Food Processor or blender
- Slotted spoon
- Instant read thermometer (optional)
- 1½ cup Black-eyed peas, dry
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 medium Onion, sliced in half vertically
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- 1 whole Habanero pepper, seeded and chopped (or a pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Coarse black pepper
- 3 cups Vegetable oil
- Prep – Soak beans covered in hot water for at least 1 hour or up-to overnight. Rub beans between fingers to remove any skins. Pour out water with skins that have risen to the top.Slice 1 half onion into thin strips for garnish. Roughly chop remaining half onion and chili pepper.
- Make Batter – Scoop beans into food processor or blender with a slotted spoon. Pulse until smooth, adding a littles water at a time to help blending. The batter should be thick at this point.Add the chopped half onion, black pepper, baking soda, and chili pepper, and pulse until smooth. Add salt and process for 2 minutes to incorporate air into the batter. Pour into a bowl.
- Cook Fritters – Pour oil into a wok or high-sided skillet to a depth of 1-inch. Heat oil to 365°F (185°C). If not using a thermometer, drop a piece of onion into the oil. If it sizzles and floats to the top, you're good.Using a tbsp, scoop up batter and carefully drip into oil. Working in batches, fry them for 3-4 minutes, turning to get all sides. They should be puffy and a nice golden brown. Once cooked, scoop them out of the oil into paper towels to drain. Continue until no more batter is left. Serve warm with sliced onion scattered over,