Growing up, Akara (fried bean paste) has always been one of my favourite things to go buy for the family. If you grew up in Awka, you should know "Nkwo Amenyi" market, I frequent there every Saturday morning, to buy akara. We had this particular woman we buy akara from, hers was just the best. I usually come very early in order to be able to buy the very first batch, which are still very hot, just out of the boiling oil and of course, get the "nmezi" that follows.
Coming so early to buy these stuff, awarded me opportunities to watch this amazing woman work her magic. Her techniques in scooping the akara with hand into the hot oil, was just amazing. I enjoyed watching her and I must say, I learnt a lot too.
Akara is made with few ingredients - beans, salt, pepper and onion. But with our modern day cooking, you can tweak to suit your taste buds. Here is my version;
1 cup Nigerian sweet beans (peeled and soaked overnight)
2 (1/3 cup water)
1 knorr seasoning cube
1 medium size onion
1/2 medium size tatshe (paprika pepper)
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Place all ingredients in a blender, except the chilli flakes and salt, blend until it becomes a paste.
Transfer bean paste onto a stand mixer, whisk for about 3 - 4 minutes. While whisking, taste; adjust taste by adding salt.
Add chilli flakes and stir in.
Heat up oil, once hot, using a 'measurement" tablespoon, scoop mix into the oil.
Fry until golden brown, on both sides.
To fry next batch, reduce gas heat, scoop in mix and fry until golden brown.
Recipe by Foodace