HOW TO MAKE ACCRA BEANS
Published Jul 20, 2016
Updated Sep 26, 2018
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Translate into English: “Anna carry pan Accra for yi head, Mbambe jam yi, Accra trowey!”
Accra is a popular street food in Cameroon. It is hawked, sold in little food kiosks and widely loved. These chops are a phenomenal way to bring out the goodness in black-eyed peas. The beans are peeled, soaked in water for some hours, ground and deep fried. Sometimes powdered black eyed peas can be mixed with water and used in place of the freshly ground version. In fact, my first attempts at making the snack was when my sweet mom sent me some packets of powdered black eyed peas (Koki Beans). With the powdered version, they taste great but have a texture that is different from that made with fresh beans. I prefer fresh beans any day anytime! They take a long time to make but each bite is worth the stress.
In culinary terminology, this snack is dubbed, “Black Eyed Peas Fritters.” But if you are a contri geh like me, call it Accra Beans for Cameroonians or Akara for Nigerians. Make sure you mouth opens wide while you are pronouncing it! I hear other countries make it too but I haven’t done sufficient research on that.
The next morning, drain and blend in a blender with very little water. You need the paste to be really thick so do not add much water in the blender. I strongly suggest that you use the small compartment of your blender and blend it into a smooth paste. Pour into a bowl.
I poured into my dreamy “motar and pestle” because that’s how Mami Accra does it. You could use a wooden spoon and regular kitchen bowl for this.
Put in a good teaspoon of salt and begin to stir in circular motion. This helps the mixture trap in air and rise so your Accras won’t be dense. Set your oil to heat upon medium high heat.
Use a flat-headed cook spoon to scoop out some of the dough and place into the oil.
I always just do one scoop first to see if the oil is hot enough.
Then I repeat the process with the rest.
Put in a couple of spoonfuls into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd your pot.
Remove and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil. At this point grab one and take a divine bite.
Don’t forget the phenomenal pepper sauce to munch with. That’s the printable recipe below!
- 2 cups black-eyed peas (koki beans)
- Half a medium-sized onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups vegetable oil
Soak beans in 4 cups of water for 5 minutes.
Put into a blender and pulse for 2 minutes to remove the bean skins. Don’t be scared, the blender won’t grind your beans. You only have to pulse for about two minutes to take out the skin. Put in a bowl and pour in 8 cups of water.
The skins will float. Pour the water above the beans into a colander so you take off the floating skins. Repeat process until the skins are all gone. You may have a few here and there but that’s okay! If some beans are still whole, slightly rub them with your hands to take off the skin.
Soak in four cups of water overnight or for about 6 hours.Step 2: Put the beans and chopped onion in a blender and blend with VERY LITTLE water into a smooth paste. I first crush the beans without water then I add a little water and blend again so it can be transformed into a paste. If your blender has a small compartment, use it instead. I noticed that my small compartment is more effective. It may take a while but be patient and blend it in small batches for best results. IF YOU HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR THEN USE IT. IT IS PERFECT FOR THIS. Use it to grind the beans without water. Traditionally the beans should be ground without water but you can’t achieve that with a blender.Step 3: Pour your ground beans into a bowl and start stirring in circular motion. This helps to trap air into the mixture so the fritters won’t be dense after frying. Half way through the stirring, put your oil on the fire to heat up then you put salt into the mixture and keep stirring. The mixture should taste slightly salty than you would normally have food taste. When it gets fried, the saltiness will be neutralised. However, if you put ‘just enough’ salt, then your Accra might turn out tasteless.Step 4: Begin frying on medium heat. Scoop with a spoon and pour into oil. When one side is brown, flip to the other side.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: About 20 fritters