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Akara is a popular breakfast staple in Nigeria. Also known as Acaraje in Brazil. It is a soft, fluffy ball of goodness. Akara is a deep fried meal made from ground beans, peppers and some other ingredients. It reminds me of being back in Lagos at Christmas time as my mum bought containers filled to the top with these delicious snacks.

Prep time: about 4 hrs 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 4 hrs 20 minutes

Makes 12


400g black eyed or aduki beans
1 red pepper (tatashe), chopped
1/2 chilli pepper (ata rodo), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil (for deep frying)


  1. Soak beans beforehand for about 4 – 8 hours in a medium sized bowl at room temperature and leave uncovered. This is to make it easier for the skin to peel off. I left the skin on mine to give my akara some texture.
  2. Rinse the soaked beans and put into a blender along with the rinsed vegetables. Add 1/4 cup of water into blender and pulse until you are left with a creamy bean mixture.
  3. Pour bean mixture into a medium sized bowl and add in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until salt is well combined.
  4. Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat up. This should take about 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the sizzling hot oil to form balls one spoon at a time and fry until golden brown making sure to flip frequently on each side.
  5. Remove balls and make sure to drain on kitchen paper.

Serve with hot sauce as a snack or with custard as breakfast.

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