09 Jun Sierra Leone Beans Akara (Black-Eyed Bean Fritters)
Beans akara (or binch akara) is a classic example of an authentic Sierra Leonean dish; minimal ingredients with an end product that’s extremely tasty and fulfilling. Comprised mainly of black eyed beans, it is seasoned with salt, onions and scotch bonnet pepper to bring out the flavour. Amongst Sierra Leoneans, it is normally found at parties where it is eaten as a snack (Cham-Cham) or a side dish. The protein in the beans makes the dish very satisfying so in other parts of West Africa such as Senegal and Nigeria, beans akara are also served for breakfast. Below, is the recipe for making this tasty and filling snack.
- 220g/ 1¼ cup black-eyed beans
- 2 seasoning cubes
- ¾ cup (75 ml) water
- ½ medium onion
- ¼ scotch bonnet pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1L olive oil
- Soak the beans for 30 mins to 1hr and remove the skin. See: here
- Dissolve the seasoning cube in the water. Then add to a blender followed by the peeled beans, onion, and scotch bonnet pepper. Blend into a thick paste.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutesuntil the mixture is light and airy. Taste for salt and add as necessary. Note: I used an electric whisk so this process may take a little longer if you use a hand whisk.
- Use a tablespoon to add the akara mixture into hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Remove from the pot and drain on kitchen paper.
- The final product should be crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Serves: Makes 20 akara
Total cooking time: 20 mins (excluding peeling of beans)
Main ingredients: Black-eyed beans
Main equipment needed: Blender, hand whisk, small deep frying pot.