Akara is a Nigerian snack of deep-fried black eyed peas. I took some liberties with the traditional recipe, but the results were still delicious. They're a lot like South Indian vadas, which are also made from a legume batter and deep-fried.
Verdant's Speckled Akara
1 lb dry black eyed peas, soaked overnight
1 lb dry kidney beans, soaked overnight
(don't use canned beans!)
8 cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp red chili flakes
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp salt
water as needed
oil for deep-frying
Traditionally, the black eyed peas are rubbed by hand to remove the skins. I didn't bother. In a heavy-duty blender, grind together all the ingredients except for the oil. Add water to blend everything together, but only add just as much as needed. You want a very thick batter.
Heat the oil to 350 - 375 degrees F. Use a long-handled spoon to scoop a bit of batter up, and use a regular spoon to slide it off the spoon into the oil.
After a minute, flip over and add a new batch. Once the newest ones are ready to flip over, the others are done. This recipe garned nearly 200 pieces of akara (estimated after counting one plate of 30). I named my particular rendition of this dish "speckled" for the pattern that the bean skins and red chili flakes made.
Deep-fried bean snacks like these freeze very well. To munch on them later, just pre-heat the oven to 350 F, toss them on a cookie sheet and cook for 10 minutes. No need to grease the pan.
Akara topped with Sriracha hot sauce, served with rice and toor dal
$9.89 - gallon of corn oil
$4.18 - 5 lbs white rice & 1 lb black eyed peas
$3.75 - 3 cheese rolls
The $100 February Challenge