Akara, acaraje, koose, these are names for this popular and nutrient filled fritter made from peeled black eyed beans or brown beans. It is enjoyed by millions across West Africa.
It is a popular street food mostly eaten at breakfast. However, as it is a tasty finger food it is also a snack enjoyed throughout the day.
In many cities in West Africa, it is a common sight to see food vendors usually women frying this fritter in very large woks on open fires with a stack of freshly baked bread for those who need a combo of bread and akara. Some vendors have a tasty pepper sauce to accompany it.
Traditionally, the preferred oil used for cooking in most of West Africa is palm oil as it is readily available in the region. Moreover, with migration and interaction with other cultures, various vegetable oils are now popular in many households.
This bean fritter is also paired with ogi or eko. These are made from corn, ogi is a breakfast porridge and eko is a solid form of the ogi both are popular among the Yorubas from western Nigeria.
What makes this tasty fritters even more attractive is the simplicity of ingredients. There are five basic ingredients: peeled beans, onion, peppers, vegetable oil for frying and salt to taste. You may add more but these are the basic and less could be more for taste.