Bean Cake (Akara) – A Good Breakfast Recipe

In addition to the good old bread and chocolate, coffee or tea bag drinks routinely taken in the morning as breakfasts before embarking on morning engagements, the bean cake is a quick and easy breakfast meal you can enjoy with your family.  I am sure it will help you start your day on a good note and avoid eating previous day’s leftovers. 

Breakfast meals are supposed to be quick and easy to prepare. They are usually something you can put together in an hour or less. Most Nigerians prefer going to canteens and fast food joints and end up eating meals that are not meant for breakfast.

Bean Cake is made from beans and can be used in so many ways i.e. Instead of bread, use Bean Cake (Akara) balls to drink your tea.  It is more nutritious and easy to prepare.  Take bean cake with Custard, Pap (Ogi or Akamu), you can take it with either fried Plantain or fried yam and a cup of tea or fruit juice. You can also eat it with bread and a cup of fruit drink.

How to Prepare Bean Cake (Akara)

You need only 5 ingredients:

·         Desired quantity of Beans (black-eyed or brown beans)

·         Pepper (Tatase & Orodo)

·         1 medium Onion

·         Salt to taste

·         Oil for frying

You will have to soak the beans in water for about 5 minutes.  This will enable you remove the coat easily, Grind it with an engine or with a blender or pound it with your mortar and pistol (Pounding it with mortar and pistol takes a lot of time but it gives a very good taste). Because you have an engagement to catch, I advise you have your already prepared bean flour handy.

1.    Set some vegetable or palm (red) oil on the fire to heat up. The oil should be at least 3 inches deep.

2.    Put some quantity of the grinded beans you will fry at once into a mortar and stir with the pestle continuously. This will energize the particles of the beans pulp and make them stick together.

3.    It is important you do not let salt come in contact with the grinded beans until you are ready to fry it, this prevents scattering of the beans puree during frying. Salt is believed to destroy the leavening property of beans.

4.    Add some water if the paste is too thick but remember that the watery the puree, the more it will scatter in the oil.  For you to get the best result always make sure the paste is not watery

5.    As soon as the oil becomes hot, add the chopped onions and pepper to the beans puree in the mortar add salt to your taste and stir well. Salt should always be added just before scooping the beans mixture into the oil. If salt stays in the mixture for extended periods of time, it will destroy the leavening property of the beans. This property is what makes the Akara float in the oil and prevent scattering during frying.

6.    Scoop the mixture with a spoon or any other measuring agent depending on the size you want and slowly place the puree into the oil. Try to dip the spoon a little bit into the oil to help reduce spattering.

7.    Fry from one side till brown and flip to fry the top side too.

8.    When the Akara balls are brown all over, remove and place in a sieve to drain any excess oil.

Getting a good result in making akara can be funny but if you follow this method, you will always have neat and well prepared balls.


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