Akara (Nigerian Dish)

There's an old tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day to ensure prosperity for the rest of the year. Akara is made of beans which is high in fiber and antioxidants.

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Beans aren't just good for the waistline, they may also aid in disease prevention. Akara is a traditional Nigerian dinner that helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and it also helps to prevent cancer. When making akara you have to plan ahead (soak the beans) and it will come together quite quickly. Akara looks a lot like a pancake, but smaller.  Try adding ground dried shrimp to the batter. In Western Africa, akara is prepared at home for breakfast, for snacks, as an appetizer or side dish. Akara is also sold by vendors on the street, marketplaces, and at bus stations.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

Preparation time: 10 mins

Total time: 20 mins

  1. Soak peas overnight in lots of water. Drain and peel the outside skin from the peas.
  2. In a food processor, pulse 1 onion and 1 red pepper to coarsely chop. Add soaked peas and puree to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and using a whisk, whisk the mixture adding salt, white pepper. Add a little soaking liquid (not too much) which will help the mixture to retain its shape for frying.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop form the mixture into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Drop into a pot of hot olive oil, heated to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and place in a plate (line plate with paper towels to soak up any excess oil). Season again with salt and pepper.
  4. Make a quick dipping sauce by pulsing 2 seeded tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 green pepper and some    parsley in food processor. Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Your dipping sauce should be a little chunky, but smooth enough to stick.

Nutritional Facts

Akara (African)

Serving Size: 1 (144 g)

Servings per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving                                                                 % Daily Value

Calories 232.2

Calories from Fat 9                                                                             29%

Total Fat 1.0 g                                                                                    1%

Saturated Fat 0.2 g                                                                             1%

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g                                                                   0%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g                                                                    2%

Trans Fat 0.0 g                                                                                    0%

Cholesterol 0.0 mg                                                                              0%

Sodium 17.7 mg                                                                                  0%

Potassium 963.5 mg                                                                          27%

Magnesium 123.1 mg                                                                          5%

Total Carbohydrate 43.1 g                                                                  14%

Dietary Fiber 8.6 g                                                                              34%

Sugars 9.0 g                                                                                       36%

Protein 14.9 g                                                                                     29%

By Adetoro Ajbose

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