Accra beans with hot pepper sauce, pap and a hot cuppa cocao milk. Ahhh, my heart is warm with childhood memories of this savory delight. Mum was and still is a big advocate of making delicious and nutritive foods at home. She always said ‘you never know how food sold by the roadside is made’. As a result, we where not allowed to buy anything by the roadside. All our snacks for school was made at home and Accra beans was one of them. Accra beans and I have had a love affair since then, and that love is not about to die anytime soon.
Accra beans is made from black-eyed-peas. You know that beans with a black eye we use to make koki or moimoi right? Yes, that one. It is also called Akara or fried bean cake in Nigeria or black-eyed-peas frittiers (all this oyibo names sef), Koose in Ghana or Binch in Sierra Leone. Infact, we West-Africans know better food sha!
Health benefits of Accra beans
Accra beans are not only delicious, but they pack a punch, nutritionally speaking. Black-eyed-peas are;
- Low in fat and calories making them a healthy addition to a weight-loss meal plan.
- A good source of fiber (5,6g per half cup) helps regulate your digestive system, reduce constipation, lowers cholesterol Levels and keep you feeling full, since they are digested slowly and important nutrient for weight Control.
- A good source of Protein for the African vegetarian with 6,7g of Protein per half cup.
- A good source of potassium that helps keep your blood pressure levels at healthy numbers and lowers your risk of heart disease.
SUPA Secrets to the perfect Accra beans
Generally, making Accra beans is simple. What most people do is wash and blend beans with onions and Habanero peppers and that’s it right? Well, that is exactly why most Accra beans I have eaten are filled with oil and heavy in the stomach. Here are my SUPA tips to the best Accra you have ever eaten – crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside.
SUPA tip #1 Peel all the husk (Skin) off
O.k., I know you are thinking ‘but the husk has most of the fiber’ and you are definitely right but in this case, it is necessary to do away with as much of the husk as possible. The husk hinders the husk from rising when ‘beaten’ or whip. If you want to get fluffy and airy Accra, you MUST remove all the husk, no matter how bad this breaks my nutritionist heart.
SUPA tip #2 Blend WITHOUT water
I highly recommend blending without water. Back in the day, we used the grounding Stone to grind our peas to achieve a thick consistency which is ideal for whipping. If you must add water, please add in drops. You don’t want to have running batter. This will ruin it.
SUPA tip #3 Whip or whisk your batter
This tip right here is KEY to fluffy, airy and crispy accra beans. Use a Manual or an electric whisk to whip your batter into a fluffy, airy batter. If you are fond of baking cakes, you know how you Whip butter and sugar into a fluffy batter. This is what you want to achieve with your Accra beans as well. To know that you have successfully whipped your batter, it should Change Color (from the origin to a whiter Color). Also, you will notice that the batter is no longer heavy, it will also increase in volume. This is what our moms achieved by staring in a mortar for 30 -45 minutes.
SUPA tip #4 Blend the peas without the onions or Habanero
Remember we want to get air into that batter. So we as ‘light’ as possible. Blending the peas with onion and Habanero makes it heavy and difficult to whip. So you want to make sure that you blend the peas separately, Whip it up first, and then add the blended onions and Habanero in small batches as you Whip up the peas batter.
SUPA tip #5 Do not overheat the oil
The temperature of the oil is extremely important to get that crisp without burning the Accra. Also, if the oil not hot enough, your Accra may soak up the oil. Not good!!!
So now that you know what to do, let’s go ahead and make some delicious, light and airy Accra beans shall we?
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- 250g black-eyed peas (akara/koki beans)
- 1 small onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 habanero (optional)
- salt to taste
- Oil for deep-frying
- If you are using unpeeled beans, make sure to soak your beans in water and remove all the husk.
- Blend beans in a blender with salt and little or no water.
- Using a food processor or a hand-mixer, Whip your bean batter until light and fluffy.
- Now blend your onions, and peppers with Little or no water. Add the pepper mixture bit-by-bit to the whipped beans batter and continue whipping´until thoroughly mixed.
- Heat oil in a skillet for deep-frying until hot but not smoking hot.
- Use a spoon to scope the batter into the into.
- Fry until both sides are golden Brown.
- Serve with hot pap/akamu.