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Akara (acaraje)
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5 from 2 votes

Akara - Nigerian Bean Balls

Akara is a crispy, fluffy, flavored, and savory black eye pea fritters that is divine to most Nigerians. Serve hot, alone or with a dip sauce.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: African, Nigerian
Keyword: Gluten free, legume, vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 249kcal
Author: Nnaja Okorafor, MD


  • 2 cups dry black eye peas
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 chili pepper deseeded and finely chopped
  • canola oil - enough for deep frying
  • salt to taste


  • To break apart the beans, put small batches of the dried beans into blender and pulse at slow speed, 3-4 times or until most beans have broken up.
  • In a large bowl, soak the broken beans in water for about 1 hour. The bean shells will float. Rinse off excess water which contains the bean shell. Repeat the rinse several times with lots of water until most of the bean shells are rinsed out. If needed, loosen more beans skins by rubbing the beans between your hands. Drain all the water.
  • Puree the drained beans with 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. You may need to do blend in 2 or more batches depending on the blender you are using.
  • Transfer the puréed beans in a bowl. Add nutmeg, garlic, ginger, onion, pepper, and salt to taste. Stir very well in circles for about 5 mins to make the batter light and airy.
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Gently scoop large spoonfuls of batter into the frying pan to form balls. Fry over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 4-7 mins.
  • Place browned beans ball onto a dish lined with paper towels and serve hot, alone or with dipping sauce.


Breaking apart the beans makes peeling the bean shell easier and faster. Alternatively, you can make the Akara without peeling the shell. Use very little water to puree the beans to make sure you have a thick batter. Stir the Akara batter for about 5 minutes before frying to make it light and airy.
The nutrition fact is an estimate calculated using a calorie counting application.
Nutrition Per Serving (Servings - 6):  Calories 249, Total Fat 3.4g, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 200mg, Total Carbohydrate 41.8g, Dietary Fiber 10.2g, Total Sugars 1.9g, Protein 14.2g, Vitamin D 0mcg, Calcium 84mg, Iron 3mg, Potassium 981mg