AKARA (BEAN CAKE)
Bean cake, generally known as ‘akara’ is an African food and a Nigerian delicacy to be precise; made with beans (Vigna Unguiculata). Black eye beans with scientific name Vigna unguiculata is one of the beans generally known as cowpea’s family.
Cowpeas blossoms even in harsh weather conditions, which means they do well even under irrigation farming systems and thrive well in the sandy soil of about 85% sand content. This crop grows well in regions such as dryland areas (arid) and semi-arid lands (semi-desert) where limited crops are known to thrive well. Beans are a significant source of food in the world especially arid-regions. It’s also used to feed livestock including the shaft. Beans incorporated into the mixed type of cropping helps with nitrogen-fixing in the soil and can be planted at the same time with crops such as sorghum (dawa), millet (gyero), maize (masara), potato (dankali), cassava (rogo) and cotton (auduga) etc. and they all thrive perfectly.
The best method of storing dried beans is to store in fridge or freezer, when in small quantity for home consumption, however for a large or commercial storage system, insecticides with properties such as neem tree plant (neem tree’s scientific name is Azadirachta indica), ash and consumable oil-based treatments that can impair the invasion and multiplication of pests such as bean weevils.
Cowpea is a generous source of protein and provides an adequate quantity of calories as well, including vitamins plus minerals, and is usually consumed with most cereal crops as a complement to carbohydrate. It can be cooked and eaten as it is, and can be used for so many other recipes, people all over the world use this simple and very beneficial source of protein to cook different types of recipes, such as beans soup, bean cake, and moi-moi and so forth.
You can stay full for the most of the day simply by eating beans because it slowly digests when compared to its starch counterpart in cereals, makes it more beneficial as we would not go hungry or overeat all through the day.
Always remember to wash your hands, first kitchen rule.
AKARA (BEAN-CAKE) INGREDIENTS
4 Cups of beans
1 bunch of Spring onion
1 medium-sized onion bulb
½ cup of pepper
Salt to taste
Frying oil – 1 liter but more would be better for frying
1 tablespoon chicken flavor season (preferred oil is acceptable)
1 liter cup of water
AKARA COOKING PROCEDURE
Chop the spring onion, half of the onion bulb, and slice the other half; then set aside.
Wash your beans and remove the bark (shaft), that is, peeling of the beans. First transfer the beans into blender, add the pepper and a half-liter of the water. Cover and blend the combination to paste.
Transfer the paste into a mixing bowl, then use your kitchen spoon or spatula to mix, add the spring onion, the chopped onion, now mix the combination. You can use your mixer for this part, but just simply using your spoon or spatula would do the job awesomely.
Then add one tablespoon of chicken seasoning flavor, a ¼ spoon of salt, and then mix generously so the ingredients can distribute uniformly.
Set your frying pan on the stove and add your frying oil, or set up your deep fryer, once hot (please not so hot, just to the level where it efficient fry), now add the remaining ½ part of the chunk onion.
The reason for this is to give it a nice aroma and sieve our unfavorable odor from your oil, it also lets you know if your oil is too hot or not hot enough to do the frying.
Once your onion starting turning golden brown, get a spoon that is, large-sized tablespoon, and use it to start adding one scoop at a time.
Let it fry for about 3-5 minutes and then get a turning stick or a spatula to turn each ball of akara (bean cake) upside down to have the other side fried as well. Let the other side fry for about 2 minutes.
Repeat the process above for the remaining paste and that’s it.
You can eat akara with most carbohydrates and vegetables such as rice, koko (pap), plantain, bread, watermelon, pan-cake.
You can store your akara (bean cake) in the fridge and or freezer as well.
TAKE AWAY: Food storage tips
The best way is in the freezer which is the same for most foods, storing food in the fridge would reduce the multiplication of the bacteria or put it this way, it would slow down that effect of the bacteria; and when stored in the freezer, it would make the bacteria sleep; all because once you cook your food, the bacteria starts growing which is general for all foods.