Hey people! On Saturday, we woke up late. My son was very hungry but insisted that he wanted to eat ogi and akara! It was already 9.00am but I was able to whip up the meal, bathe him and brush his teeth by 9.40am. No, I am not a spirit being! Lol! I only learnt a trick from my aunt.
Almost 4 years ago, I spent some time visiting my aunt in the US. During this time, I learnt so much from her, especially about cooking. I was always impressed with how she could whip up 3 meals in under an hour in the kitchen. She cooked her assorted meat stew effortlessly and it always tasted yummy!
She would always say, “If it takes you a long time, you don’t know what you are doing!” and “Ain’t nobody gat time for that!” Seriously! That’s what she always said. I guess the absence of a helper in homes abroad really forces one become efficient in all their processes.
MY AUNT’S AKARA TRICK
Another of her best dishes was moi moi or bean curd, a traditional Nigerian dish (for my non-Nigerian readers :)). She is so famous for this dish, that her friends always ask her to make this for their parties. One day, I had the good fortune of watching her prepare this meal. I was amazed!
To cut a long story short, prior to that day, I had always nursed a secret love for moi moi and its fried version – akara – but was too scared to openly declare my love for it, lest I was forced to cook it myself. This is because I remember the process of making both of them as a PRODUCTION! Not even the great taste afterwards was worth the stress to me.
Fast forward to 2014 when my aunt showed me her “secret” to sharp sharp moi moi! Since then, I have preached this gospel everywhere I have gone. Most recently, I have become even more grateful that I have this quick method of making akara since I suddenly have no one to help me out at home.
And it just hit me that I have not shared it with you guys yet. So here goes. The trick is not in the making, but in the “washing” of the beans to remove the skin, so I won’t go into a full akara tutorial. Moreso, the same technique can be applied to both moi moi and akara.
You will need:
- Beans (she uses black-eyed peas, I did too but I really can’t wait for my honey beans from Nigeria!)
- Blender – preferably one with a pulse setting
- Your own akara recipe, to your taste 🙂
When you are ready to eat your akara, bring out your beans from either the food cupboard or freezer. Pick it (if necessary) and pour it into your blender. Pour some water into the blender, enough to cover the beans fully and perhaps be at a 1inch height above the top of the beans.
Here’s where the magic happens! Pulse this mixture in the blender about 10-20 times for 1-2 seconds each time, depending on your blender. You see, the friction caused by the beans rubbing against one another will cause the peels of the beans to come off. The beans will mostly remain whole through this process. If your blender does not have a pulse setting, try to time each on-off sequence for 1-2 seconds.
Look through the blender to check your progress. You should also see the peels rising to the surface of the water in the blender. When you are satisfied that the beans have been fully peeled, pour this into a bowl and wash out the peels. There may be 5-10 stubborn beans seeds that refused to peel, but these should be easy to remove.
Once you have thoroughly washed the beans, pop it back into the blender. Add your other ingredients and blend till its a fine paste. Remember to let your blender rest after 15-20 seconds of running, so as not to burn the motor. Then fry it in hot oil. All of this should take you no more than 15 to 20 minutes!
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
This is one of my son’s favourite meals and I think one of the reasons he knows Saturday as a day of the week (it is the only day he knows BTW, oh and Sunday of course) is because Saturday is ogi and akara day! Because I had this in my arsenal, I did not bother to bring along beans flour.
In the spirit of DIO (doing it ourselves) on this our Canadian journey, I thought I would share this with you all. Please let me know what you think of this, if you have tried it before, or if you will be trying it sometime.
Until my next post,