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Baked Akara!

Akara in Yoruba and Kose in Hausa, these deep fried bean cakes are enjoyed all over Nigeria. Traditionally they are made from dried black-eyed beans or honey beans, soaked overnight and skins removed. Then they are put through a grinder with onion, salt, tatashe ( a large type of hot pepper) and maybe one or two other ingredients, depending on locality. Then oil is heated in a large basin and the mixture is dropped in by the spoonful, turned over once or twice and fried until golden brown. When done they are drained on newspaper which does take up the excess oil to a certain extent. Finally wrapped in fresh newspaper the akara are sold to the waiting customer.
For a long time I was racking my brain how to recreate the deliciousness of akara without the process of deep frying, because any food saturated with fat is an absolute taboo for anyone with heart problems, high cholesterol and/or diabetes. So a healthy version was needed, especially since beans are highly recommended for anyon…

Happy Healthy New Year!

Now we have left Christmas and overindulgence behind and are well into the new year, which we hope will be a prosperous and healthy one for everyone.

Unfortunately many have a health challenge like diabetes which puts serious restrictions on what to eat. Good cookbooks are available that make it a lot easier to plan meals, but to re-create favourite dishes of family members takes a lot of research and experimentation!

One of those favourites in our home is pancakes with all possible variations. Today I will show you one of them: Potato pancakes originally, now called coco yam pancakes. The change was necessary because coco yam is lower on the glycaemic index than potatoes, therefore better for diabetics but just as delicious!

You will need:
1 medium sized coco yam (malanga coco)
1 small onion
1 egg
1 heaped tbsp wholemeal flour ( wholewheat )
a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
about 1/2 cup water
vegetable oil for frying

Method:
Peel and finely grate the coco yam and onion in…

More Baked Akara!

After making a baked version of akara with yeast I experimented using baking powder instead. For the first attempt I only substituted the yeast (see previous post) with 1 tsp baking powder. The mixture baked well and was tasty but a little dry. So I decided to reduce the amount of water and add egg instead. It worked!

Since I was expecting a few guests I decided to make a double portion to surprise them. Here is the recipe which will yield two dozen beancakes:

INGREDIENTS
3 cups bean flour
2 cups water maximum
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large onion
1 large tatase or 2 scotch bonnet peppers
4 Tbsp olive oil or any other good quality vegetable oil

PREPARATION
Grease 2 muffin tins lightly and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180C or gas 4
Finely chop onion and peppers, removing seeds. Heat oil in a small pan and saute onion and pepper for a few minutes on medium heat until onions become translucent and the oil turns red from the pepper. Turn off heat and allow to cool a li…