Sunday, September 12, 2010

Akara Cakes!

The other night I made Nigerian Akara black eyed bean pancakes with a special made-from-scratch chili sauce! The cakes are made from mashing and blending a mixture of black eyed beans (mashed beans that simulate a flour are called a 'pulse' in traditional African cooking), onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, a dash of olive oil, and optional chilis. Then you dollop some of the batter onto a hot skillet; frying them in red palm oil, or an oil you have on hand which in my case was grapeseed oil. It turned out really delicious and I felt transported by all of the flavors. The chili sauce I made was a simple mixture of around 3 medium red chilis (take most of the seeds out) diced up finely, a tablespoon of dijon mustard, a little bit of water, a few teaspoons of cane sugar, and some diced up tomato (preferably yellow). I also added a bit of basil and thyme. Stir all of these things together in a hot skillet and let it get a little bit thick. Enjoy the smell, because it is awesome! And don't worry about exact measurements...go by the smell, and taste along the way. Then spoon onto the plate and enjoy! It goes great with the pancakes, and a side of fresh corn.


Eva Marie Sutter said...

Lovely presentation! I appreciate your smell and taste approach!

Luke Leger said...

Looks and sounds delicious, Katie! I never knew Nigerian cuisine could be so tasty.