Akkara Recipe: Vegetarian Delight from Cameroon


Akkara Recipe: Vegetarian Delight from Cameroon
Region / culture: Cameroon | Preparation time: overnight | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet



Akkara, a traditional African dish, is a delightful culinary experience that brings the rich flavors of Africa to your kitchen. This recipe focuses on creating delicious fritters from cowpeas, also known as black-eyed peas, combined with a blend of spices and vegetables. It's a versatile dish that can be served as a snack, appetizer, or part of a larger meal, offering a unique taste that's both nutritious and satisfying.


The origins of Akkara can be traced back to West Africa, where cowpeas are a staple ingredient in many diets. This dish has been passed down through generations, with each adding their own twist to the recipe. Traditionally, Akkara is made to celebrate special occasions and gatherings, symbolizing prosperity and togetherness. Over time, it has spread across the African continent and beyond, gaining popularity for its simple yet flavorful profile.


How to prepare

  1. Clean the black-eyed peas by rinsing them under running water and then soak them in water for several hours or overnight.
  2. Rinse the soaked black-eyed peas to remove any skins or debris.
  3. Drain the black-eyed peas using a colander.
  4. Crush, grind, or mash the black-eyed peas until they form a thick paste.
  5. Add enough water to the paste to create a smooth, thick batter that will cling to a spoon.
  6. Add all other ingredients to the batter, except for the oil.
  7. Heat oil in a deep skillet.
  8. Scoop up a spoonful of batter and use another spoon to quickly drop it into the hot oil, forming fritters.
  9. Deep fry the fritters until they turn golden brown.
  10. Serve the fritters as a snack, accompanied by an African hot sauce or salt.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, consider adding diced vegetables such as bell peppers or carrots to the batter. For those seeking a spicier kick, increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add other hot spices to taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Akkara turns out perfectly, consider these tips:

- Soak the cowpeas overnight to soften them, making them easier to grind.

- When grinding the cowpeas, aim for a smooth paste to ensure uniform cooking.

- Test the oil's temperature by dropping a small amount of batter into it; if it sizzles and rises to the top, it's ready.

- Do not overcrowd the skillet when frying to maintain a consistent oil temperature.

- Place the fried fritters on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serving Suggestions

Akkara can be served hot or at room temperature, accompanied by African hot sauce or a sprinkle of salt. It pairs well with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying is the traditional method for cooking Akkara, but for a healthier alternative, you can bake the fritters in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until golden brown.

Ingredient Substitutions

If cowpeas are unavailable, you can substitute them with other legumes like chickpeas or lentils. For a gluten-free version, ensure all added ingredients are free of gluten contaminants.

Make Ahead Tips

The batter for Akkara can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, allowing flavors to meld and making meal prep more convenient.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Akkara on a platter garnished with fresh herbs or alongside a dipping sauce for an appealing presentation. A drizzle of lemon juice can add a refreshing zest to the dish.

Pairing Recommendations

Akkara pairs beautifully with light, crisp white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling, which complement the dish's flavors without overpowering them.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Akkara in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, or in an oven for a few minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Akkara contains approximately 250 calories, making it a moderate option for those monitoring their calorie intake. The balance of macronutrients ensures that these calories are well-utilized by the body.


Cowpeas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, providing the energy needed to fuel your day. A serving of Akkara contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates, making it a hearty option for those seeking sustained energy.


The peanut oil used for frying contributes to the fat content of Akkara. However, by controlling the frying temperature and time, you can minimize oil absorption. A serving typically contains about 10 grams of fat, most of which is unsaturated and beneficial to heart health.


Cowpeas are rich in proteins, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Each serving of Akkara offers around 15 grams of protein, making it a great vegetarian source of this vital nutrient.

Vitamins and minerals

Akkara is packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron, all of which are crucial for maintaining good health. These nutrients support vision, immune function, bone health, and oxygen transport in the body.


The primary allergen in Akkara is peanuts, due to the peanut oil used for frying. Those with peanut allergies should consider alternative oils such as canola or vegetable oil.


Akkara is a nutritious dish that balances carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It's rich in vitamins and minerals, providing a wholesome option for those seeking a flavorful and healthful meal.


Akkara is a versatile and nutritious dish that brings the flavors of Africa to your table. With its rich history and simple ingredients, it offers a unique culinary experience that's both satisfying and healthful. Whether served as a snack or part of a larger meal, Akkara is sure to delight anyone looking to explore African cuisine.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It was many years ago when I was just a young girl, eager to learn the art of cooking from my own grandmother. She was a master in the kitchen, and I was always in awe of her culinary skills.

One day, as I sat at her kitchen table watching her prepare a delicious meal, she suddenly turned to me with a twinkle in her eye. "I think it's time you learned how to make Akkara," she said.

I had never heard of Akkara before, but I was intrigued. My grandmother explained that it was a traditional dish from her homeland, passed down through generations in our family. She told me that it was made with simple ingredients, but the key was in the technique.

As she began to show me how to make Akkara, I watched intently, taking in every detail. She started by heating oil in a large skillet and adding onions, garlic, and ginger. The aroma that filled the kitchen was heavenly, and I knew I was in for a treat.

Next, she added tomatoes, green chilies, and a blend of spices that she had carefully measured out. The colors and flavors blended together beautifully, creating a tantalizing aroma that made my mouth water.

Finally, she added the main ingredient - lentils. She had soaked them overnight and cooked them until they were soft and creamy. As she stirred them into the mixture, I could see how they added a rich, hearty texture to the dish.

After letting it simmer for a while, my grandmother declared that the Akkara was ready. She served it with a side of fluffy rice and a dollop of yogurt on top. I took my first bite and was instantly transported to a world of flavors and spices that I had never experienced before.

From that moment on, Akkara became a staple in our household. My grandmother would make it for special occasions and family gatherings, always receiving compliments and requests for the recipe.

Over the years, I have made Akkara countless times, each time perfecting the technique and adding my own twist to the recipe. I have shared it with friends and loved ones, always receiving praise for its unique and comforting flavors.

As I sit here now, reminiscing about that fateful day when I learned how to make Akkara, I am filled with gratitude for my grandmother and the gift she gave me that day. Cooking has always been a passion of mine, and I am proud to carry on the tradition of making this delicious dish that holds a special place in my heart.

I hope that one day, I can pass down the recipe for Akkara to my own grandchildren, just as my grandmother did for me. It is a piece of my heritage that I will always cherish and hold dear, knowing that it connects me to my roots and the generations that came before me. And every time I make it, I am reminded of the love and joy that food can bring to our lives.


| Black-eyed Pea Recipes | Cameroonian Recipes | Cameroonian Snacks | Cameroonian Vegetarian | Chile Pepper Recipes | Onion Recipes | Peanut Oil Recipes |

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