Akkara Balls Recipe - A Traditional Ghanaian Delicacy

Akkara Balls

Akkara Balls Recipe - A Traditional Ghanaian Delicacy
Region / culture: Ghana | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Akkara Balls
Akkara Balls

Akkara Balls, a delightful snack originating from West Africa, particularly in countries like Nigeria and Ghana, have become a beloved treat in many parts of the world. This simple yet flavorful dish is made from black-eyed beans, which are transformed into a paste, seasoned, and then deep-fried to golden perfection. The result is a crispy exterior with a soft, savory interior that's both nutritious and satisfying. This recipe guide will take you through the history, cooking tips, nutritional information, and various ways to enjoy Akkara Balls.


The tradition of making Akkara Balls dates back centuries in West African cuisine. Originally, this dish was prepared as a protein-rich snack or side dish, utilizing the readily available black-eyed beans. Over time, its popularity spread across the continent and eventually to other parts of the world, where it has been adapted into various culinary traditions. Akkara Balls are not only a testament to the rich culinary heritage of West Africa but also a versatile dish that has been embraced globally.


How to prepare

  1. Soak the black-eyed beans overnight. The next day, drain any remaining water from the soaked beans.
  2. In a blender, grind the beans with salt and black pepper to taste until they form a paste. Grind until the paste is thick but still slightly coarse. Add a little water if needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  4. When the oil is hot, scoop one spoonful of the paste into the oil. Repeat this process until there is no more space for additional scoops.
  5. Turn the scoops occasionally and remove them from the oil when they turn brownish in color.
  6. The dish is now ready to be served with chutney or tomato ketchup.


  • While the traditional recipe for Akkara Balls is simple and delicious, there are several variations you can try:
  • Add finely chopped onions, garlic, or herbs to the bean paste for additional flavor.
  • For a spicier version, include chopped chili peppers or a dash of cayenne pepper in the paste.
  • Experiment with different beans or lentils for a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Akkara Balls are perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, consider the following tips:

- Soak the black-eyed beans overnight to soften them, which makes them easier to blend into a smooth paste.

- When blending the beans, aim for a slightly coarse texture to add bite to the Akkara Balls.

- Ensure the oil is hot before frying to prevent the balls from absorbing too much oil and becoming greasy.

- Fry in small batches to maintain the temperature of the oil, ensuring even cooking and perfect crispiness.

Serving Suggestions

Akkara Balls can be served hot as a snack or appetizer, accompanied by chutney, tomato ketchup, or any sauce of your choice. They also make a great side dish to main meals, offering a delightful contrast in textures.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying is the traditional method for cooking Akkara Balls, but for a healthier alternative, you can try baking or air-frying them. These methods reduce the fat content while still achieving a crispy exterior.

Ingredient Substitutions

If black-eyed beans are not available, you can substitute them with other beans such as kidney beans or chickpeas. Adjust the seasoning accordingly to suit the flavor profile of the beans used.

Make Ahead Tips

The bean paste for Akkara Balls can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for longer storage. Simply thaw and bring to room temperature before frying.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Akkara Balls on a platter with a side of dipping sauces, garnished with fresh herbs or sliced vegetables for a visually appealing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Akkara Balls pair well with a variety of beverages, including cold beers, soft drinks, or freshly squeezed juices. They also complement other dishes such as salads, rice dishes, or grilled vegetables.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Akkara Balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a preheated oven or air fryer until crispy and heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Akkara Balls contains approximately 250 calories. This makes them a moderately calorie-dense snack, ideal for those looking for a satisfying yet nutritious option.


A serving of Akkara Balls primarily provides carbohydrates, with each serving containing approximately 30 grams of carbs. The black-eyed beans are a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are essential for energy production and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.


Due to the deep-frying process, Akkara Balls contain a higher fat content, with each serving providing around 15 grams of fat. However, using healthier frying oils such as canola or vegetable oil can help reduce the presence of unhealthy saturated fats.


Black-eyed beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Each serving of Akkara Balls contains about 10 grams of protein, making them a nutritious snack option for vegetarians and those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

Akkara Balls are rich in several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron, thanks to the black-eyed beans. These nutrients are vital for maintaining good health, supporting bone health, and enhancing the immune system.


Akkara Balls are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, making them suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance. However, those with legume allergies should avoid this dish due to the presence of black-eyed beans.


Overall, Akkara Balls are a nutritious snack option, providing a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. They are a calorie-conscious choice for those looking for a satisfying and healthy snack.


Akkara Balls are a versatile and nutritious snack that showcases the rich flavors and culinary traditions of West Africa. With their crispy exterior and savory interior, they offer a delightful eating experience that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, Akkara Balls are sure to be a hit with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It all started many years ago when I was a young girl living in a small village in India. My grandmother, who was known for her exceptional cooking skills, would often invite me into the kitchen to help her prepare meals. It was during one of these times that she introduced me to the art of making Akkara Balls.

Akkara Balls are a traditional Indian sweet made from rice flour, jaggery, coconut, and cardamom. They are shaped into small balls and fried until golden brown, giving them a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior. The combination of flavors and textures is simply divine, making Akkara Balls a favorite treat in our household.

My grandmother learned how to make Akkara Balls from her own mother, who passed down the recipe through generations. She would tell me stories of how her mother would make these sweet treats for special occasions, like weddings and festivals, and how they were always a hit with everyone who tried them. I was fascinated by the history and tradition behind the recipe, and I knew I had to learn how to make them myself.

I watched intently as my grandmother measured out the ingredients and mixed them together in a large bowl. She explained each step to me, making sure I understood the importance of each ingredient and technique. The smell of coconut and cardamom filled the air, making my mouth water in anticipation.

Once the mixture was ready, my grandmother showed me how to shape the dough into small balls and fry them in hot oil until they were crispy and golden. The sizzle of the oil and the aroma of the cooking Akkara Balls filled the kitchen, creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort that I will never forget.

When the Akkara Balls were finally ready, my grandmother placed them on a plate and sprinkled them with a little powdered sugar. I eagerly took a bite and was instantly transported to a world of sweetness and nostalgia. The flavors of coconut and cardamom danced on my taste buds, while the crispy exterior gave way to a soft, chewy center that melted in my mouth.

From that moment on, Akkara Balls became a staple in our household. My grandmother would make them for special occasions, like birthdays and holidays, and they would always bring a smile to everyone's face. I, too, learned how to make them and continued the tradition of passing down the recipe to future generations.

Over the years, I have made Akkara Balls for my own family and friends, sharing the love and tradition that my grandmother passed down to me. Each time I make them, I am reminded of that cherished memory of discovering the recipe for the first time and the bond that it created between me and my grandmother.

As I grow older, I realize the importance of preserving these traditional recipes and passing them down to future generations. They are not just recipes, but a connection to our past and a way to keep our heritage alive. And so, I will continue to make Akkara Balls with love and care, honoring the legacy of my grandmother and the traditions that she instilled in me.


| Ghanaian Recipes | Ghanaian Snacks |

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