I love moringa, so much that food no longer taste like food without some touch of the green wonder leaves.
Okay let me confess…actually, my love for moringa is fast bothering on obsession. (If an obsession is ‘healthy’, it’s okay…isn’t it?)
There is no meal or drink I take that does not have a dash of moringa…it’s that bad and I am going to be sharing how I am incorporating moringa into my diet / lifestyle in a series :1001 things to do with Moringa.
A friend remarked just two days ago that very soon, all moringa trees would begin coming to life and starts taking to their heels whenever they see me coming.
If you follow me on instagram, you would have discovered this new love of my life by now. If you don’t follow me yet, my instagram ID is biolaleye_1.
Taking care of myself / health has become non-negotiable for me and it should be for everyone else, too. That is about the only way we would be able to take care of all God has entrusted in our care -Family, work and all.
I have spoken about my health challenges several posts ago and you may check them out here. In my quest to improve my health and quality of life (as well as that of my family), I have been incorporating natural herbs and spices as well as fruits and there has truly been a significant improvement. Will put up a post of the things I am doing later.
Health is truly wealth and I am committed to deliberately investing in it.
Since I ‘discovered’ Moringa anew some months back, there is no meal this superfood is not added to; I have literaly been on a roll, experimenting in my kitchen and creating various dishes and drinks incorporating Moringa and herbs.
There is an healthy living category (and also the icook category) up there in the tabs and I am going to be adding all the dishes and drinks I make with Moringa and herbs to it tagged 1001 things to do with moringa.
This is to document this journey as well as to encourage and inspire someone out there who might need this.
This meal is popularly known as ‘akara‘ in Nigeria and is a staple of the South-western part of the country. It can be taken as snacks, alone or with Cassava flakes (Garri) or Custard or Pap (Ogi or Eko). Growing up, mum used to make it on Saturday mornings and we’d all take as breakfast with Ogi.
But I did not quite like it then because I disliked beans and her offsprings.
On starting a family and burdened with the task of coming up with different exciting dishes to break the monotony of rice, beans and yam, akara sneakily found its way into my heart and kitchen again. And now, I LOVE it and I love putting a spin on it, as with every other dish I come up with.
The fried moringa bean cakes was borne out of my desire to add moringa to every meal I churn out.
To make Fried Moringa Bean Cakes, you need:
2 – 4 cups of red or white beans
2 – 4 spoons of moringa powder or a bunch of fresh moringa leaves (I used semi-dried leaves which is as good as fresh)
2 – 4 teaspoons of ground crayfish
2 – 4 pcs of scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
A clove of garlic / ginger
Salt (Optional: Adobo seasoning / Mrs Dash)
Olive oil / Sunflower oil / Canola oil (I used Sunflower oil)
METHOD OF MAKING FRIED MORINGA BEAN CAKES:
-Soak your Beans in cold water for 5 – 10minutes minutes to soften the beans a little (Red beans soften faster in water)
-Remove / peel off the now soft skin and remove the chaff. Clean thoroughly by draining the water and repeatedly adding fresh water until you are satisfied.
-Add the clean de-skinned beans with the pepper, crayfish, moringa, ginger and garlic into your blender and blend.
-When blending, add just a little water to the blender content and Run the blender, if the blender blades resist, keep adding more water -a little at a time until the blades are able to move ‘freely’.
Adding water, ‘little by little’ is to prevent ending up with a watery beans-paste which would be no good for this recipe.
-As soon as the mixture moves around fluidly / smoothly in the blender, cease adding water and blend until smooth to the touch or until you are satisfied with the consistency.
-Decant into a big enough container and start stirring the mixture / paste with a spoon. Stir / mix in just one direction.
This step is to ensure the incorporation of air into the mixture. This might take between 10 to 15 minutes (of cardio exercise).
-Add salt to taste.
-Heat your desired oil till it is hot.
-Scoop a small spoonful of paste into the oil to test the readiness / hotness of the oil.
-When satisfied the oil is hot enough, start frying the paste in bigger spoonfuls.
-Let it fry till it is as puffy and golden as desired, turning at intervals to ensure the sides are not burned.
-Scoop out the balls into a bowl or platter lined with towels to absorb excess heat.
You can enjoy this as snacks or as a main meal.
The Moringa bean cakes can be accompanied with Custard or Pap (made from millet or maize) or Cassava flakes (Garri) or Bread.
Note: My akaras are flat and not round / puffy because I love them like that and that is the only way I can really enjoy them without peeling off the crunchy back to eat and thrashing the soft portion on the inside.
Recall I mentioned way up there that I hated beans and all her off-springs growing up. Back then, I would only eat the golden and crispy back and secretly throw away the inner mushy part when nobody was looking.
It became an habit and I still love the crunchy / crispy outer part till date.
This is why I always make my bean paste lighter (with water) and I would still go ahead to press it flat in oil. However, I do not recommend this…*smiles*
Bean cake lovers swear by the puffiness and claim it is more enjoyable as a round ball rather than the deflated version I love.
So, go ahead and try this.
You would be having a ball with this fried, nutritious balls while knowing you are packing a lot of nutrients into your body.
For me, I am never going to make Akara, again without moringa. Now that would be a completely cruel deprivation.
Is this something you want to try?
Yay or Nay?