Continuing with unusual ways of coating food before frying, or as the fitfam gurus say, bake, bake, bake. Working on the new site design has forced me to categorise the current site, so we can have a seamless transfer. That is how I found a post from August last year (yikes!!!) on Akara Tempura. I thought wowzer!!!! How come I haven’t tried this since. Basically, the idea is to use akara batter like the japanese tempura batter. I found this again before I tried garri fried chicken (recipe HERE), and on the tails of success with that, I was finally going to try it out. Last week saturday, after my deliveries, to wait out the traffic, I drove to Kemi’s house. Gosh, I need to move to North London. Discussion for another day. Anyways, I had done my research on Google, and yup, it is a thing. Thanks to the Paleo people, the vegetarians and of course the Indians. In fact thanks to the community or should I say movement of people with special diets, I have started to look at Nigerian food through their eyes, and I am looooving it. So, where was I, ah yes. Kemi and I were discussing the game plan to make this work. She said, you are going to have to add eggs, otherwise plain blended beans won’t stick. I laughed and remembered a conversation we had almost 2 years ago when i told her i wanted to fry akara like a pancake. She said, Dunni, you need to add eggs, or it won’t fry flat like a crepe. I have proven her wrong. Recipe for Akara Pancakes can be found HERE.
So, we were back to that argument again. You need eggs, you don’t need eggs. I said how about I use soda water to lighten up the batter, after all tempura batter is sometimes made with soda water, to make the batter light. We were at this discussion till past midnight. Despite the fact that I had a 45min motorway drive ahead of me, I was too psyched to get my ass off the chair. Then I said, why don’t I use beans flour, rather than freshly peeled beans, the wetness of raw beans, may be detrimental, and so the ping pong continued and I said Google will have to settle this argument. Lol, and so Google did. Yup, bean flour as a batter is a bonafide recipe, in fact the Indians call theirs Pakoras. How cool is that. Isn’t that just close to Akara, in a way. heck, the Brazilians also eat akara, theirs is called Acaraje. This is why food cannot be patented. You have an idea about something, especially when it gets to food, someone somewhere has done something similar, and for me, it is a lesson in humility to never claim you were the first to do anything. I still keep my sense of wonder, when I excitedly think of something, check Google and see that it has been done before. It somehow makes me feel in a weird way, connected to foodies out there, like we are a part of one big huge family. Which is also why I make sure I mention sources of inspiration, so that when someone who thought they had a brilliant idea, comes across a link to my site, they too can smile and feel connected to me too.
The original idea was beans, and as i was getting out of the car to walk to the asian food store, i wondered why my bag had felt heavy all day. Guess what I found in it, a box of plantain fufu powder, which i had originally planned to prepare for someone, as a back up in case I didn’t find fresh fufu. I was on the phone with Kemi too, and I said, wait, what if i also try this with plantain. She said ooooooh, now that will be something special. Yam, dipped in plantain batter. Redefining the Dundun and Dodo street food concept. See, why my friends are the bestest. They listen and contribute to my crazy food ideas. I don’t know what to call this yet, suggestions have been flying around on Instagram since I posted it last night. See why you need to follow @dooneyskitchen, for the latest from me.
So, I decided to try this in 2 variants, the plantain and the beans version. Think about it, dip boiled yam in plantain batter and fry, then dip another batch of yam in beans batter and fry. Amazeballs, I swear. Repeat the process with Plantain. So, this is Nigeria’s response to the Indian Pakoras. I will call mine the Tempakara from the word Tempura. You can have Yam Tempakara or Yamakarita. Dodo Tempakara, Yamadodorita, Dundodo. Keep the suggestions coming guys. Let’s Cook
- Bean flour or blended beans
- Sparkling water or soda water
- 1 egg
- stock cube - optional
- dry pepper - optional
- I would advise that you either use the egg or soda water, not both. Eggs or soda water loosens up the beans or plantain batter, making the coated dough light and fluffy.
- Peel your yam and cut into batons. Boil in salt water until it has almost cooked through. Drain the hot water immediately, or your yam will continue cooking and get soggy
- Blend raw plantain with one egg, OR about ¼ cup of soda water.
- You want your batter to be slightly thick. Too watery, and it will slide off the yam into the oil. Trust me, that happened. If you are using egg, just blend the plantain and the egg, don't add water.
- Season your batter.
- Place the yams side by side with the batter, like a workstation kind of thing. .Heat up oil for deep frying
- Dip the boiled yam into the batter, allow it to coat, shake off the excess. and fry
- For the bean batter version, you also follow the same process. I was using bean flour though, not freshly peeled beans (you can use peeled beans), so I mixed the flour with soda water, till i got a thick consistency, seasoned it and repeated the process.
- The more soda water you add, the lighter your batter, and you will notice it puff up when frying in the oil. Just don't go overboard.
- Now, you know what else I did? I got out fried gizzards from t he freezer, dipped it into the plantain batter and fried. Gizdodo redefined right there.
- What do both taste like, you guessed it. Like yam and fried plantain, and like yam and akara. I absolutely loved it.
Of course the fried yam, fried plantain and akara trifecta, the ultimate in street food is sold wrapped in a newspaper, the way the British do with Fish and Chips, so for dinner last night, getting ready for Game of Thrones, I prepared a spicy ata din din sauce, which I made from memory. I schooled in LUTH you see, and we called it ‘Scaries’. The foodie that I am sneakily observed the women making this sauce, and I picked up a recipe, which I replicated yesterday. I swear, it is the same.
Recipe for the Luth Scaries Ata din din:
- 2 long pieces of red tatashe
- 2 pieces of tomatoes
- 4 pieces of ata rodo
- 1 piece of red onion
- Vegetable oil
Roughly chop these in a food processor, and fry in a looooot of vegetable oil, till it fries and reduces. Season with 1 pack of stock cubes, and drizzle over your fried yummy bits. This was dinner with chilled sparkling water. Game of Thrones was a tad underwhelming, but it is the first episode. It always builds up. Can’t wait