I have been looking for a way to make the well loved Sierra Leonean binch akara dish (aka bean pancakes) in a baked version. And these savoury bean cakes bursting with flavour are one of the ways I do this.
I do try and make baked versions of fried food as much as I can as I feel that the recipe is a little bit healthier. Too much food guilt flying around obviously. However, that does not mean I don’t go for the full on deep frying version as well – there are times when I just need some of that fried food comfort. Know what I mean?
This is also a fusion recipe as Sierra Leonean bean cake recipes don’t normally have coriander or herbs in them. But I think these flavour work well together. I have used bean flour instead of starting with dried black eyed beans. But I hope you agree with me that this shortcut version works rather well.
Here are some other black eyed bean recipes.
- 400g (2 cups) black eyed bean flour
- 1 onion minced
- ¼ scotch bonnet chilli minced (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 4 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
- ½ maggi cube or other stock cube
- ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 120-240ml (1/2 -1 cup) water plus extra to your taste
- Preheat oven to fan assisted 170C / 190C / 375 F / gas 5.
- Grease a lined baking tray and set aside.
- Add the bean flour, onion, chilli, herbs, coriander, maggi, salt, baking powder and oil into a bowl and mix them together.
- Add in 60ml (1/4 cup) of water at a time gently mixing to create a nice smooth batter which is a bit thicker than pancake batter.
- Then ladle a tbsp of batter at a time on to the baking tray making sure to leave at least 2 inches between each one.
- Then bake the bean cakes for up to 25 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through and are a nice golden brown colour.
- Serve them with some gravy or sweet chilli dip.
- I recommend that the first time you make these, use less chilli and salt (as maggi cube has some slat in it) if you are unsure and bake only 1 cake at the start, try out the texture and taste. Then adjust water and seasoning till you are happy and then bake the rest.