How to make Haitian Accra/Akra, an updated version
I feel like having Accra! Haitian Accra or Akra is an appetizer favorite of many natives. This appetizer or side dish is straightforward, but unfortunately, one can’t do enough to please a crowd of people, whether small or large. It is often served as part of “fritaille,” a variety of fritters, or alone as a snack.
There are many recipe variations for Haitian Accra. Almost everyone you ask will tell you that you must have black-eyed peas, flour, and an egg. I am not a fan of black-eyed peas, nor do I like to add flour to my Accra mixture. Flour and egg are used in cooking and baking as binding elements, but why do we always mix flour with this starchy root vegetable?
I understand that flour and egg are used in cooking and baking as binding elements, but why do we always mix flour with this root vegetable that is already starchy?
Don’t get me wrong; I will eat it if it contains all the ingredients. It is just something that you have to eat when offered to you. Your stomach or mouth will not allow you to say no unless you are allergic to Malanga or Yautia.
What is malanga?
Malanga, also called yautia, is a root vegetable cultivated in several tropical regions, Haiti being one of them. Haitian people eat Malanga broiled, fried, or roasted. Depending on their cooking, it is always an excellent substitute for potatoes, a ubiquitous root vegetable.
A surprise culinary adventure
So one day, while surfing the net, I stumbled on an Accra recipe from “HaitianCulture.com.” I was glad to see that it did not require flour, egg, and black-eyed peas. It did not take me long to try the recipe at all.
When I made the Accra, I used a food processor instead of grating the Malangas. I was pleased with the taste and mainly the texture. It was crispy and light. The only downside is that you have to eat the fritters immediately; otherwise, they will become soggy.
The next time I made it, I did not add the chicken bouillon but added a fresh spice mixture and added salt gradually until it was perfectly seasoned. So after adding my twist, I started thinking about other ways to make the fritters. I thought about BAKING! Yes, I did! I figured I would cut down on the oil to make it healthier.
So after adding my twist, I started thinking about other ways to make the fritters. I thought about BAKING! Yes, I did! I figured I would cut down on the oil to make it healthier.
Being a bit adventurous
The first time I baked it, the Accra lacked moisture. The second time I made it, I added extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and dots of butter before putting it in the oven. It passed the test! When baked, the Accra has mashed potatoes consistency except being a bit grainier than smooth. Because the Accra was mixed with fresh spices, it had a good kick.
When baked, the Accra has mashed potatoes consistency except being a bit grainier than smooth. Because the Accra was mixed with fresh spices, it had a good kick to it.
Some may wonder why the accras bake when they’re always fried. Think of it as an original side dish and no oily mess to clean. Add all the ingredients in a food processor, butter, or spray a couple of ramekins and bake in an oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, and you are done.
For a spicier taste, or if you want to feel as if you are in the Caribbean, dip your Accra in any of Noubess hot and spicy sauces.
Haitian Accra are also best served with Pikliz.
Enjoy Haitian Accra fried the original way and baked – my way!
- 1 lb malanga cut into 2.5cm (1″ pieces)
- 2 scallions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves only
- 2 tablespoons green peppers chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ½ tablespoon scotch bonnet pepper or Habanero. Chopped, seeds and membrane removed
- 1 – 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil if baking
- 2 cups vegetable oil if frying only
- Peel all Malangas and cut pieces into smaller 2.5cm (1″) cubes.
- Add to food processor.
- Add all ingredients also to food processor with the exception of oils.
- Blend all ingredients to a smooth mixture including olive oil if BAKING ONLY.
- Put mixture in a bowl, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.
- Blend all ingredients to a smooth mixture.
- Remove and add to a bowl without olive oil if FRYING ONLY.
- Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. If frying mix with flour and with 2 dinner spoons shape the accra and fry golden brown in hot oil. Serve hot.
- If baking – When ready, butter 2 – 3 ramekins.
- Fill ramekins with Accra mixture, do with butter and bake at 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 for 30 to 35 minutes.
- You may change the temperature of the oven to broil for the top to crisp, but no more than 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Great recipe, Gemma. I’ve been making mine on the stove top in my mini cast iron skillet, but baking in a ramkin is also an excellent option.
You’re most welcome Yolanda! Thank for your comment.
Baking is certainly not the same as frying but it is healthier.
There is a similar dish in Suriname called “Pom”. It’s made from a relative of the Yautia plant called Xanthosoma sagittifolium. Its grows big sometimes 1-meter and the leaves resemble elephant ears. This dish is generally made with chicken or other meat choices, but also made as a vegetarian dish and its baked in the oven. Pom origin is Jewish-Creole created in Suriname. If you like your baked yautia, you will love pom. There are many pom recipes online which you can try.
Very interesting Rita! Thanks for sharing this information with us. I will search the web for a Pom recipe.