Sierra Leone - Rice Akara Recipe

SARAH, AGE 7 | London, United Kingdom | Global | Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone - Rice Akara Recipe

There is a spicy peppery red stew that is served with the akara, that I love to dip the akara into. This stew is made with tomatoes, spices, tomato paste, onions, and hot peppers, preferably the ones from Sierra Leone’s neighbour - Guinea, called Neneh Koro.

We usually eat akara as a snack but it is also always there during family parties. There are different types of akara all along the West coast of Africa. In Sierra Leone, you can also have Binch akara. Binch akara is made using beans and the recipe is similar to that of Koose (Ghanian bean cakes), acarajé, and Nigerian akara.

Akara has also travelled across the sea because enslaved peoples from West Africa, took akara with them to Brazil. You can hear this in the Brazilian name for akara, acarajé. Acarajé is made from two Yoruba words: akara and jé. Jé in Yoruba means to eat.

Another translation is ‘akara, wá jé’ which means ‘come and eat akara’ a phrase used by the Baianas - the women who dress in traditional white lace tops and large flowered skirts and sell acarajé in Bahia, Brazil.


  • 4 bananas, extraordinarily ripe

  • 1 cup rice flour

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar

  • 1⁄2 cup of water

  • 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

  • Vegetable Oil for frying


  1. Mix bananas and sugar. You can use your hands to make a big mush of a gooey mess.

  2. Add flour, vanilla, nutmeg, baking powder and water into the banana and sugar mixture. It should be sticky, not runny, and then leave in the bowl for about 20 minutes.

  3. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. The trick is to wait till the oil is so hot that smoke starts to rise from it (stay a few steps away from the frying pan).

  4. Use a teaspoon to drop little balls of batter into the oil. Leave space between each akara.

  5. Fry until golden brown.

  6. Place akara on a paper towel to soak up excess oil and serve.

Sierra Leone - Rice Akara Recipe
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