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Accra Recipe

'Id ul Adha AccraLest anyone think this blog is really Chennette’s Mom’s food, here I am posting a recipe for something that I worked out myself. Well, not completely myself. With contributions along the way, certainly, from Mom and my co-developer back in my student days.

You see, when I was in Barbados, I had the Bajan fish cake. It was a dense round ball of fried saltfishy goodness that reminded us of our* Trini accras. But not quite the same thing; while the Bajan fishcakes seemed to have more saltfish in them, the ones we tried tended to be a bit greasier and heavier than the accra. So we started to try to make accras. No recipe, no maternal consultation back then. We figured we could make a batter, add some baking powder and the necessary ingredients (onions, saltfish etc) and see what happened. What happened that first time, with the too-thin batter, were little crunchy light things that had long spider-legs all over. Not bad, but not right. And the flavour was all saltfish. Maybe we didn’t actually add anything other than saltfish, come to think of it…(recipe follows)

About a year or so later, we tried again. Learning from experience, we made the batter thicker, and probably added some stuff. We would fry up a batch, then adjust the mix. We didn’t quite get it. But it was fun. Not quite what we wanted, but fun.

Mom's accraAnd then back to my lonesome attempts. During my stint back home, I had many opportunities to try accra-eating and figured out that the slightly chewy texture must be due to more than thick batter and baking powder. Mom confirmed that she used a bit of yeast, just like she does for fried bakes. So armed with that knowledge I developed my recipe. Of course, Mom recently pointed out, when I had some of HER accras, that she also adds an egg. Adds the chewiness and some crispiness. Sigh. I forgot that little tip this last ‘Id ul Adha when I made them, but they were still great. So, if you’re vegetarian, you’re probably not making this anyway (it’s got salted FISH) in it, so go ahead and add an egg. But you don’t need to add the egg to get a good product, just to get Mom’s product. :-)

Saltfish Accra
(makes about 30 – large spoonfuls)

Ingredients:

* 5 cups flour

* 4 teaspoons baking powder

* 2 teaspoons instant yeast

* About 2 cups of flaked saltfish

* 3 pimento peppers, chopped

* (1 hot pepper, chopped)

* 1 onion, minced or chopped finely

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 tablespoons chopped chives

* 1 tablesppon chopped bandhania (cilantro/coriander)

* 1 tsp geera (cumin)

* (1 egg, beaten well)

* water to make a thick batter – the kind that your grabs your spoon and doesn’t move it- almost like a wet sticky bread dough.

* oil for frying

1. Saltfish is dried salted fish, usually filets of cod or something like that. To prepare the saltfish, soak in boiling water for at least 30 minuted, changing the water once. The satlfish should be soft enough to flake easily with a fork. If not, soak some more, or if you’re in a hurry, try chopping it up. But you’ll have to fight it.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, yeast, and all seasonings together.

3. Add the beaten egg and enough water to make a thick batter. Mix well.

4. Leave to rise for about an hour. It won’t necessarily rise much, but it needs this time to set to get nice and elasticky. Setting time will get you a rounder accra. Hopefully.

5. Heat oil about 2 inches deep in a pot or pan for frying.

6. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil (or use your hands like a pro, making it round in your fingers before squeezing it out – I use the spoons). Turn over as they swell and rise to the top. Fry to a darkish-golden brown (or to your taste).

7. Remove and place on paper towels.

8. Enjoy with a good tamarind chutney, or any other kind of chutney. Or if one of those pimento peppers was hot, by itself with lots of cool water.

* For the record, when I speak of “our” and “we” in terms of the development of accra during the Bajan days, I refer to myself and Hmmmm, also sometimes known as Hmmmmmmmm.

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32 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. I got a great recipe that works everytime from the Naparima Cookbook – if anyone wants it – its really simple….and if you get Chennette to bring you chutneys then you’re in business….

    But I will try this one, for old time’s sake…

    1. Hmmmm on January 7th, 2007 at 2:40 pm
  2. Will someone pay the transportation fee?

    2. Lilandra on January 7th, 2007 at 2:54 pm
  3. Ha! Mom really made all that!

    3. Lilandra on January 7th, 2007 at 2:56 pm
  4. accra is love

    4. The TriniGourmet on January 7th, 2007 at 3:18 pm
  5. Haha , yes Mom made that really. The second photo is of my Accras, note the difference in shape and texture perhaps. No offence Chennette to your food , only correcting your sassy sis.

    5. mom on January 8th, 2007 at 8:11 am
  6. I never claimed the 2nd one was mine – in fact I put the picture next to the part where I spoke about Mom’s AND CALLED it “Mom’s accra”. Allyuh who too suspicious and accusatory…

    6. chennette on January 8th, 2007 at 10:16 am
  7. HMMMMMMM
    Seems as though you did not read the part where I said no offence Chennette to your food and I was only correcting your sassy sis. So why all these explanations and why are they due.
    Could say more but chose not too , hehehehehehe.
    Love you both.

    7. mom on January 8th, 2007 at 10:52 am
  8. talk about suspicious!;-) there was no explanation other than saying if people read my post there’d be no need for all this talk – there was no false pretences in my post 😛 and my comment was directed at your other daughter…

    8. chennette on January 8th, 2007 at 10:56 am
  9. Hmmm read the text carefully, still didn’t see any indication that the accra wasn’t from Chennette… Misrepresentation? tsk tsk. Certainly relieved that Chennette’s accra is not green….

    9. The other Aberdonian on January 8th, 2007 at 12:38 pm
  10. The other Aberdonian?? Is that a baby or Hmmm’s husband?

    See, Chennette, you should be grateful, due to my hard work and efforts, there are many comments on your blog!!!

    10. Lilandra on January 8th, 2007 at 3:29 pm
  11. Chennette doesn’t seem to be talking to me – is it because of the other Aberdonian…..
    or his comment about the green pelau – which almost led to marital problems, because I defended it for days…..
    For the record – my accras look like Mom’s and not like the first picture…even though I get no specific mention in the developmental process….

    Don’t know who the first Aberdonian is …since kids and I are Trinidadians or Trinbagonians (sp. ?)….I even had them on Independence Day !!!!

    11. Hmmmmmmmm on January 8th, 2007 at 5:35 pm
  12. green accra? what will they think of next up there in Aberdeen?

    And Mr Aberdonian, didn’t they teach you to read the fine print? the photo was LABELED “Mom’s accra” – how much clearer could I be? No misrepresentation there – just readers with a lot of suspicious imaginations, tsk tsk…

    Hmmmmmmmm – only just fortuitously and unexpectedly got internet so couldn’t respond regularly – nothing personal. And before I get accused again, when you change your name (doubling the ‘m’s) wordpress thinks you’re a new person, that requires moderation, so sorry for the delay.

    12. chennette on January 8th, 2007 at 11:12 pm
  13. But Hmmm needed to Hmmmmm longer because of her worthy suspicions

    13. Lilandra on January 8th, 2007 at 11:21 pm
  14. I guess I need to update this browser – I swear that when I hover over the picture I assume to be your Mom’s accra the caption is “accras – again”. Just to confirm, the other picture is labelled “‘Id ul Adha Accra”, so that can’t be it…. I did notice a credit in the fine print on Flickr – something about “making” them using your Mom’s batter 😉 You know, we’re just jealous because we haven’t found saltfish here yet…

    14. The other Aberdonian on January 10th, 2007 at 7:08 am
  15. ok – we’ll blame Flickr – I particularly wrote in ALT text to say “Mom’s accra” and it says that on my browser, but on Flickr it’s called “accras – again”. Hmm…

    Get someone in London to mail you saltfish. It may smell funny in the package, but it won’t go bad on the trip. Or set up a salting/drying business in the yard. You can fish, right? 😀

    15. chennette on January 10th, 2007 at 8:38 am
  16. Well, I don’t know about saltfish, but that’s the fishiest story I ever heard :-) I hear Flickr has this problem ALL the time….. hahahahah

    16. The other Aberdonian on January 10th, 2007 at 12:26 pm
  17. Beginning to be glad I’m having another boy!

    17. ewe_are_here on January 10th, 2007 at 12:56 pm
  18. But why? Isn’t The other Aberdonian a boy?
    You want like him?

    18. Lilandra on January 10th, 2007 at 5:01 pm
  19. What’s wrong with the poor other Aberdonian…he’s just trying to be helpful…

    Chennette, what did you say about my poor hubby…sob sob… Lilandra and Mom appreciate his comments, no?

    19. Hmmm on January 10th, 2007 at 5:33 pm
  20. 😀

    20. Hmmm on January 10th, 2007 at 5:36 pm
  21. Lilandra – ewe is referring to you and me – daughters might end up squabbling online in later years 😉

    And Hmmmm – The Other Aberdonian, and I have settled that it’s all Flickr’s fault for the misunderstanding! Actually, it’s Bill Gates – I loaded my page on IE (I use Mozilla Firefox for my blogging) and I saw the name of the pic was “accras-again”.

    21. chennette on January 10th, 2007 at 8:19 pm
  22. The Other Aberdonian uses WINDOWS? and IE?
    tsk tsk

    That is very bad. Hmmm you should be ashamed!

    So, ewe, you prefer to have boys doing physically violent? Alright, I get it…when they start bleeding and aching and attacking each other…don’t come to me…! :-p

    22. Lilandra on January 11th, 2007 at 12:18 am
  23. I fixed the tag, so even on IE it should give due credit to Mom. For those that are doing the policing 😀

    23. chennette on January 11th, 2007 at 1:06 am
  24. Isn’t revisionist history grand. :-)

    24. The other Aberdonian on January 11th, 2007 at 8:19 am
  25. He doesn’t believe anybody!

    25. Lilandra on January 11th, 2007 at 4:03 pm
  26. Where was I suppose to find the accras not labelled Mom’s Accra?
    Well now as it is fixed I have lost the opportunity!!!!
    Take care

    26. mom on January 12th, 2007 at 12:41 pm
  27. How much does this batter make?
    I am just curious …….i want to try this weekend but don’t want to end up with accra for life!
    Thanks Jill

    27. Jill on February 5th, 2007 at 7:19 pm
  28. Hi Jill – this really should be part of the recipe – this batter makes about 30.

    28. chennette on February 6th, 2007 at 1:16 pm
  29. Thanks 4 d gr8 recipe, really helped alot. My mom tells me though instead of water I could’ve used some carnation milk. I’ll probably try that next time.

    29. Marcia on July 5th, 2008 at 10:10 am
  30. you’re welcome Marcia – I have never tried it with milk…would love to see what the texture would like then!

    30. Chennette on July 5th, 2008 at 10:21 am
  31. Chennette: It is nice to see such a beautiful and professional site like yours. I will be trying some of your recipes soon. I have noticed the word “pimento”. Are these peppers hot or are they the sweet red peppers. I have come across recipes using this type of pepper but I am not sure what they are. Re: cilantro/coriander, do they taste the same?

    Thanks.

    35. Angela on July 15th, 2011 at 2:36 pm
  32. Hi Angela – sorry for the delayed reply! I have been a bit overwhelmed with work, travel and then Ramadan.

    thanks for the compliments!

    Pimento peppers in T&T are seasoning peppers – there are peppers like this throughout the Caribbean. They are thin-skinned, smell like hot peppers, but they only have the flavour not the heat. They come in a variety of colours – green, red, orange, yellow. I should take a photo one day… You can substitute regular sweet peppers but it’s not quite the same, and those sweet peppers may be fleshier and contain more water.

    Coriander is what the British call Cilantro. However, ground coriander, is actually the SEED of the plant. Bandhani or chardon beni, is a green leaf herb popular in T&T which tastes very similar to cilantro but stronger (without the grassiness I find in cilantro)

    36. Chennette on August 19th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

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