This protein-rich corn and onion chickpea fritters with ‘egg’ sauce is simple and perfect for any meal.
During my childhood, breakfast on Saturdays was always deep fried brown bean fritters, or akara as they’re known traditionally. They are the easiest and tastiest things to cook. You make them by blending raw, peeled beans with a pinch of salt, chilli (optional), and onions to form a relatively thick batter. You then deep fry around one to two tablespoons of the mixture at a time until you run out.
I remember mum serving them alongside pap – cornmeal made from wet cornstarch. She’ll cook the cornmeal with lots of milk and sugar – so good! Thinking about it, I have not had pap in years; I must change that soon!
Sunday breakfasts were my absolute favourite. We would usually have fried or boiled yams, sweet potatoes or plantains with egg sauce. Egg sauce is standard in most Nigerian families, but I’ve found that everyone has a slightly different recipe. You typically fry fresh tomatoes with onions and then scramble in some eggs once the tomato sauce is ready. Some people season with salt only, some add herbs (typically thyme) and others go really wild with it.
As you can probably already tell, I drew inspiration for this meal from my childhood breakfasts. I have altered some flavours and veganised the egg sauce, but the foundations are still there.
I don’t cook with much oil, so rather than deep frying my fritters, I pan-fried them like pancakes. I added corn to the batter for more texture and a little sweetness in the fritter.
My egg sauce is made with tofu. I have made tofu scramble so many times, but I’m still always surprised by how much it looks like eggs. My husband still does not believe that my egg sauce was not made from real eggs, haha!
Serves 1 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
For the chickpea and corn fritters
- 100g gram flour
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 fat garlic clove
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small shallot
- pinch of salt to taste
- 50g sweet corn
- 2 small spring onions, sliced (green part only)
For the egg sauce
- 200g firm tofu
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- ¼ vegetable stock cube
- 2 medium spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 fat garlic clove, finely minced
- Put the gram flour, water, garlic clove, shallot and garlic in food processor and blitz into a thick, smooth batter. Season with salt to taste then add the sweet corn and the chopped spring onions.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Spray with low-fat spray or ¼ tsp of oil then add two tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl around to evenly distribute the batter in the pan. Fry for around 3 minutes or until bubbles start to form and then flip over and cook on the other side for roughly 2-3 minutes. Repeat until you run out of batter. You should get about 6 4-inch fritters. Set aside and keep warm.
- Squeeze out as much water as you can from your tofu then scramble it with a fork or with your hands. Heat a large frying over medium heat and spray with low-fat spray or add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the tofu, black pepper and turmeric. Stir well to combine the tofu with the spices and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently to cook the spices and remove any remaining moisture in the tofu. Once the tofu is evenly coated with spices, tip it into a bowl and set aside.
- To make the egg sauce, spray the frying pan with low-fat spray or 1 tsp of oil. Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until soft taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock cube and cook for 7 minutes or until the tomatoes break down. Stir frequently and if the pan gets too dry, add a small splash of water. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the tofu back into the pan and stir well to combine. Season with salt if needed, cook for 1-2 minutes to reheat the tofu then take the pan off the heat.
- Serve the chickpea fritters with the egg sauce and garnish with extra spring onions.