Accra is a Caribbean fried delicacy. I think it’s a food that transcends throughout the Caribbean as a salt fish fritter. It’s served as an appetizer and can be found from your four year old’s birthday party to weddings. It is also sold in a variety of road side stores and my favourite place, the beach. It’s a versatile hors d’oeuvre and it’s quite fun and easy to partake in.
Of course in my bias, I’d say that Trinidad’s accra is the best. It’s a fluffy, highly seasoned dough, mixed with salt fish that’s fried to a perfect golden brown. Biting into a hot, crunchy accra sends your taste buds wild, not only is it perfectly seasoned, but the hints of saltiness bursting through from the saltfish is enough to have you satisfactorily say, “mmmmmm”.
Accras make me think of my grandmother and step-grandfather. You know the myths about grandmothers fulling your face with food? Well, legend has it, NOT a myth. From the time we step foot into my grandmother’s house, she’s waiting with something that she literally pushes into your mouth. “Come and eat!” is ALWAYS what we’re greeted with and knowing the greedy little ass I am, and not wanting to pass on my grandmother’s hand, you know who first by that table. There’s something about mama’s cooking, unfortunately, try as we all might, we can never come close to her!
My granddaddy always has accra batter waiting to be fried. From the time we pull up in their yard, his pot comes out and he starts frying. Lemme tell you, this man accra is delicioso!
Naturally, I get accra cravings all the time so I’ve decided to give it a go. Though, it’s nothing like my granddad’s, it was close enough!
One little tip when making the accra, when shredding the salt fish, USE A FOOD PROCESSOR. Your girl tried to play hero and shred the fish by hand (my processor broke) and it took me literally 10 hours. I enrolled my bae to help me shred some fish, and I let go some good cuss in his skin. He managed to shred one piece and looked like it was the hardest task of his life and had to take a 2 hour nap after.
It’s a really simple process otherwise and can be whipped up in a short time. I’ve experimented a lot with this recipe, so some of the ingredients you’d see that I’ve used aren’t traditionally used in accra but I surprisingly had a good outcome. Comfort food here we come! Enjoy!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 packet yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1 head of garlic, minced
- 1 bundle chive, minced
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 5 leaves shadon beni, minced
- 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
- 1 pimento, minced
- 1/2 lb boneless salt fish
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 pack all-purpose seasoning
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- oil for frying (2 cups)
- In a large pot, cover the fish with water and boil for 10 minutes on medium heat. After 10 minutes, drain the water.
- Cover fish with water in the same pot and boil for another 10 minutes on low heat.
Note: this particular brand of fish did not need to be washed multiple times to reduce the saltiness. If you get another brand, after 20 minutes of boiling, change water and soak fish for another 10 minutes.
- While the fish is boiling, prepare the onion, garlic, shadon beni, chive, celery, pimento and thyme.
- Mix the yeast with sugar and 1/4 cup warm water.
- Sift flour and baking powder.
- Add all purpose seasoning to the flour mixture.
- Drain the salt fish. Squeeze out the excess water and shred.
TIP: the food processor is best here. Look out for any bones that may still be in the fish.
- In a large bowl, add the minced herbs to the flour mixture. Stir well.
- Add the saltfish to the mixture and stir.
- Add the chili flakes, black pepper and paprika.
- Add egg, and stir well.
NB. This is for added fluffiness.
- Add yeast mixture. Add water gradually and stir until a sticky paste is formed.
- Leave to rise for about 30 mins.
- Heat oil.
- Drop a teaspoon full of mixture into the oil. Fry until golden brown, flipping regularly.
- Serve with chutney of your choice.