Every Easter we eat accra. To be honest, any excuse can be used for eating accra because accra is delicious. “Happy independence day, have some accra!” “Bon Jounen Kweyol, where da accra at?” “Christopher Columbus bothered us too, Happy Columbus day, heat up the oil.”
Anyway, as Good Friday is today, I have decided to share this bonafide accra recipe with you. Go forth and use the information to stuff your face.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 lb chopped shredded saltfish
2 scallions chopped
1/4 cup green pepper chopped
1 small onions chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
hot pepper sauce to taste
black pepper to taste
oil for frying
1) Go to your nearest majority-Caribbean area and hunt for saltfish. Were you in St Lucia, you’d get it in all supermarkets, but in the UK all the food you’ve ever known is compiled into one or two aisles marked “World Food” along with African, Polish, Jewish, Asian and Asian (The first being South Asian, the second being East Asian and mostly consists of Pocky and various types of instant noodles). So it may be better to visit a shop that specifically sells Caribbean food if only so that you can just for a second relive what home was like.
2) While getting ingredients, think about gentrification and wonder about how it affects people. Maybe it’s because I’m from a 240M(2) island or maybe I just didn’t notice because teenagers don’t often notice these things, but I don’t remember gentrification in my island. Where would the rich move to? There was nowhere to go.
3) Speak to the cashier and find out whoa wow ok yes gentrification is a pretty big topic: “Alla dem Indians/Turkish/Polish/Africans/Whites move into de neighbourhood and me haffi raise de prices or else me cyah eat”
4) Go home. Relax for a bit until you get pointedly told by your mother/father/unidentifiable family member that they are hungry and you promised to cook. Sigh. Get up.
5)Prepare the saltfish. Do this by boiling it for 20minutes or so. Get assaulted by the smell of salted cod and try not to gag, the end justifies the means, friends.
6) Meanwhile chop the garlic, scallion, green peppers, onions and herbs into small pieces. Remember how when you were in cooking class you used to get told off for holding the knife wrong when chopping. Well Mrs Sam, I still have all of my fingers and I know how to dice food! Who’s laughing now???
7) Drain the saltfish and shred it. You may want to do this with a blender or a knife but I always forget those things exist and end up being elbow deep into whatever I’m cooking. It’s the same reason why my mother will wash dishes next to the dishwasher – it’s a little hard to get used to things that you don’t use, even if they make life easier and more convenient
8) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Wonder about the calorie content per serving with accra. Wonder when people started worrying about the calorie content of things. When calorie intake started being a problem?
9) Add water and stir until you’ve got a batter-like consistency… hm. What do other cultures have to eat for Easter?
10) While heating the oil, Google Easter in other cultures. Waaaait hot cross buns are for Easter? I thought they were just for eating when you’re craving cheap, sweet carbs!
11) Oh and people eat Easter eggs.
12) Drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil. Fry until both sides are golden brown and drain them on paper towels. Try not to burn your mouth on the delicious fishiness and let them cool a little bit before eating. Justify the oil content by thinking about the omega3 oils that are good for your body.