A black-eyed-pea fritter that originated in Nigeria, akkara is popular throughout West Africa. We've adapted the recipe from Jessica B. Harris's cookbook Iron Pots & Wooden Spoons: Africa's Gifts to New World Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 1999) so it's only lightly fried to maintain a crispy exterior and creamy center. Red palm oil, nonhydrogenated and rich in antioxidants, is traditionally used in West African cooking. Fritters may be served with either chile sauce or tomato chutney. (Tomato chutney and red palm oil are both available at specialty food stores.)
- 2 pounds dried black-eyed peas
- 1 cup water, plus extra for soaking peas
- 2 large onions, minced
- Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ cup peanut oil
- ¼ cup red palm oil
- Sea salt flakes (optional)
Nutrition FactsPer serving: 425 calories, 6.7 g fat (1 g saturated), 69 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 21 g fiber, 304 mg sodium (13% Daily Value).
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DirectionsMaking the batter:
- Wash and drain peas, then soak overnight in cold water.
- Grind peas in a blender, adding water gradually to form a firm paste.
- Fold onion, salt, and cayenne into the mixture. (Use no more than 1/8 teaspoon cayenne at first, until you determine how hot you'd like it.)
- In a large, deep, nonstick skillet, heat a thin layer of the combined oils. Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of pea paste into skillet until it is full but not crowded with patties.
- Cook each patty 3 to 4 minutes, until browned on one side, then turn to brown the other side. Add a few more drops of oil if necessary, to ensure that edges of patty become slightly crispy.
- When both sides are browned, remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Garnish with sea salt flakes (optional). Serve warm with tomato chutney or chile sauce.