Akara ( Black Eye Pea Fritters)…My Legume Love Affair 10

Akara is a typical West African snack made of Black Eye peas.Its confusing because I have seen many names and spelling for this dish. The Congo Cookbook cites 11 names for this dish. I remember eating these when my father made them as a child. I actually posted these once before on the blog as a New Years appetizer since they had the requisite black eye peas. that would bring in good luck for the year. What made my fathers so yummy was the addition of chopped shrimp . What I love about this recipe is that you can play around with your spices and additions. Along with the traditional ingredients I choose to add ground shrimp powder, minced sun dried tomatoes for extra flavor. I also purchased a small bottle of palm oil in the African shop. Palm Oil is favored in West African cuisine and highly coveted. You can debate on the health aspect of it, but one thing is certain, its aromatic and imparts a wonderful flavor and research is backtracking and taking a second look at it.I say all in moderation. Palm Oil gets its rich red color from beta carotene. If you don’t have or want to fry in palm oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil work just as fine.

1 1/2 lbs of Black Eye Peas soaked overnight in water
2 tbsp rice flour
1 small onion chopped fine
1 green bell pepper chopped fine
2- 3 eggs to bind
1 tbsp ground shrimp powder
4 sun dried tomato’s minced
1 tsp curry
1-2 chilies chopped( depends on your spice heat threshold)
salt and pepper to taste
palm, vegetable. or peanut oil for frying

Rinse the black eye peas which have been soaking overnight.In a food mill grind the beans . Take a blender or food processor and add the ground beans , eggs,and some water . Mix until you you have a light paste( not to runny, but enough to hold shape while frying). Add your dry seasonings and chopped onions, peppers, chilies and sun dried tomatoes.
Add a few tablespoons of oil in your fry pan. Heat the oil. Carefully drop spoonfuls of the bean mixtures and fry until golden and done in the center. Be sure to turn the bean cakes as you fry to make sure its fries evenly.

Akara is my second entry( a savory one as compared to sweet one before) this month in MLLA 10… Starters and Desserts created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. You still have time to submit your entries this month. Starters, desserts, light snack, etc. Get creative with legumes!