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Rule No. 14: Seize the Starch for Better Beans and Grains

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

40 minutes plus soaking time

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Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

In West Africa, cooks turn black-eyed peas into accara, crisp fritters reminiscent of falafel, and are often served with an assertively spiced dipping sauce that contrasts nicely with the earthy legumes. It's essential to use dried peas here, not canned, and they must be soaked for at least 12 hours, so plan accordingly. But after soaking and draining, the beans don't need to be cooked—they go directly into the food processor to make a doughy batter. We process most of the peas to a fine puree but leave some coarse to give the fritters more texture. To monitor the temperature of the frying oil, a digital thermometer works best. Serve the fritters as an appetizer or snack with the dipping sauce (see following recipe) or treat them like falafel and tuck a few into folded flatbread along with lettuce, tomato and onion.




Don't forget to soak the peas for at least 12 hours to soften and hydrate before making the batter. And don't skip the step of rubbing the soaked peas with your hands to remove some of their skins. This gives the fritters a lighter, finer texture. And don't shortcut the 30-minute refrigeration time for the batter; chilling helps the fritters hold together during frying.

40 minutes

plus soaking time


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MAY 2022

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