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Black Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Sauce {Akara} New Year Good Luck BoulderLocavore.com

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Sauce {Akara}

This unique West African dish is fresh and delicious yielding light, airy fritters with a frisky hot sauce. The preparation time is a bit labor intensive in the skinning of the black-eyed peas but worth the effort. All prepared ingredients are pureed eventually so rough chopping is fine. A great way to usher in Good Luck for the New Year!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine African
Keyword akara, black eyed pea fritters
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 40 1-inch diameter fritters and 1 cup of hot sauce
Calories 27 kcal
Author Toni Dash


Ingredients for Fritters:

  • 1 ¼ cup dried Black Eyed Peas (approximately ½ pound)
  • ¼ cup Yellow Onion , coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger , peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Ingredients for the Hot Sauce:

  • 1 small Yellow Onion , peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 large Garlic Cloves , peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium ripe Tomato , peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2 fresh Serrano Chilies , about 2 inches long, stemmed, deseeded and chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Ginger , peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (do not use Olive Oil)


Instructions for preparing the Black Eyed Peas:

  1. Place the black-eyed peas in a heat resistant bowl and cover with enough boiling water to cover them by 2 inches. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Note: Preparation of other ingredients can be done while the black-eyed peas are soaking. Preheat oven to lowest setting at this time (135 degrees or whatever your oven lowest setting is).
  2. After the black-eyed peas have soaked for 30 minutes, assemble a second bowl with warm water (will be to dip your hands to remove the skins) and a bowl for the skinned black-eyed peas. To skin the Black-Eyed Peas: Pinch the black-eyed pea at the ‘black eye’ and pull off the skin. The skins are not visible at first but after starting you will be able to see them. The pea’s ‘black eye’ is part of the skin so once the skin is off the black eye is also removed. The skins stick to the fingers so once you have pinched the skin off, rinse your fingers in the bowl of water to free the skin from your hand and place the skinned black-eyed pea in the third bowl. Repeat until all peas have been skinned.

Instructions for preparing the Hot Sauce:

  1. Using a blender, combine the onion, garlic, tomato, chilies, ginger, tomato paste, cayenne pepper and salt and process at high speed to blend into a puree.
  2. In an 8 inch or 10 inch heavy skillet heat the vegetable oil over moderate heat. When heated add the puree mixture, stirring constantly, and cook briskly until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon (3-5 minutes). Set aside or covered in a heat proof bowl in the warmed oven until fritters are done.

Instructions for Making the Fritters:

  1. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep fryer or heavy saucepan allowing 2-3 inches depth. The pan should be large enough to allow 6-8 tablespoons size fritters to fry at once with room. Heat the oil until it reaches to 375 degrees on a deep frying thermometer. Secondarily line a large baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels and set aside.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, combine black-eyed peas, onion, ginger, water, cayenne pepper and salt. Blend at high speed to puree, scraping sides of blender or food processor bowl if needed. It should yield a light, cream colored puree.
  3. When the oil is hot, transfer the black-eyed pea puree to a bowl and whisk briskly for 2-3 minutes. To cook Fritters: Drop tablespoons of fritter batter into heated oil (using a second spoon to free the batter from the tablespoon if needed). Using a heat resistant slotted spoon gently turn the fritters until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove the cooked fritters with a slotted spoon, allowing any oil to drain back into the pan, and place on the prepared baking tray lined with paper towels. Place in the warmed oven while continuing to make the rest of the fritters, placing cooked fritters on the tray in the oven.

Serving Fritters:

  1. Arrange fritters on a platter with the bowl of sauce. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Recipes: African Cooking 'Foods of the World' Time Life Books

Nutrition Facts
Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Sauce {Akara}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 121mg5%
Potassium 83mg2%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 4.2mg5%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.