Akkra are fritters made of black-eyed peas. Of West African origin, this dish made its way over to the Caribbean and Brazil during the slave trade. In the traditional versions, black-eyed peas are pounded with seasonings in a mortar and pestle and then pan fried in palm oil. Less widely consumed today, akkra was a wildly popular dish in 19th-century Jamaica—and it is so delicious, we can see why! Our modern variation includes ginger and scallion. Serve the akkra topped with various homemade condiments, as pictured. A platter of them provides an easy, casual snack for entertaining.

By & / Photography By Ellen Silverman | March 14, 2019

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black-eyed peas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons chopped scallion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 cup coconut oil for deep frying

Instructions

Place the black-eyed peas in a large bowl and add water to cover. Soak overnight. The next morning, while the beans are still in the soaking water, rub them between your hands to remove their skins. The skins will rise to the surface of the water, where they can be skimmed off. Drain the beans.

Place the beans and the onion, scallion, ginger, Scotch bonnet pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, and cornmeal in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, adding just enough water (¼ to ½ cup) to form a thick paste. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry, turning, until they brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, and keep warm until all the batter has been used up. Transfer to a warmed platter.

Editor’s Note: Th e full recipe recommends topping the akkra fritters with Garlic-Lime Sauce, Pickled Cucumber, or Watermelon-Lemongrass Chutney. Find the recipes for all three in the cookbook, Provisions.

Makes 25 to 30

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black-eyed peas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons chopped scallion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 cup coconut oil for deep frying
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