Mini Acarajés

Acaraje - a deep fried treat from Salvador, Bahia


  • 500g black-eye-peas
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 litres vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Dende (Palm Oil)

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups canned chopped tomatos
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of small cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup of dried shrimp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 green chillies (optional)


  1. In a large bowl soak the black-eye-peas overnight. Drain and add to a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to break the beans. Transfer them back into the bowl and cover with water. Using your hands, squeeze, grind and still the beans to release the skins. Let the skins float to the top and tip the bowl to pour some of the water with all the floating skins. Repeat until all skins are gone. Drain.
  2. Working in batches, pureé de beans and the 1/2 onion until you achieve a homogeneous paste similar in consistency to humous. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan. Add the onion and fry until translucent the add the garlic, the dried shrimp and the chilly (if using). Fry for another 2 0r 3 minutes. Then add the tomatos and season to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes .
  4. Heat the vegetable oil to 170c and add the palm oil.
  5. Using 2 spoons, scoop some of the bean pureé and make as big a quenelle as you can manage. Gently slide it into the oil. Let it fry for a couple of minutes on one side  then tun them over with a slotted spoon. Keep frying until they reach a deep golden brown colour. Drain them and sit on a plate lined with kitchen town to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve hot with the shrimp sauce, some hot pepper sauce and a few wedges of lime.

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