Cook's Hideout: Brazil -- Acarajé (Black Eyed Peas Fritters - Vegetarian recipe)

September 02, 2014

Brazil -- Acarajé (Black Eyed Peas Fritters - Vegetarian recipe)

BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: B for Brazil
Dish: Acarajé (Black Eyed Peas Fritters)
Today we are going to northeast of Argentina, to the largest country in both South America and Latin American region, Brazil. Brazil is one of the countries that my husband frequently visits. It remained a Portuguese colony until 1808 and is now the largest Portuguese speaking country in the world.
My knowledge of Brazil is limited to the Amazon rainforest (about 60% of the rainforest in within Brazil and 13% in Peru), Rio de Janeiro (from watching lot of movies) and of course football.
Brazilian cuisine varies greatly by region, reflecting the varying mix of indigenous and immigrant populations. It has European and African influences. Root vegetables like cassava, yams, and fruit like acai, papaya, guava, passion fruit and pineapple are among the local ingredients used in cooking. The national beverage is Coffee. Brazil has been the world's largest producer of coffee for the past 150 years.
Todays' dish is an African cuisine inspired Brazilian dish called Acarajé. It is a deep fried fritter made from peeled black-eyed peas. It is found in Nigerian and Brazilian cuisines. It is traditionally made in the northeastern Brazil, especially in the cities of Salvador and Olinda, often sold as street food.

I made this dish along with my mom in India. After the black eyed peas are soaked, they have to be peeled and this is what makes the dish time consuming and labor intensive. We had to take turns for peeling the peas. I would recommend to employ kids (with reasonable gross motor skills), teenagers and family/ friends for this task. If you absolutely have no help, then take your time and watch a nice long movie to get this done. Do not plan on making these for impromptu guests or as a last minute snack, they will never get to the dinner table on time.
Acarajé (Black Eyed Peas Fritters - Vegetarian recipe)
So once you have the peeled black-eyed peas ready, it is smooth sailing from there on. Traditionally shrimp paste is added to the batter but I skipped it. Also these are made a little bigger and then stuffed with salad and some spicy pastes. I skipped that part too and fried them as fritters. They are really airy and fluffy in the inside and a little crispy on the outside. They are best eaten hot.
Black eyed Peas - 1cup
Onion - 1 small, coarsely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Red Chili powder - 1tsp (adjust as per taste)
Ground Cumin - 1tsp
Bread Crumbs - ¼~½ cup
Salt - to taste

  • Soak black eyed peas overnight. In the morning, peel off the skin -- this is a very tedious and time consuming process. Suggest to get lot of help or lot of patience.
  • Once all (or most) of the beans are peeled, then soak them again for 30 minutes with coarsely chopped onion. 
  • Drain the beans and onions and put them in a blender or food processor. Add chopped garlic, chili powder, ground cumin and salt. Process until the mixture is very smooth. Remove into a mixing bowl and add enough bread crumbs to form a batter that holds shape when formed into a ball.
  • Heat oil for deep frying and fry the balls until golden brown on all sides. Remove onto a paper towel lined plate and serve hot.


  1. That is a lot of hard work! You have so much enthusiasm! The fritters have such an appetizing golden brown color

  2. The texture has come out so well Pavani, bookmarking for sure!

  3. Beautiful pictures, especially the last one. Orange shirt made a nice backdrop for the fritters. I just want to grab the fritters from the photo. Nice vegetarian version of acaraje.

  4. Very addictive fritters, looks almost like donuts for me, love to munch some.

  5. Looks very inviting pavani, there is something similar to this in African countries too!!! though i have made an pucca indian version of these fritters,long back, but that doesn't include this painful peeling of bean skin!!!!

  6. Yummy fritters to go along with an evening beverage. I made these too for an African country.

  7. Very nice and tempting fritters, Pavani. Perfect for the rainy weather we have now :)

  8. Very unique and healthy fritters. Wonderful clicks as well..

  9. Brazilian snack in a telugu paper!!!! good one :) You got a perfect texture nice presentation.

  10. You do have a lot of patience! But looking at the clicks, I think it was time worth spent!The fritters looks so inviting Pavani...

  11. I remember trying a Nigerian dish where the beans had to be my what effort. .though I love these fritters they look so crunchy.

  12. yummy and perfect tea time snack.. Looks perfect

  13. wow such an delicious and tempting fritters :) Love you enthu pavani !! great going !!

  14. this is one of my favorite Brazilian snacks

  15. I had seen this at Mir's blog sometime last year.. looks almost like our bonda :-)) yet different.. and is that ur son holdin the bag of fritters ? :-))

    1. Yup Kalyani, that's my son holding the bag :-)

  16. lovely pictiers and beautiful recipe..peeling the peas is a task but seems worth the effort

  17. Reminds me of the time when I was peeling a whole lot of cooked chickpeas for the perfectly smooth hummus! But yes it's a labour of love and shows in the result. Must be so delicious. I'd probably stuff the salads too for a nice crunch. Great going!

  18. Lovely fritters.. They are very much like our bonda. Tempting dish for sure.

  19. These fritters resemble bondas a lot and they look super inviting..


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