Black eyed peas, mashed with onion, a little salt and cayenne — a lauded Beninese favorite, and purported source of origination for the marvelous and oft eaten acaraje, though, sans shrimp powder. The tiny, phallically shaped country is said to be known throughout Africa for its marvelous cuisine.
Google either akkra or acaraje and there are ample examples of fried failure for these delicious little bean balls: The first time acaraje was put together it was one of the most monumental taste sensations ever experienced! Unfortunately, the source of that composition was not noted, and ensuing attempt resulted in disintegrating goop in the fryer, which led to alterations of ingredients and preparation — neither particularly satisfying.
One fairly common solution to the dissolution, is addition of manioc flour. That tends to leave the little orbs a bit gummy, and, instead, we’ve resorted to simply pan frying or baking — both sort of disappointing and satisfactory only for cururu.
This recipe adds an egg and flour proper, but still doubtful, a small test orb was plopped in the oil — and it held intact perfectly. The original most certainly did not include egg, but egg will guarantee success.
Many of the recipes show a sauce served with the Akkra funfun balls, but none of those perused included instructions to brew. They all appeared to have red pepper, and appeared to have onion, so we leaned on what we knew, from what worked well with cururu. As always, make much more than you think you need:
- Caramalized onion
- diced red pepper
- red pepper flakes
- dende+coconut oil
- ground cashew
It should be a thick sauce, almost paste. Any sort of addition from the sea would taste really good in the sauce as well — tiny shrimp, nori, hijiki, etc.