Black-Eyed Pea Fritters ("Accara")

Although most recipes for accara usually begin with soaking dried black-eyed peas overnight, this recipe eliminates that step by using canned ones. We've also added a cornmeal crust to provide a crunchy contrast to the soft interior.

Recipe courtesy Young Sun Huh for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 35 min
 
YIELD: 24 fritters
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

FRITTERS:
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
    SAUCE:
    • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
    • 1/2 habanero, roughly chopped (seeds removed if you don't want it too spicy)
    • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 small tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Peanut oil, for frying
    • Kosher salt
    • Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer
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      Directions

      1. For the fritters: Place two-thirds of the black eyed peas, 1/4 cup of water, the olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Add the remaining peas and the scallions and pulse 4 or 5 times to break up the peas but not completely puree them. Scoop about a heaping tablespoon of the mixture at a time into your hands and form about 24 balls. (The balls do not need to be perfectly round--they are more authentic if roughly formed.) Put the cornmeal in a shallow baking dish. Roll the balls in the cornmeal, leaving them in the baking dish, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

      2. For the sauce: Heat the peanut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the habaneros and onions and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and black pepper. When the tomatoes start to break down and get soft, put a lid on the pan, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let the sauce cool slightly, and then blend in a food processor until smooth.

      3. Pour 2 to 3 inches of peanut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil registers 375 degrees F. Fry the fritters, in 2 or 3 batches, about 4 minutes per batch. Remove to drain on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and serve with the spicy tomato sauce on the side.

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