Acarajé (Bahian Fradinho Bean Fritters)

Acarajé (Bahian Fradinho Bean Fritters)

Acarajé (Bahian Fradinho Bean Fritters)

1.5 lb/454 g dried fradinho beans, or black eyed peas

2 C./473 mL grated yellow onion

Kosher salt, as needed

Dendê oil, as needed for frying

1 whole yellow onion, peeled

1 C./237 mL dried smoked shrimp

1 C./237 mL Vatapa

2 C./472 mL Caruru

Molho de Acaraje:

2 preserved malagueta peppers, finely chopped

1 C./237 mL minced white onion

1 tbsp/15 mL freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp/15 mL chopped cilantro

1 C./237 mL seeded and chopped green tomato

Kosher salt, as needed


Using a food processor, pulse the dried beans until the majority of the beans split open. Cover the beans in cold water and remove any film or beans that rise to the top of the water. Soak in cold water over night. Strain the soaked beans and rinse under running water. Use your fingertips to remove the papery skins from the beans. Return to the food processor and pulse the mixture until a thick coarsely textured dough forms. Add water, 1 tbsp/15 mL at a time to help create a light paste. Transfer the bean mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-low speed. Add the onions and season with salt, to taste. Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Molho de Acarjé by combining the peppers, onion, lime juice, cilantro, and tomato. Season with salt, to taste. Cover and rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Heat the dendê oil and whole onion in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 375°F/191°C. Use a 1 ¾ oz/50 g scoop and drop the bean mixture directly into the hot oil. Carefully splash oil over the top of the fritters to help ensure even frying. Cook until the fritters are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the finished fritters to a towel-lined sheet tray to drain. To serve, split open the acarajé and spread a spoonful of vatapá on one side, stuff with a dried shrimp, and top with a generous helping of caruru. Serve with the molho de acarajé.

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