Acarajé

From Nelson’s Kitchen
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Acarajé is a dish from Bahia in the Northeast of Brazil. The roots are African. It is a fried dumpling that is made only with black-eyed peas seasoned with onions and fried in dendê oil. In Edmonton you find split black-eyed peas at the Excel African Store.

Ingredients:
 
Procedure:
 
  1. Soak the split black-eyed peas
    • Put the split black-eyed peas in a very deep bowl and cover with plenty of water.
    • Stir well and let it settle to the bottom of the bowl.
    • Using a strainer remove any shells that float to the top.
    • Keep stirring and removing shells until most of them are gone.
    • Drain the water using a large strainer to separate the peas.
    • Repeat the washing of the black-eyed peas two more times.
    • Leave the split black-eyed peas soaking over night.
  2. Prepare the dough
    • Peel and roughly chop the onion.
    • Put chopped onion in the bowl of a large food processor, or blender, and process until is is a liquid puree.
    • Drain the split black-eyed peas very well and add to the food processor, or blender, and process until you obtain a smooth paste.
    • Add the grated onions and salt.
    • Process to incorporate.
    • Transfer the paste to the bowl of a standing mixer.
    • Process in the standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, for several minutes until the mixture double in volume
  3. Fry the Acarajés
    • Pour the dendê oil in a large heavy bottom pan — you can add non-flavored oil, such as Canola if you do not have enough Dendê.
    • Heat up the oil until it is moderately hot (350 F).
    • Using two large serving spoons form large clumps of the dough and drop in the hot oil.
    • Acarajé should fry in moderately hot oil for a fairly long time — the exact time depend on the size of the acarajé.
    • Once it got colour in one side, turn the acarajé. Keep turning from time to time until it is a deep mahogany colour.
    • Serve immediately after frying with vatapá and a sauce made of tomatoes, onions, lime, cilantro and peppers.