Guest Author - Jason Hodge
In the West Indies when New Year’s Eve, which we call ‘Old Year’s Day’, comes around, we traditionally eat a dish called “Calalloo”. In my adult years I learned about an African American take on a dish from West Africa called “Hoppin’ John”, which is made out of black eye peas, is eaten to symbolize good fortune for the coming year. At home, we’re fond of black eye peas in most if not all of its forms, but we’re especially drawn to a special fritter, made with the peas as the base with minor embellishments.
Akkras is the name and they’re meaty, tasty and completely vegetarian.
In this recipe you’ll learn the basic way to make Akkras and I’ll also explain some of my variations, additions and workarounds, I believe will blow your socks off!
Akkras traditionally are very simple and straight forward to make. Normally boasting not more than 3-5 ingredients: black eyed peas - soaked and skinned, onions, peppers, oil salt and water. They leave much room for development and innovation. I tend to go a little further... just a little...
The Traditional Akkras
deep fryer/frying pan
utensil to remove fritters from oil
paper towels and draining plate
1/2 lb black eyed peas [soaked, skinned and soaked again - for 2 hrs]
1/4 cup peppers chopped
1/4 cup onions
sea salt [to taste]
water [enough to loosen up the]
oil [enough to deep fry with]
Step 1. Grind peas, peppers, onions and sea salt in food processor with water and a little oil.
Step 2. Heat oil in vessel [deep fryer/frying pan] and gently drop the batter and fry until golden brown and cooked through on all sides.
Step 3. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels
Time to eat!
Cook it in an ekbelsiver, a.k.a.: Kuzhi Appam; Paniyaram chati; Appam skillet; Pancake puff skillet. It’ll give it a more uniform presentation and be easier to hold as a finger food.
Use different spice combinations to heighten the flavor profiles. Really... Go for it! You won’t regret it!
As always, it’s my pleasure sharing with you these tasty recipes. Until next time...