Acaraje - (pronounced as Aka-raa-zhe) is a traditional dish from the state of Bahia, a north-eastern state of Brazil. It is a very popular street food. The origin of this dish is Nigeria and it was taken to Brazil by the slaves of the West African coast. In Nigeria it is known as Akara.
The most common way of eating acarajé is splitting it in half, pouring vatapá and/or caruru, a salad made out of green and red tomatoes, fried shrimps and homemade hot pepper sauce. A vegetarian version is typically served with hot peppers and green tomatoes.
Black eyed beans ... 250 grms
Onion ... 1
Salt ... to taste
Oil .. for frying.
(traditionally these are fried in palm oil)
1. Soak the beans overnight.
2. Wash them crushing with hands to remove the husk / skin of the beans. This is really a tedious job.
3. Grind the beans and onion together in a food processor.
4. Add salt and stir well with a wooden spoon until the volume doubles and looks light and fluffy.
5. Heat the oil in a deep pan.
6. Using 2 serving spoons or ladles take a big lump of the ground beans in one spoon pass the other spoon around it a couple of times to get a smooth and even texture.
7. Drop them into hot oil. Fry until golden brown adjusting the heat in between.
8. Remove them on a paper towel.
Bread slices .. 1 -2
Coconut milk ... 300 ml
Peanuts .... 50 gms
Cashewnuts ... 50 gms
Ginger ........... 1 small piece
Garlic ............ 3-4 cloves
Onion ............ 1
Salt .............. to taste
Dry shrimps .... optional
Palm oil ... 1-2 tbsps as needed
1. Soak the bread in coconut milk for 2-3 hours.
2. In a food processor blend all the ingredients except palm oil.
3. In a pan heat the palm oil and add the ground paste.
4. Saute for 2-3 minutes and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes stirring few times until it thickens.
5. If it is thin you can add a little flour mixed with water and cook further to thicken.
Shrimps sauteed in palm oil. You can add onion or any vegetables if you like.
Hot chilli sauce
Prepare by grinding fresh red chillies and garlic together. Cook it for 5 minutes in oil adding salt and vinegar.
How to assemble:
1. Make a slit in the acaraje. ( I prefer it sliced into halves )
2. Using a butter knife spread a little chilli sauce.
3. Spoon in the vatapa and finally the sauteed shrimps.
4.You can also add some chopped onions and tomatoes with vinagrette dressing for a tangy flavour.
In Brazil, most street vendors who serve acarajé are women, easily recognizable by their all-white cotton dresses and headscarves and caps. The image of these women, often simply called Baianas, frequently appears in artwork from the region of Bahia.
Recipe Source - Tudo Gostoso
Image source - Google