Akara: Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

What should you serve when the last night of Hanukkah abuts the secular New Year’s Eve? The Yoruba tribe of West Africa offers the perfect recipe for a mash-up of traditions. It makes it possible for you to combine the American southern custom of serving black-eyed peas for good luck with the Hanukkah tradition of serving latkes. The result is akara, one of the most popular snacks in West Africa.

Akara means bread in the Yoruba language, yet it is gluten-free. It is prepared by cooking and pureeing black-eyed peas, then seasoning them with salt and onions and frying them in palm oil — but, in honor of Hanukkah, this recipe calls for olive oil. After it is cooked, akara is eaten with a spicy sauce.


  • 1 can black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • Minced chili pepper to taste
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Process the black-eyed peas in a blender.
  2. Mix with the onion, garlic, salt, black pepper and chili pepper.
  3. Shape the batter into walnut-sized balls.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Fry in the olive oil until golden-brown.
  6. Serve with hot sauce.

Adapted from African Food Recipes.


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