Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Acaraje

These delicious black eyed bean acaraje from Brazil seem almost too simple to be as good as they are. You soak beans, blend them, add a couple of spices and fry them. Too good to be true? No! It's true and it's oh so good! You can make these with any kind of beans you like, just make sure you use dried beans and soak them for 24 hours before hand. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these are very much like a Brazilian style felafel. The flavour is simple but makes you want to go back for another one! I recommend serving with a garlic mayonnaise sauce or maybe a tahini sauce (not that it's very Brazilian, but it would be delicious). Now you've got a base recipe, you can also experiment with different herbs and spices and make your own special version. Wrap up with salad and mayo or hummus in a wrap for a super special packed lunch.

These can be made a bit ahead of time and kept warm in the oven until you're ready to serve them. They stay beautifully crunchy, and are a great thing to serve up to people.

Brazilian Black Eyed Bean Acaraje

1 1/2 cups black eyed beans
1 small onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying

To Make
1. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 24 hours then drain and rinse. 
2. Spread the beans out on a bench or board and gently rub with a tea towel or paper towel to dry. Then leave them to air dry for about 30 minutes.
3. Place the onion in a food processor and pulse until roughty chopped. Add the soaked beans and the spices and process unto a coarse paste.
4. Heat plenty of vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok. 
5. When the oil is hot, use 2 dessert spoons to press spoonfuls of the mixture into neat little quenelle shapes. Drop straight into the oil and dry for about 30 seconds or until just golden. If you are shallow frying, you'll need to turn them over and cook on both sides.
6. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. Do this until you've used up all the bean mix. Keep warm in the oven until you're ready to eat them.

Serve with garlic mayonnaise or creamy tahini sauce
Also part of the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck.

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