Continuing my Black History Month dinner series, I’m sharing with you a recipe that I really love and it’s one that is loved and prepared by many black cultures across the globe. Several years back I visited Senegal in West Africa and one of my best memories from the trip was the authentic taste of street food. I remember Senegalese street cuisine being warm, deeply flavored, and full of bold spices and aromatics. While in Senegal I did not try the Black Eyed-Pea Fritters because I was a finicky eater at that time but I remember them, so until I return I will enjoy this adapted recipe from Chef Pierre Thiam seen here in NYT Cooking. It was important to me to maintain the integrity and soul of the recipe so I did not alter it by much. I added in some flavors and spices that I believe the compliment the black eyed peas such as ginger, creole spice, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Black Eyed-Pea Fritters are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy in the center. The natural taste of the peas comes through very well and is enhanced by the other spices. Traditionally, these are often served on bread and topped with a spicy slaw but I usually enjoying them as a snack. I have made these with a traditional southern dinner and they are a hit with the collard greens and candied yams too! I think you will enjoy these fritters as you find even more delicious ways to serve them in your home.
What to make these with:
How to make Black Eyed Pea Fritters
Preparing the brine
Mix the salt and water in a large bowl and add in the black eyed peas. Soak the peas for 3 hours or overnight.
Making the fritters
After you have soaked your peas remove the skins by rubbing the the peas through the palms of your hands. The skins will start to fall off and you can throw the skins away. Try to get a much off as you can. Pour the water off the peas and rinse with fresh water then set aside.
Roughly chop the onion and ginger and set aside. Pour the oil into a cast iron skillet or frying pan to prepare it for frying. Set the heat to medium high and let it reach 360-365 degrees.
To a blender or food processor, add the black eyed peas, onion, ginger, salt, creole seasoning, black pepper, and baking soda. Blend on high until the mixture starts to look smooth. Add in some water and continue to blend until you achieve a hummus like texture.
Make sure your oil is hot then take a spoonful of the mixture and drop it in the oil and repeat until you have 5 or 6 spoonfuls in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side then remove with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain.