These delicious vegan bean paste fritters are also known as Akara, commonly eaten as a snack or breakfast food, but it has many variations. Black eyed beans are blended with spices, formed into patties and deep fried until golden to make this traditional snack. Here I’ve added texture with sliced okra and red Serrano chillies however you can swap for green bell peppers and omit the chillies if you’re heat sensitive. They make a fantastic canapé or party snack too.
While you can use tinned beans for this, i find that they are a little too soft to get the required texture I prefer – if you’re in the mood for a fast recipe though go with tinned! Otherwise boil the beans in lightly salted water until pinch soft, drain and set aside to cool.
Whilst cooling trim the stub end from the okra and guillotine or julienne slice. Dice the serrano chillies if using.
Once cooled, roughly mash the beans to break them up gently but not completely mash. Add the cornflour, cayenne, sea salt and rapeseed oil and mix gently before folding in the diced red onion first, then chilli, then okra. You want to keep the crunchy texture of the okra by adding it last. Once everything is mixed together shape the paste into quenelles or small plum sized balls.
Heat the oil to 160C in a deep pot. Test the temperature of the oil using a thermometer or gently drop some breadcrumbs into the oil – they should float to surface and crisp quickly.
Deep fry in batches until golden brown and drain on kitchen paper. Serve 2-3 pieces per portion hot over 4 tablespoons of scotch bonnet heritage salsa (for the adults) and garnish with a drizzle of avocado and mayo.
For the salsa: Mix all ingredients together – serve chilled.