Zoe’s Koose Fritters
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 2-3 mins (longer if using dried beans)
For the fritters:
250g dry black eyed beans, or 2 x 400g tinned beans, drained
1/2 finely diced red onion
3-5 pieces of fresh okra
2 fresh red serrano chillies (use less or leave out for a milder flavour or for kids)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
500ml cooking oil of your choice to fry
For the salsa:
500g (heritage) tomatoes
1 medium red onion, finely diced
add de-seeded and finely diced chillies to taste, I suggest 1 scotch bonnet for adults (leave out completely for children)
1/2 bunch roughly chopped coriander
pinch sea salt
pinch coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice of a lemon
Veg Portions / Serving: 2
Recipe donated by Zoe Adjonyoh for Veg Power. Recipe from "Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen" by Zoe Adjonyoh. Photography by Nassima Rothacker | nassimarothacker.com
These delicious vegan bean paste fritters (koose 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.
Kids in the kitchen:
Mashing the beans is great fun for kids, and after that they can measure the cornflour, cayenne, salt and oil and mix it all together. Children might also like to have a go at making the quenelle shapes or, if it’s easier, rolling the mixture into balls. Either way, these fritters will taste amazing. When you’re making the salsa, ask the kids to juice the lemon and mix everything together.