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These African-inspired fritters are made with dried beans that are fermented. The batter is whipped just before frying to create a delicate, fluffy interior. This distant relative of falafel is served with savory yogurt and harissa sauce, making for a dipping sauce that's both fiery and cooling. Acarajé makes for a great meatless protein on a salad but can also be enjoyed on its own as an appetizer.


Recipe Summary test

15 mins
4 mins
2 days
2 days
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat water and 1 tablespoon sea salt together in a pot over medium heat until salt is dissolved and brine is heated, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and cool brine to 70 degrees F (21 degrees C).

  • Mix beans, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds together in an air-tight container. Pour brine over bean mixture. Cover container tightly and let sit at room temperature until liquid is beginning to bubble from the gasses, about 24 hours.

  • Drain brine from beans mixture, reserving the brine.

  • Blend bean mixture in a food processor, adding just enough brine to make acaraje mixture the consistency of thick hummus. Store blended bean mixture in an air-tight container at room temperature for 24 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place acaraje mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy.

  • Dip a tablespoon into the hot oil to assure the acaraje mixture doesn't stick to the tablespoon. Scoop acaraje with the coated tablespoon and gently drop acaraje mixture into the hot oil; repeat process until about 6 are frying at 1 time.

  • Cook acaraje in the hot oil, flipping occasionally for even cooking, until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer acaraje to a paper towel-lined plate; season with sea salt.

Cook's Note:

Use any variety of white bean, such as cannellini, Great Northern, or black-eyed peas.

Editor's Notes:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

360 calories; protein 15.9g; carbohydrates 41.9g; fat 15.3g; sodium 949.6mg. Full Nutrition