Acaraje is traditionally encountered in Brazil’s north eastern state of Bahia. These falafel type discs are made from black-eyed beans that are soaked, rubbed to remove the skins, then fried. Once the balls are cooked, they are then sliced and filled. This vegetarian version of the authentic street food uses a fresh tomato and avocado salad for the filling. They are delicious!


Makes 12

For the Acaraje
350g black-eyed beans, soaked overnight
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves  
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ – ½ tsp chilli powder
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
oil for frying

For the fresh salad filling
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
juice of 1 lemon or lime
1 ripe avocado, cut into small cubes,
3 ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into small cubes
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 green or red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped


Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. 

Rub the beans together between your hands while still in the water to remove the skin. Try to get as many of the skins off as possible, but they do not all have to come off. Drain, rinse and repeat. The skins should float to the top and come off when drained. Don’t worry too much if this is a hassle, I have skipped the process and still had good results.

Combine the beans and remaining acaraje ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process the mixture until it forms a thick, smooth paste. The batter should be well blended and hold its shaped when formed.

Heat 5cm (2 inch) of vegetable oil in a wok, heavy saucepan or deep fat fryer. While the oil is heating, shape the batter into 5cm (2 inch) wide disc shaped fritters.

Fry the fritters in batches, turning once, until dark golden brown. Carefully remove the fritters from the hot oil with a slotted spoon, and place them on paper towels to cool slightly.

To make the salad, combine the oil, vinegar and lemon/lime juice, in a bowl and mix together. Stir in the avocado, tomato, spring onion, chilli and coriander. Season well with salt and pepper.

Make a slit in the ball to create an opening, being careful not to go all the way through, and spoon the salada fresca inside. Serve warm.




Have you made this dish? I love seeing my delicious recipes come to life, so share a picture with me on Instagram by tagging @naturalcookeryschool and I’ll re-share your post!


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