These bean balls from West Africa can be consumed hot or cold, as a snack or as a side dish. Some West Africans eat them with Nigerian Fried Red Pepper Sauce for breakfast! Others spinkle the balls while hot with additional red pepper or press crushed red chile pods into them.
- 2 cups white beans or black-eyed peas
- 1 medium onion
- 1 fatalii chile (or substitiute habanero), seeds and stems removed
- 1/2 tespoon ground ginger (optional; used in Ghana)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Peanut or other vegetable oil for frying (traditionally palm oil)
Soak the beans or peas overnight. Drain and pound with a pestle or masher to loosen the skins, floating them off in running water, or spread on a board and use a rolling pin to rub the skins loose. Soak futher, if necessary, until the beans or peas can be crushed. Grind puree in an electric blender (adding water as needed) or pound to smooth consistency. Grind or grate very finely the onion, and pepper if fresh, and add to the beans or peas. Add eggs or other seasonings and beat the mixture throughly to incorporate some air. Heat oil to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Drop the mixture by spoonful into the hot oil and fry until deep brown. Drain on paper towels.