I recently saw someone make black-eyed pea fritters on Iron Chef and they looked REALLY good so I did a bit of web surfing. This is the recipe I started with: http://www.holycowvegan.net/2009/03/vegan-soul-kitchen-black-eyed-pea.html (thank you, Vegan Soul Kitchen) there is also an interesting page on cooking these in the traditional African way here: http://congocookbook.com/snack_recipes/akara.html. As usual I added a few things, adjusted a few things, and learned some things along the way.
1 can (15 oz) black-eyed peas, drained*
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or raw peanuts)
½ tsp. Thyme (dried/ground) or 1 tsp. Fresh thyme, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
Salt to taste
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped (I grilled this a bit and took the skin off or you could roast it...either is optional, though the recipe didn't require either)
2 tbsp (approx) flour
1 tbsp cornmeal
Oil for frying (coconut, canola, peanut, or regular old vegetable oil. NOT olive oil, it's not great for deep-frying)
Wash peas thoroughly, rubbing them briskly between your palms in the water(which will remove most of the skins) before rinsing and draining.
In a blender (or food processor if you have one...I don't) combine the beans, onion, peanuts, thyme, cayenne, vinegar, water, salt, red pepper, and egg: puree until you have a smooth mixture.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Remove the batter and add the flour and cornmeal and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. (The original recipe didn't use the egg or flour but I added them because I was pretty sure they'd try to fall apart on me). Batter should be thick enough to cling to a spoon without being too thick and doughy.
In a large saucepan, heat about two inches of oil to about 350 degrees F. Spoon the batter into the oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. (see technique below**) Fry, turning gently, until the fritters are golden-brown, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the fritters to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. If you're not eating them immediately, keep them warm in an oven warmed to 200 degrees.
These are great reheated for a few minutes in a 350-degree F oven or toaster oven as well.
* or 1 cup black-eyed peas, soaked overnight, the rinsed and drained
**I used two biggish spoons. With one, scoop up enough batter to about 1/3 to ½ cover the spoon and dip the batter and spoon into the oil as you push the batter gently off with the other spoon. This will help the fritter to start forming before it floats free. If you hurry it too much it won't form right and will just kinda go to pieces all through the oil.