Cala are spicy fried fritters made of black-eyed peas and Madame Jeanette hot pepper. They’re crispy on the outside, fluffy and airy on the inside. They’re great for parties and happy hours. Best part? You really can’t mess it up. I tried.
These little fritters used to be extremely difficult and time consuming to make. Peas were soaked overnight, then blended to a smooth “paste” by hand.
Luckily, today we have blenders and food processors to do the heavy lifting. So you can enjoy these any time you want without the hassle of finding someone willing and able to make them, and not to mention the price tag.
Scroll down for this easy and step-by-step recipe for making an Aruban classic appetizer.
Perfect for parties, one package of peas makes a ton of fritters, about 100.
Cover the peas with water, let soak overnight at room temperature.
Since we are going to grind the peas in the blender, there is absolutely no reason for shelling the peas. I repeat: there is absolutely no reason for shelling the peas. The batter will come out smooth and grainy in all the right ways, I promise.
Add a little kick with a little hot pepper. Here we used the traditional Madame Jeanette pepper but you can use any hot pepper you like.
Blend the peas into a paste. The pea paste is then combined with salt, flour, baking powder and hot pepper…
Behold, the most PERFECT batter…
To fry, drop teaspoons of the mixture in hot oil, turning often to make sure it’s cooked evenly to a golden crispy tidbit of heaven.
Drain on paper towels…
Serve piping hot, with lots of cold beer…of course.
Black-eyed peas fritters recipe
Aruban Cala recipe / Blackeyed peas fritters recipe
- 1 package of dried black-eyed peas (about 500 gr)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
- 3 eggs
- 1 hot pepper, chopped finely
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Paper towels for draining
- Soak black-eyed peas overnight.
- The next day, strain peas and blend with eggs and 1/4 cup of water (add more water if needed).
- Pour ground peas in a bowl and add all remaining ingredients, mix well and set aside.
- On med heat, heat up oil to fry. The amount of oil you need depends on the size of your pan. There should be enough oil to submerge teaspoons of the peas mixture.
- Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a little of the mixture in it. It's at the right temperature when the oil forms med size bubbles around the mixture and the mixture raises to the surface.
- Fill a teaspoon with the peas mixture and use another teaspoon to drop it in the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown, turning often.
- It's always a good idea to try one out before frying up the whole thing. Does it have enough salt? Is it spicy enough for you? Customize to fit your taste.
- Once golden brown, take them out and drain on paper towels.
- Serve piping hot, with lots of cold beer.
I've made these a few times now and by now I know that:
1. after soaking the beans overnight they smell awful and make you wonder if they've gone bad. They haven't.
2. you will also find a little foam bonus to really freak you out, in case the smell hasn't. This is also normal. The beans are fine.
3. after the soak, rinse the beans really really well.
4. if you need to add more water to get the peas to blend, do it. It won't make that big a difference at the end. You could add more flour to compensate, but don't worry if you forget. Last time I did that the batter was a little more fragile to drop in the hot oil, but the fritters turned out fine.
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Last updated : Nov 11, 2016