Acaraje is a recipe typical of the Bahia state, especially popular
in San Salvador de Bahia, city best known simply as Bahia.
Acarajé can be prepared in two different ways, one simpler
and another in a more delicate taste where shrimps are added.
Picture of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
Leave in water soaking overnight two pounds of white beans. Add to
this water some laurel leaves, a couple of garlic cloves and salt.
Then strongly rub the beans with a kitchen towel, so that the beans’
skins will come off. Save a couple of cups of that water.
One big onion
3 cloves of garlic
½ spoon of cayenne (if you wish)
Salt, pepper to your taste
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 soupspoons of Dende oil
Put in a blender or processor machine, the beans without the skin,
the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, baking powder and one cup of the
water you previously saved. Blend it until white dough is formed.
In a frying pan put abundant oil to heat and to it you add the two
spoonfuls of Dende oil. When the oil is very hot, you start putting
into it spoonfuls of the prepared dough. The rolls must be golden
in the outside, turning them around in the hot oil, only once in the
When ready, put them on paper towels to drain the extra oil before
Proceed just as in the previous recipe but to the dough you add half
a cup of dried shrimps. The rest of the recipe is just like the first
Acarajé’s secret is to continue beating all along while
you are cooking the ones in the oil. This dough makes a sort of liquid
in the bowl until it is being cooked and this also makes it more difficult
for its correct frying. This is avoided by beating it continuosly.
You can serve them with shrimp sauce or filled in with cooked shrimps.
Sauce: Put into the processor: grinded pepper (white and black),
one onion, one clove of garlic, one cup of dried shrimps, then you
take it to a boil with a teaspoon of Dendé oil, one cup of
the water you had saved and leave it boiling for 4 minutes. With this
sauce you cover the acarajés.
You can also cut them in half and put the sauce in the middle or fill
them with fresh cooked shrimps.
Note: Dende oil is extracted from a palm tree, eleaesis guineenses,
and has a very strong taste, to which you must be used to. But it
is very tasty.
Eating acarajés, while you are walking by the Pelohurinho at
night, is an unforgettable experience, the very taste of Brazil!