Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bollitos • Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Okay, so I've tried this before without success, but this time I think they turned out well. I took the recipe from "Three Guys from Miami."  I halved the recipe. Here is what I used:

2 cups canned black-eyed peas (the recipe calls for canned, but I cooked my own)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup flour
peanut oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Since I used dry peas, I covered them with water in a bowl and let them soak overnight. The next morning (they had softened quite a bit already) I made put them in a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches, a dash of salt and a bit of olive oil. I brought it to a boil and lowered to medium heat for about 1/2 hour until tender.

Strain you peas and run rinse twice. Grind the peas, and your peeled garlic cloves in a blender or food processor, adding a little water to soften. The mixture should be thick and lumpy. Mix in your salt and cumin. Saute your onions and pepper in olive oil. (I should have chopped mine finer than in the picture, but no harm was done.) Remove from the pan and add to the mixture. Stir in the flour and the lime juice.

In a deep frying pan add vegetable oil to a depth of about two inches. Heat the oil, not letting it get too hot! Drop your mixture by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil. (I formed small balls in the palm of my hand). Cook a few at a time until golden brown, turning occasionally – about three to four minutes.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with lime wedges and hot sauce if desired.


  1. I like that you tried again, sometimes it's hard to go back! These look good! I love Three Guys From Miami.

  2. Interesting the "Bollitos" that I am accustomed to are made with raw, peeled, and then ground black eyed peas (my grandma get's lazy and so do I so she tells me to grind without removing skin) or we buy "bean flour"'s like already powdered and ground up. Just add water and spices ha ha.

    Our Bollitos are the same as the African "Akara" fritters. Here's a blog post of someone preparing them :)

  3. oh yum, reminds me of some street food in brazil-acaraje! delicious...

  4. Since adding salt to your water will reduce the temperature at which your water boils, I suggest adding salt later, after the beans are cooked and creamy. Just a tip!

  5. This is almost like " Akara" A Nigerian dish, it's made pretty much the same way! Amazing

  6. Anonymous, there is a lot of African influence in Cuban cooking. I wouldn't doubt there are many similar dishes.

  7. I tried it but no luck looks like scramble eggs Maybe cause i bought two cans from Wallmart?...:( sad look on my face....

  8. I just added more flour cause before was to soupy, about a finger Widht. a dash more salt and cumins the mixture is heavier now But tasteless and the inside was not done Maybe cause i did not drain the cans before? next time ill buy real beans>>> i read above about bean flour? what kind of flour?? black eye peas flour?

  9. Anonymous, yes, you have to strain the peas. You had too much moisture in the mix. Make small balls and press them in your hands until they are firm. Ajust (lower) the heat so that they do not brown on the outside without cooking on the inside. I'm not sure about the flavor since I do not know what has been omitted. I made a disaster the first time also. I used regular white flour. I've never tried bean flour. I hope you are not too frustrated.

  10. Hello Natham, or to who ever can help me. I order black eye peas flour! From Mimi Thank you! What i don't understand Just add water and spices? or The beans should it be cook first? in other words add water and cook first? i'm just making a dozen or so how much bean flour? a cup ? and what kind of spices? red onions cumin,salt and pepper and garlic powder ? Thank you again

  11. Anonymous, my understanding is that the bean flour replaces the beans altogether. I assume you can add the spices in the recipe above as well as the onions. Note: you do not need to add any additional white flour if preparing it with bean flour. (Nathan, if you read this please elaborate as I have never really done it in this fashion before.) Hope this helps.

  12. Thanks ,the reason i asked if i should cook the beans cause the dealer told me they are not cooked ,Guess all i need is just add recipe and fry.

  13. I still had no luck making bollitos, i used black eye pea flour this time, wasn't bad but did not taste like the bollitos i had in the past. and the outside texture was not right either. looked more like a crisp. I wonder what im doing wrong, please help...

  14. I'm sorry. I'm not an expert at it, and I don't regularly eat them. I actually have only made them a couple of times in my life. Since I lived in Miami before moving up here, I had no need to make them at home. All I can say is to refer to other recipes online and compare to see if there is something that needs to be differently. Sorry :(

    1. Thank You for trying! I also left Miami many years ago! 1966. I live in the State of Kansas now. Is hard finding Spanish products like Chorizo ( Cuban style..) Thanks again...

    2. Unfortunately the authentic Cuban cuisine that we remember is basically lost, especially for those of us who have a hard time finding the necessary ingredients. Try searching online for the Chorizo. I wish I could have been of more help. Good luck to you.

    3. Are you looking for the dried Chorizo? If so, Publix carries it. The Chorizo in the meat department of the grocery is different.

  15. To get the real authentic flavor you must use peeled beans. The basic ingredients are simple, the pepper is important. This is all about the secret to making them the right way.

  16. We make them every new years we soak the black eye peas over night. Then I clean the black eye out. Then you grind the peas in food processor you add salt ,pepper,and garlic then we spoon into hot oil and fry till golden. Enjoy

  17. I have just spent 7 hours preparing bollitos! I soaked the black eyed peas overnight (about 10 hours), then peeled the shells (the most time-consuming part of the recipe!). Don't cook the beans! Put them in a food processor and add 8 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil... pulse, blend until the mixture is smooth.
    Sometimes I have added water and others a beaten egg.
    Fry in hot corn oil, dropping by spoonfuls! Beautiful golden bollitos!!! No cumin, no onions or peppers - the traditional Cuban recipe does not use these ingredients. I just ate some... delicious and just like the ones at the chinese stands in Havana!!! This was certainly a labor of love!!!!

  18. You don't cook the blackeye peas or put anything but garlic, blackeye peas, salt in the mix for Cuban Bollitos.

    Bollitos de Frijoles de Carita/Black-Eyed Pea Fritters
    Adapted from Memories of a Cuban Kitchen:

    1/2 pound black-eyed peas, dried, picked through and well rinsed
    4-5 whole garlic cloves, mashed
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    2-4 tablespoons water (optional)

    Soak the black-eyed peas in water at least 8 hours or overnight. Change water at least twice.

    Drain peas and rinse well. Rub off the outer husks with the black spots, saving the white beans. Combine the beans, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it forms a smooth paste adding water if needed. Adjust seasoning to taste.

    In a heavy skillet, heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat to 375º. Working in batches, scoop out one rounded tablespoon of the bean mixture and add to the oil, 5-6 at a time. Turn the fritters with a slotted spoon until they are puffed up and golden, about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet or the oil temperature will fall. Remove fritters from oil and drain on paper towels.

    Sprinkle with lime and serve.