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Zoe’s Koose Fritters

Zoe Adjonyoh

In season now

Serves: 6

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 2-3 mins (longer if using dried beans)


For the fritters:

250g dry black eyed beans, or 2 x 400g tinned beans, drained

1/2 finely diced red onion

3-5 pieces of fresh okra

2 fresh red serrano chillies (use less or leave out for a milder flavour or for kids)

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

500ml cooking oil of your choice to fry

For the salsa:

500g (heritage) tomatoes

1 medium red onion, finely diced

add de-seeded and finely diced chillies to taste, I suggest 1 scotch bonnet for adults (leave out completely for children)

1/2 bunch roughly chopped coriander

pinch sea salt

pinch coarse ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

juice of a lemon

Veg Portions / Serving: 2


Recipe donated by Zoe Adjonyoh for Veg Power. Recipe from "Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen" by Zoe Adjonyoh. Photography by Nassima Rothacker |

These delicious vegan bean paste fritters (koose fritters) are also known as Akara, commonly eaten as a snack or breakfast food, but it has many variations. Black eyed beans are blended with spices, formed into patties and deep fried until golden to make this traditional snack. Here I’ve added texture with sliced okra and red Serrano chillies however you can swap for green bell peppers and omit the chillies if you’re heat sensitive. They make a fantastic canapé or party snack too.


While you can use tinned beans for this, I find that they are a little too soft to get the required texture I prefer – if you’re in the mood for a fast recipe though go with tinned! Otherwise boil the beans in lightly salted water until pinch soft, drain and set aside to cool.

Whilst cooling trim the stub end from the okra and guillotine or julienne slice. Dice the serrano chillies if using.

Once cooled, roughly mash the beans to break them up gently but not completely mash. Add the cornflour, cayenne, sea salt and rapeseed oil and mix gently before folding in the diced red onion first, then chilli, then okra. You want to keep the crunchy texture of the okra by adding it last. Once everything is mixed together shape the paste into quenelles or small plum sized balls.

Heat the oil to 160C in a deep pot. Test the temperature of the oil using a thermometer or gently drop some breadcrumbs into the oil – they should float to surface and crisp quickly.

Deep fry in batches until golden brown and drain on kitchen paper. Serve 2-3 pieces per portion hot over 4 tablespoons of scotch bonnet heritage salsa (for the adults) and garnish with a drizzle of avocado and mayo.

For the salsa: Mix all ingredients together – serve chilled.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Mashing the beans is great fun for kids, and after that they can measure the cornflour, cayenne, salt and oil and mix it all together. Children might also like to have a go at making the quenelle shapes or, if it’s easier, rolling the mixture into balls. Either way, these fritters will taste amazing. When you’re making the salsa, ask the kids to juice the lemon and mix everything together.



While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.



Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.



The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Zoe Adjonyoh

Zoe is bringing African food to the masses through her blog, restaurant ‘Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’ and cookbook of the same name.

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