Koose (Spicy Bean Cakes from Ghana)

Koose spicy bean cakes recipe Ghana

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 15 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
543 Calories
59g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15
Amount per serving
Calories 543
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 59g 76%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 157mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 8mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Koose is a popular street food in Ghana, and a similar variation is more popularly known as akara in much of West Africa. In fact, the origins of koose or akara are linked to the Hausa people, who are scattered across West Africa, but are mainly concentrated in Nigeria. Koose (kosai, akara, akla) is made from ground cowpeas or black-eyed peas.

For this recipe, you will need a pestle and mortar or a food processor, a blender, and a medium saucepan for deep-frying. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas (dried or cowpeas)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 inch piece  ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero pepper)
  • 1/2 cup water (to blend)
  • 1 level teaspoon salt (flaked sea salt)
  • 4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for koose
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Prepare the beans by soaking and de-hulling two days in advance.

    Soak beans
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Place the beans into a sturdy blender and begin to pulse until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of water at a time to facilitate the blending process.

    Place beans in blender
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Add the onion, ginger, and scotch bonnet pepper to the blender.

    Add onions
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Pulse until smooth.

    Pulse blender
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Add the sea salt flakes and mix them into the batter.

    Add sea salt
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Heat up the cooking oil in a small to medium-sized saucepan.

    Heat oil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Test the readiness of the oil by adding a shaved piece of ginger. If it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is hot enough.

    Test oil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Using a tablespoon to scoop the batter, spoon about five tablespoons of batter into the oil. You will see them puff up into round balls.

    Scoop batter
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Allow to fry for three to four minutes. Turn them halfway through to ensure they are evenly browned.

    Fry
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  11. Once cooked, scoop them out of the oil using a slotted spoon or spider, and allow to drain on a paper towel.

    Let dry on paper towels
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  12. Serve as a snack with hot pepper sauce or tomato gravy. You can also enjoy them the traditional Hausa breakfast way, with porridge known as hausa koko.

    Serve Koose
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  13. Enjoy!

Tip

  • To ease yourself into making koose with whole beans, start the process up to 2 days in advance of cooking by soaking and de-hulling the beans. You can then store them in the fridge or freezer until ready for use.

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