Nigerian kosai (also called akara) are delicious bean cakes comparable to falafel. These fluffy fried fritters are made from black eyed peas pureed with onions and hot peppers and often served by street vendors.

Here’s a spin on the recipe from our very own Marie Anne Daguidam (most people just call her Anna).

Nigerian Kosai (Bean Cakes)

Photo Credit: Aboutkam Wikimedia Commons


  • 1 Cup Black eyed peas
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Habañeros or hot red peppers
  • 1 Small Stock cube or ½ of a big cube
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying).


  • Soak beans in water overnight
    This is to ease removal of the bean coats, and to shorten cooking time. It may also increase the nutritional value and ease of digestion.
  • Wash beans/remove bean coats
    I leave some on because the coats are high in fiber. Plus it is almost impossible to get every coat off the beans.
  • When the beans are clean and ready, coarsely chop onion and pepper to add to the beans and blend these three ingredients together into a puree.
    Eye the level of water you add to the mixture to prevent it from being too runny so that kosai can form/hold together in hot oil.
  • After blending, mix well for 10-11 minutes in an anti-clockwise direction
    Doing this fluffs up the batter, making a fluffy and lighter kosai.
  • Add salt and break and spread stock cube into the batter and mix.
    Only mix for a few mins so that your batter is not watery. Also taste for salt and add as needed.
    This is a good time to heat your vegetable oil for frying.
  • Use a spoon (small or medium) to pour the batter to fry. Make sure the heat isn’t too high so that your kosai is cooked on the inside and not burning on the outside.
  • Fry until golden brown.
  • Serve while warm and enjoy!
    Tastes even better when eaten with hot sauce or finely ground dry pepper.

Recipe by Marie Anne (Anna) Daguidam.

A Bit About Anna: Anna was born to a missionary couple in Cameroon, but grew up in Nigeria and considers herself a Nigerian. Since then, her family has also lived in Niger, and Sierra Leon.

She came to Omaha, Nebraska to learn Intercultural studies and in the Spring of 2015 she came to HEART as part of her degree. “I wanted to know how to preach Christ, but also live Christ, and see people’s whole lives changed.” Anna says about why she came to HEART.

Now an alumnus, she works in the HEART front office helping Adrienne Hanrahan manage phone calls, mail, logistics, and paperwork.

Let us know how your kosai turned out in the comments section below or on social media! Also, tell us if you want to see more “How To” articles from us. If you want to find out more about HEART and the lives we impact check out our About HEART page.