Soak the beans overnight in cold water, changing the water once. Rub the beans between the palms of your hands to free the outer skins, which should float to the surface. Scoop off the skins and discard. Drain the beans.
Puree the beans and onion in a food processor. Season with the chil and salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350 degrees F.
Using 2 soup spoons, form the bean mixture into small egg shapes. Press a dried shrimp into the center of each one, and press the bean mixture round to secure it. The shrimp should still stand proud. Fry the fritters in the hot oil in small batches until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven until they are all fried.
Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright