Effects of water level (56, 58 and 60%) and hydration time (0, 30, and 60 min) on apparent viscosity of cowpea paste and physical-sensory attributes of akara, a finished food made from paste, were determined. Water level had a greater effect than hydration time on paste viscosity and on crude fat content, shear force, lightness (L), and saturation index (ΔE) of akara. Apparent viscosity of cowpea paste was the only parameter significantly affected by the interaction of water level and hydration time. Overall, the 60% water level produced paste with flow properties and akara with physical characteristics most like the traditional product. Sensory attributes of mealased products were acceptable.