Curried Sweet Potato Pancakes

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If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to stay away from fried and carb-laden foods. With the exception of desserts, I take more of a South Beach approach to cooking. But for Hanukkah, I cave in to tradition. Eating fried food is the whole point and these sweet potato pancakes — deliciously spiced with an aromatic blend of curry, cumin, ginger and cayenne pepper — are worth every bite. Obviously, they’re perfect for Hanukkah but don’t think of them just for that; they make a fabulous all-around fall or winter side dish.

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If you’re worried about the curry being too strong, I can tell you that the flavor is obvious without being overwhelming (and I say that as a person who likes her curry in small doses.) However, they’re a bit spicy and exotic-tasting so, unless you have adventurous eaters, I’d serve them to adults rather than children.

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Making them is simple: You start by grating a large sweet potato in your food processor (you can also use a hand grater). One potato might not seem like enough but it goes a long way.


Next, make the batter by combining your spices with flour, baking powder, salt, eggs and milk; then stir in your grated sweet potatoes and sliced scallions.


Drop heaping spoonfuls in hot oil and pan fry until crisp and golden, then drain on papertowels and serve immediately.

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You can also make them smaller and serve as hors d’oeuvres.

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Couldn’t be easier and so delicious…Enjoy!

(Photos for this post by my friend, Kyle Martell. Check out his beautiful work here.)

This recipe is adapted from Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan

Curried Sweet Potato Pancakes

Print Recipe
Servings: Makes about 16 3-inch pancakes
Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like heat)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Approximately 4 tablespoons milk
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Applesauce, optional for serving


  1. Coarsely grate sweet potatoes in a food processor (you can also use a hand grater). Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cayenne, curry powder, cumin, ginger, and salt in medium bowl and mix well. Add scallions, eggs, 4 tablespoons milk and sweet potatoes and stir to combine. Batter should be moist but not runny; if too stiff, add a tablespoon more milk at a time until consistency is right.
  3. Line a baking sheet with several paper towels and set next to stove. Heat ¼-inch of oil in large nonstick skillet until barely smoking. Drop heaping tablespoons (about 1/8 cup) in oil and flatten with back of spoon. Fry over medium-high heat several minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serve with applesauce if desired.
  4. *Ideally, these should sweet potato pancakes should be served right away. To reheat leftovers, place sweet potato pancakes on rack over baking sheet in 350 degree oven until hot and crisp.
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  • I’ve made something similar with zucchinis,but with sweet potatoes it sounds even better! I can’t wait to try these

  • Lana

    Made these last night for a Hanukkah party and they were absolutely delicious. Everyone asked for the recipe! Thanks :)

  • Gail Cohen

    I was worried the curry flavor would be too strong but it was just right. We loved them. Keep the recipes coming and Happy Chanukah!

  • The combination of sweet potatoes and spicy curry would be really good in pancakes like this!

  • The combination of sweet potatoes and spicy curry would be really good in pancakes like this!

  • S.L.

    We made your coconut tart in September and it was fantastic but closer to home I had a couple of friends over for dinner the other night and served you curried sweet potato cakes. Little did I know that they both love sweet potatoes and we all loved the recipe. I don’t usually serve anything that I haven’t previously made but I have never had a bad experience with your recipes so I gave it my best shot. (Immediately bought some more sweet potatoes the next day). Keep the good stuff coming. I know you will.

  • Erin

    When my fiance showed me this recipe, I thought he was nuts. Then I tried them and was instantly hooked! As were his parents and mine (we have made them a few times now!). Great with eggs and bacon.

  • Christine

    After making traditional latkes with a friend for Hanukkah, this recipe inspired me to try them with sweet potatoes. What a great snack this made on a cold winter day!

  • Lori

    The best potato pancakes– the mixture of curry and sweet potatoes makes a perfect combination! It is extremely easy and they make a statement at any party or dinner. My friends loved them so much that they keep asking me to make them again.

  • Hanna Hutcheson

    Wow, I love the curry flavor!

  • Delene

    Curry and sweet potatoes. Not flavors I would picture together, but it sounds so good I can’t wait to try it!

  • teri pastorino

    these are great comfort food. i love the flavor combination of the curry with the sweet potatoes.

  • Karen Pearson

    Could these be oven fried like your 2011 potato latke recipe?

    • Jenn


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