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.
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.
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.
You can also make them smaller and serve as hors d’oeuvres.
Couldn’t be easier and so delicious…Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan
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Curried Sweet Potato Pancakes
- 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
- Coarsely grate sweet potatoes in a food processor (you can also use a hand grater). Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- *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.