Curried Sweet Potato Pancakes

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These sweet potato pancakes — deliciously spiced with a blend of curry, cumin, ginger and cayenne pepper — are worth every bite.

Plate of curried sweet potato pancakes.

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.

Shredded sweet potatoes in a food processor.

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.

Curry powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and ground ginger on a counter.

How to make curried sweet potato pancakes

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.

Person putting shredded sweet potato into a bowl.

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.

Spatula stirring sweet potato mixture.

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

Spatula grabbing a curried sweet potato pancake from a lined baking sheet.

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

Plate of curried sweet potato pancakes.

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

These sweet potato pancakes — deliciously spiced with a blend of curry, cumin, ginger and cayenne pepper — are worth every bite.

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


  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant ¼ 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 ⅛ 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.
  5. Note: Nutritional information was calculated assuming that approximately 2 tablespoons of the oil are absorbed into the pancakes when frying.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 pancakes
  • Calories: 139
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 219 mg
  • Cholesterol: 47 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Simplicity at it’s finest! If you like sweet potatoes and warming spices, this is the recipe for you. At Jenn’s suggestion to another reviewer, I served them with cucumber raita sauce she linked in her reply. It was so delicious with the cool creamy sauce against the warm fried sweet potato pancake. We had them as an appetizer before enjoying a bowl of Mulligatawny soup, which btw was another home run here! I shared with neighbors and they went crazy for it, as Indian food is their favorite cuisine. This is the first place I come to when I want to try something different, because well…Jenn is just amazing and never disappoints! Thanks for sharing your talents with us all Jenn, you rock!!

    • — Candice on February 29, 2024
    • Reply
  • These were amazing, thank you! The whole family really enjoyed them.

    • — Mattie on December 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Making as an appetizer for Passover at a vegetarian Seder – suggestions for a dipping sauce? Please advise. Thanks, and yes i’ll sub flour with potato starch.

    • — Lauren on April 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, this would pair nicely with raita. I don’t have a raita recipe, but this one looks good (please keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself). Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on April 3, 2023
      • Reply
  • I am not a fan of sweet potato. Can I use yams instead???

    • — Elaine on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on December 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • These were absolutely delicious as part of our Hanukkah celebration! In fact, they were so good, we made them again after the holiday as a side dish at dinner. They taste a bit like an appetizer you might order at an excellent Indian restaurant. Highly recommended!

  • They take awhile to make, but they are so worth it. They are even good cold the next day, or so our toddler says.

  • I absolutely love this recipe, Jen! I make it 4x a a time, cook up 2T portions–on a nonstick surface with just a light spray of oil, then freeze them in bags. I pull them out whenever I feel they’d augment a salad, a fish stirfry, or anything else, and they’re just as delicious as they were when new! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • YUM! A new take on a childhood classic potato latke (my Nan was of Polish descent and a “firm believer” in deep frying). The curry favor was a perfect addition to sweet potatoes and not over powering. I am always looking for a new recipe for sweet potatoes, this will definitely be put in my archives.

  • These were fantastic!!! Served with cucumber/yogurt sauce. Really great mix of spices that would actually go well with several different foods. I did use Bob’s 5 in 1 flour (for gluten free) and almond milk – I only used 3 T. As usual, another great recipe by you – I haven’t found one yet that wasn’t a hit with my family – thank you!

  • Jenn – This looks great. Do you think I can substitute something for the milk – oat, cashew or almond milk perhaps? I have a vegan to accommodate (I will use an egg substitute as well). Thanks.

    • Sure, Kathy, I think a non-dairy milk will work here. Hope you enjoy!

  • Delicious! I was hesitant about the flavor combination but this was delicious, it was perfect, fried in canola oil. Thank you.

  • Yum. I love potato pancakes and Indian food. This is the perfect combo of flavours. I didn’t have a scallion so I substituted a finely chopped small yellow onion, and I grilled them on a griddle with cooking spray. Topped with a dollop of sour cream. Heavenly. Thanks for the recipe! I’m afraid there were no leftovers to serve tomorrow.

  • Can these be “fried” the same way as the oven fried potato latkes? I’m loving the ease of sheet pan cooking! Thank you

  • Hello,
    Can you freeze these curried sweet potato pancakes

    • Yes, Elaine, I think that would work. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, I love this recipe! But I’m trying to eat a little healthier now, so I want to cut out the frying and flour. Do you think it would work well to roast sweet potatoes tossed in these spices with some olive oil? Would you include the scallions? Thanks!

    • So just to clarify, Tamara, you just want to make diced roasted potatoes, not potato pancakes, right? If so, yes, I think it would work! (I’d suggest adding the scallions after taking the potatoes out of the oven. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • Outstanding! I made 1/2 roasted in a 400 degree convection oven and 1/2 fried. The taste on both was fabulous…fried is way better. A hit.

  • Excellent! Delicious. I used with Land-O-Lakes gf flour and they were just fine.
    Would it be a problem to make this batter a day in advance?

    • Hi Judy, Glad you enjoyed! You can make the batter a day in advance; just leave out the baking powder and stir it in right before cooking. Also, be sure to cover well by placing a piece of plastic wrap directly over the batter so the potatoes don’t discolor.

      • Hi! I’m making this tomorrow and prepping today. Did you bake the sweet potato before grating it or blending it? Thanks!

        • Hi Chloe, No it is grated raw. Hope you enjoy!

  • I made the Curried Sweet Potatoe latkas last night and my husband and I both loved them. My kids though, were not fans of the curry flavor. They like the taste of the basic fried latka better. How would you adjust this recipe to make regular sweet potatoe latkas without curry?

    • — Cassie Rappaport
    • Reply
    • Hi Cassie, I would just omit the spices.

  • OMG, these are delcious.

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

    • Absolutely!

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

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

  • Wow, I love the curry flavor!

    • — Hanna Hutcheson
    • Reply
  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    • — Kevin (Closet Cooking)
    • Reply
  • The combination of sweet potatoes and spicy curry would be really good in pancakes like this!

    • — Kevin (Closet Cooking)
    • Reply
  • 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!

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

  • I’ve made something similar with zucchinis,but with sweet potatoes it sounds even better! I can’t wait to try these

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