You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate a good latke; I’m a fan, particularly of the sweet potato variety. I recently came across a recipe for curried sweet potato latkes, which are out of this world, if I do say so. I haven’t tried them with applesauce, but a glob of sour cream has a wonderful cooling effect with the hot, slightly spicy and intensely flavorful latkes. Hanukkah or not, these are going to make it into my regular potato rotation. They’d be as appropriate at brunch as at dinner, and would make a delicious side for any east Indian meal.
The recipe came from Jewish Cooking in America via Epicurious, but with changes — I dialed down the sugar as well as the flour and milk; I figured the potatoes were plenty sweet, and I like a more potato-y than doughy latke. Tossing the grated potatoes (don’t bother peeling them — many of the nutrients and much of the fiber is contained in the skin) with flour is my regular method (I say this as if I make latkes all the time — really it’s just the way I’ve done it in the past, and I like the way it works), so I did it the same way, tossing the seasonings in there as well. It works great. The thinner you flatten them in the hot skillet — within reason — the crispier they’ll get. I love using my well-seasoned cast iron skillet to make these.
Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
If you like, add some grated onion or chopped green onions to the grated sweet potato. A tart apple might go nicely, too.
1 medium dark-fleshed sweet potato
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
salt & pepper
1 large egg, beaten with a fork
1/4 cup milk
Canola oil, for cooking
Coarsely grate the sweet potato (don’t bother peeling it) using the coarse side of a box grater. Place in a bowl and sprinkle the flour, curry powder, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper over top; toss with a fork or your fingers to coat. Add the egg and milk and stir to combine well.
Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet set over medium heat; drop spoonfuls of the batter in and flatten them almost as much as you can. Don’t crowd the pan — depending on the size of your skillet, cook a couple or a few at a time. Cook until golden and crisp on both sides, flipping and adding extra oil as necessary. Serve warm, with sour cream or applesauce. Makes lots.