Indian Sweet Potato Pancakes with Curry and Cumin | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Indian Sweet Potato Pancakes with Curry and Cumin

Indian Sweet Potato Pancakes with Curry and Cumin

Indian Sweet Potato Pancakes with Curry and Cumin (Jennifer Abadi)

Serves 8 to 10 / Makes About 3 ½ Dozen Three-inch Pancakes

1 hr

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About the Recipe:

On Chanukkah it is customary to eat fried foods to commemorate the oil that miraculously lasted for eight nights instead of one. What Chef Jennifer Abadi loves about this Indian inspired recipe is that it utilizes sweet potatoes in place of the common Ashkenazic latke made with white potatoes. The natural sweet flavor marks the Jewish victory over their oppressors, while the addition of curry, cumin and cayenne adds a spiciness that recalls the bitterness of oppression.

Chef Jennifer Abadi:

Jennifer Abadi wrote and illustrated her first cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils based upon recipes and stories from her family. Her second cookbook, Too Good To Passover, focuses on Sephardic and Middle Eastern recipes, traditions, and memories for Passover. Jennifer will be teaching Eight Treats for Eight Lights: Around the World for Hanukkah, which includes this recipe, on November 29 at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. 

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For Pancakes:

1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash cayenne pepper

2½ teaspoons curry powder

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup whole milk, soy milk, or water

For Frying:

½ to ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil (for frying)

For Serving:

Applesauce or apple butter

2 large ripe mangoes, cut into small cubes

Sour cream

Ground cinnamon


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cayenne pepper, curry powder, cumin, salt and black pepper.

2. Add the eggs and milk to the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter.

3. Add the potatoes and mix (the batter should be moist but not runny).

4. Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drop 1 tablespoon of the batter into the hot skillet (if the mixture does not sizzle immediately then allow the oil to get a little hotter before adding more). Continue in this manner so that you are frying 4 to 6 pancakes at a time (depending upon the size of your skillet). Continue to cook over medium-high heat for several minutes until all of the pancakes are a dark brown on each side. Place fried pancake onto a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

5. Serve hot sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon and cubed mango chunks or a dollop of applesauce, apple butter, and/or sour cream on the side.

©Jennifer Abadi