Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes
The flavors in this dish are commonly found in Ethiopian cooking. Teff is the smallest cultivated grain in the world that grows in the mountains of Ethiopia and it also happens to be gluten-free. This is a high nutrient dish that could easily serve as an entrée with fruit sauce and Greek yogurt or sour cream. Kids love the color and taste too! This recipe inspires kitchen conversations. Talk about the story of Chanukah and its use of oil. Do you think Ethiopians told this story to their children? Why would they? Why would they not tell this story? What other vegetables can you add in place of the potato or carrot to create your own holiday treat? Write down your ideas to make another time.
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
- ½ pound carrots, peeled
- 1 small onion, cut into eighths
- 1 large clove garlic, cut into 3 pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 15 grindings of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- ½ teaspoon dried or fresh oregano, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried or fresh basil, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- ¼-1/3 cup teff flour or ground flaxseed
- Canola or peanut oil for frying
- Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)
- Cut the sweet potatoes and carrots into 1 ½ inch chunks and grate them using the fine grating disk on a processor or using the larger holes on a hand grater. Set aside in a 3-quart bowl.
- Place onion and garlic pieces in a processor work bowl with the metal blade. Pulse the machine on and off until the onions are finely chopped. Return half of the potato/carrot mixture to the processor and pulse on and off about 5 times to combine the ingredients. Empty mixture into the bowl with the rest of the sweet potatoes and carrots. If you don’t have a processor, grate the onion first and chop some of the potato carrot mixture into a fine chop.
- To the mixture, add the spices and eggs and ¼ cup of the teff or ground flaxseed to the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Add a little more grain if mixture seems too loose and watery. Do not make the mixture too firm or finished product will be dry and heavy.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle for 20 seconds. Add enough oil to totally cover the bottom of the pan. Heat oil for 10 seconds. Each time before you scoop up some of the mixture, mix contents of bowl. Drop 2 tablespoons of potato/carrots into the hot pan to form each latke. Repeat with more mixture to fill pan but do not over crowd. When bottoms of pancakes are golden, gently turn them over using two slotted spatulas. When golden on the second side remove to a plate that is covered with crumpled paper towels, which gives you more surface area to absorb the excess oil on the latkes than just laying down multiple sheets of paper. Younger children love to do this step and feel like they are helping out. Proceed with the remaining mixture. Serve plain or with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.