What’s orange and crispy? Sweet potato latkes! Just in time for Hanukkah, this healthy-ish twist on a traditional holiday dish is a tasty way to up the holiday cheer.
I love this time of year, when Hanukkah candles blaze in the windows and twinkle lights sparkle from trees and lampposts. All of a sudden the darkness goes from scary unknowns to something beautiful.
Several months ago, while cleaning my room, I stumbled across a shoebox filled with photos. I proceeded to spend a few hours sorting through them and organizing them into a album to hold my memories. Among them were some pictures from Hanukkah one year, as my parents help my brothers and me light the candles because we weren’t old enough to do it ourselves yet.
Last year I was actually in Spain for part of Hanukkah, which was a crazy experience. My friend and I joined all the Jews in Barcelona for a massive menorah lighting ceremony amid ancient buildings in the city. The square was packed with all manner of people singing Hanukkah songs and enjoying sufganiyot, the traditional jelly doughnuts of the holiday.
Another traditional food are potato latkes. French fries got nothing on these. All you need are grated potatoes, eggs, some flour, and (of course) oil. Lots and lots of oil.
I don’t remember the last time I had a latke. It may have been three years ago, when I was taking a gap year before college. I mean, it’s basically impossible to be in Israel and not have latkes and sufganiyot on Hanukkah. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be enjoying latkes in my immediate future.
This time we’re keeping it short, just like this recipe. The candles still need lighting, songs need singing, potatoes need frying, and finals are looming ever closer. So go take a minute to savor a crispy latke or two. Go spin a dreidel. Watch the flames twinkling above the menorah. And have a happy Hanukkah!
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
- ¾ tsp coarse kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- Wash and grate the potato into shoestring-like pieces.*
- In a mixing bowl, combine it with the flour, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well to make sure everything is distributed evenly.
- Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a medium flame. Once hot, drop scant quarter cups of potato mixture, flattening into thin latkes. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until browned, then flip and cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to cool slightly. Add more oil to the pan for each batch of latkes.
- Best served immediately.