Sometimes I feel like I am on one of those cooking shows where you are given ingredients and equipment, and you have to figure out what to do with this stuff. I had two small sweet potatoes and one medium-sized carrot, already grated. For some reason, I thought of draniki, AKA deruny, famous Belarus potato pancakes. Belarus grows lots of potatoes – I don’t think they grow anything else – and consumes more potatoes than anyone else in the world, about 1/2 kilogram (1 lb) per person every day! No wonder they have gazillions of potato recipes, yet pancakes are still the all-time favorites. What if I tweak the standard recipe to make it healthy?
The first step was to substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes and grate them. They yielded about the same amount as my grated carrot (well, maybe a little more, but who is counting?). Next, instead of using white flour, I opted for spelt flour which eliminated gluten and added some protein. As I’ve confessed in my previous post Plump Banana Pancakes, I use eggs as a binding agent, but if you want to make it vegan, feel free to use any egg substitute you like. Then I thought about spicing it up. I have fallen in love with turmeric lately, and I am experimenting with it any chance I get. To further enhance the slightly minty flavor of turmeric, I added more fresh mint. Both are reputed to be very good for digestion, too. I recently had a comment regarding cinnamon in cabbage soup, so let me confess something else: listen, beautiful people, there comes time in everyone’s life when you start thinking about cholesterol, and no matter how healthy you have been eating all your life, some traits are generic, and cholesterol happens to be one of them. To offset that generic “sword of Damocles,” cinnamon comes to rescue. I stick it in practically everything! A splash of Blue Agave brings out the natural sweetness of both carrot and sweet potatoes. A pinch of baking powder, salt and pepper, and you are ready to go.
Just dump everything together into a bowl and mix well. My husband asked why I called them fritters rather then latkes, or pancakes. First of all, in my mind, latkes are prostokvasha-based while these are just grated veggies held together by an egg, with very little flour and crazy spices. Secondly, as I have already stated in Oriental Veggie Burgers, it’s my recipe, I call it whatever I want.
When mixed, it looks so brightly orange, that I almost called it Orange Fritters, but then readers might be misled into thinking of oranges as an ingredient, and there aren’t any, only beautiful colors of two healthy vegetables put together. You are ready to preheat a frying pan to medium and mist it with oil.
Drop large spoonfuls onto the frying pan and fry thoroughly on both sides. Do not overfry. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to blot excess oil.
Ready to serve – as breakfast, lunch, snack, or side dish. We had them as a side dish on Shabbos afternoon, instead of traditional boring kugel, and what a bright, colorful, sweet and spicy Shabbos it was!
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, grated (1 cup)
- 1 medium size carrot, grated (3/4 cup)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Grated turmeric or turmeric powder to taste
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grate potatoes and carrot. Finely grate turmeric.
- Add the rest of ingredients, mix well.
- Preheat frying pan to medium, mist with oil. Drop mix onto pan with large spoon.
- Fry thoroughly on both sides, about 5 minutes each, but do not overfry.
- Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, to blot out excess oil.
- Garnish with fresh greens.