Ethiopian Carrot/Sweet Potato Latkes-Gluten free!

This recipe pays homage to the Ancient Beta Israel Jewish community using the flavors and foods that are present in Ethiopia.  They didn’t eat latkes for Hanukkah but the grain used for Injera bread, Teff, is gluten-free and this recipe was created for my readers who wanted to share in the culinary tradition of the holiday without having to forego latkes.  If you can’t find Teff, ground flaxseed (also gluten-free) can be substituted.

Ethiopian LatkesGluten-free  Carrot/Sweet Potato Latkes

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 oregano, or ½ Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil-or ½ Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 large eggs

½ cup teff seeds, or ground flaxseed

Canola or peanut oil for frying


  1. 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.
  2.  Place onion and garlic pieces in a processor workbowl with the metal blade. Pulse the machine on and off until the onions are finely chopped. Return ½ of the potato/carrot mixture to the processor workbowl and pulse on and off about 5 times to combine the ingredients. Empty mixture into a 3 quart bowl. (NOTE: if you don’t have a processor, grate the onion and chop some of the potato carrot mixture into a fine chop.)
  3. Add the spices and the eggs and teff to the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4.  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.
  5.  Stir contents of bowl every time before you scoop some of the mixture. Drop 2 Tablespoons of potato/carrots in to the hot pan. Repeat with more mixture to fill pan but do not over crowd.
  6. When bottoms of pancakes are golden, gently turn them over using a slotted spatula and another utensil. When golden on the second side remove to a plate that is covered with crumpled paper towels.
  7.  Proceed with the remaining mixture.
  8.  Serve plain or with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.


Tina’s Tidbits:

  1.  Sweet potatoes do not have the same amount of starch as white potatoes so there is no need to rinse them after grating like I normally suggest with white potatoes
  2.  Gluten-free Teff is the smallest cultivated grain in the world. It has a mild, slightly molasses-like sweetness that complements many vegetables besides those in this recipe
  3. Teff flour has to be commercially ground because of its minute size. The flour is the basis for Injera bread eaten in Ethiopia
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