Delicious Pumpkin Fritters
The New Wife and Anna
Once upon a time in Africa, I was a newly married farm wife. With an appalling lack of knowledge concerning my new job, I had plenty to learn. One of the traditional recipes essential to my new role of a farmer’s wife was for – pumpkin fritters – an old South African favorite. One of the crops raised on the farm were pumpkins and we always had an abundance.
My co-conspirator in all things domestic was Anna, a motherly, middle aged, North Sotho lady. Fortunately, she had absolutely no respect for all my fancy Cordon Bleu training. Tutting over my lack of practical kitchen education, she taught me how to make these and many other basics.
What Anna didn’t know was supplemented by the community of local farmer’s wives. Sweet potatoes are used in the traditional African Recipe – Ntomo Krakro.
Cooking is a great leveler; connecting with others over simmering pots of food eased the way into my new life. If you like sweet potatoes, you’ll love these but the butternut or pumpkin fritters are simply the best.
Before You Die Make This Recipe
These traditional fried cakes are great with stews but they’re also yummy with a braai (BBQ). When made with sweet potatoes, the cakes are crumbed and fried for a savory side dish.
If you are using pumpkin or butternut, the fritters are dusted with flour before frying. These are served by themselves as a light supper or sweet dish and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. M’s favorite is a squeeze of lemon over the cinnamon sugar to sharpen the flavor. After much trial and error, I prefer butternut squash as it has a lower glycemic index and is less watery than pumpkin.
Ntomo Krakro – Sweet Potato (or Butternut, or Pumpkin) Fritters
What You Need
- 4 sweet potatoes or 4 – 5 Cups cooked and mashed butternut or pumpkin (2 lbs or 1 kg)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T flour
- 2 T butter or fat, melted
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Water (or milk if preferred)
- Bread crumbs or flour for coating
- Oil for frying
What You do
Peel your sweet potatoes, (yams, pumpkin or butternut) and cut into rough chunks. Boil or steam until soft and mash. Beat eggs with the flour, butter and salt and mix in the cooled, mashed vegetables; then add enough liquid to make a soft-ish dough.
You want to be able to form the dough into flat cakes, a bit smaller and thinner than an English muffin. If you like, you can dip the formed cakes into a beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. This is traditionally done to the fritters when using sweet potatoes or yams.
Leave this step out if using pumpkin or butternut and lightly dust the cakes with some flour before frying as follows: Fry in hot fat/oil until golden brown and cooked through.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.
If made with pumpkin or butternut squash, serve with cinnamon sugar and lemon wedges as a light meal or sweet dish.
Enjoy and don’t let on it’s only vegetables…
An empty belly is the best cook. ~ Estonian Proverb