Sweet Potato and Chickpea Fritters from Soweto

"This is served as a starter in a 4 star hotel in Soweto. This hotel succeeds in combining international sophistication with traditional African foods. It is originally a recipe from North Africa. The hotel serves it in fine-dining fashion as a starter, garnished with cilantro and chakalaka. (Soweto is the sprawling African township on the edge of Johannesburg. Chakalaka, which we usually buy canned, is a combo of tomatoes, green hot peppers and spices. Use a hot Mexican-type salsa instead). Recipe from Food & Home, Aug 2008."
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Ready In:




  • Cook the sweet potato until soft, about 10 - 15 minutes, then drain.
  • In a bowl, combine the sweet potato, chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix to a paste.
  • Sprinkle flour over little by little, and work into the paste. Add black pepper to taste.
  • Roll the fritters into balls in your palm (small balls), then flatten them.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan. Shallow-fry the fritters until cooked through and golden, about 3 - 4 minutes on each side.
  • Drain on paper towels. Serve hot, on warmed plates, with a garnish of cilantro and chakalaka or hot salsa.

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  1. This was sooooo very good! Very easy to make. I increased the recipe to 10 servings and I had difficulty getting it to the consistency of being able to roll it in my hand. It was like trying to roll mashed potatoes. I added a lot more flour and still couldn't get it to roll in my hand. Next time I will not add any more flour and just plop it in the pan. I made a Peri Peri sauce to go with it. They were gobbled up in seconds.


I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
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