Crisp sweet potato pancakes paired with hummus and a moreish salad of kale, cucumber, preserved lemon makes a perfect little entrée or light meal. It’s also pretty impressive picnic fare – just keep the latkes, salad and hummus separate and let everyone assemble their own.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (65 votes)


  • 1 red capsicum
  • 60 ml olive oil, for cooking
  • 40 g (¼ cup) black sesame seeds, toasted


  • 700 g grated sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 3 tsp table salt
  • good pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 eggs
  • 80 g (½ cup) rice flour


  • 300 g cooked chickpeas
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • good pinch of mild smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • 360 ml olive oil

Middle Eastern salad

  • ½ bunch kale, leaves stripped from the stems, blanched and pat dried
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced, rinsed and pat dried
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut lengthways into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler
  • ¼ preserved lemon, flesh discarded, rind thinly sliced and finely chopped
  • large handful parsley and mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the capsicum on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until blistered. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the skin and seeds and thinly slice the flesh.

Meanwhile, to make the latkes, place the sweet potato, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and ground clove in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage all the ingredients together, then stand for 3-4 minutes. Squeeze out and discard the excess liquid and place in a bowl. Add the eggs and rice flour, combine well, then shape into 5 patties. Refrigerate until ready to fry.

To make the hummus, place the chickpeas, lime juice and tahini in a blender and process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. The consistency should be like a thick dipping sauce. If necessary, add a little extra oil.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frypan over low heat. Cook the patties on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

To make the Middle Eastern salad, place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.

To serve, top the latkes with salad, a little sliced red capsicum, a dollop of hummus and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. If you’re serving this for a picnic, make things simpler and just toss the capsicum and sesame seeds through the salad.


Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel. Recipe courtesy of Karl Gibson of Ootong & Lincoln, Perth.


Tune into the SBS 2 Broadcast of Tropfest at 8:30pm on Sunday December 7.