I first made a potato rosti in my second year at uni.
I grated my finger, made a right mess of the only tea towel we had, and ended up with a pile of grated potato in the middle of my plate that, although delicious, left a lot to be desired appearance wise.
The second attempt was not a lot better. There were no finger fatalities and I sourced a cheese cloth as opposed to a tea towel, which worked a treat, but I still had real difficulty keeping them together in the pan. So I ended up with another plate of potato mess.
Which I gobbled right up. Obviously.
I never made them again after that. Mainly because I rarely have a potato going spare (I’m a huge mash fan!) but also because the previous attempts had been a right faff! Instead I’ve been sticking to ordering them in restaurants. Much easier.
However, as the mornings have been getting colder the craving for sweet potato rostis has been creeping in, but this time though, I’m prepared.
This time, I recipe developed the crap out of it.
And after two years potato rosti free, my kitchen finally saw some action! And oh my, are they good!
So what changed?
Well, I’ll tell you.
- I chopped the onion up small
Most rosti recipes suggest you thinly slice the onion, which can look great if done right. However, unless those strips are really teeny tiny, it can be a bit of a struggle to form tight little balls (not a euphemism) before frying. So I threw caution to the wind and DICED the onion instead. I know. Big day!
- I gave it a good squeeze
Potatoes have a surprising amount of liquid stored up in them and no one wants that rolling around in the pan. To guarantee a respectable rosti, you’ve got to get that water out. And to do that, you’ve gotta squeeze. I mean really squeeze. Squeeze until your hand cramps and your tea towel is ruined.
Oh and make sure you save it too – it would taste great stirred into some juiced apples or carrots and spiced with fresh ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.
- I added some flour.
If anything keeps those pesky little onion and sweet potato pieces together, it’s flour. It doesn’t have to be a lot and it doesn’t have to be a wheat flour, but if the veggies are your bricks then the flour is your cement.
Follow these three steps and you’ll have yourself a rosti to be proud of.
If only second-year-university Sam with her big pile of fried potato shavings could see me now. Rocking the rostis sweet-potato style.
To the recipe!
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 1 white onion, diced (or sliced, if you’re brave enough)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp flour – I used spelt flour, but you can use any preferred alternative
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 150g frozen peas
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Handful of mint, chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Chilli flakes (optional)
Makes 4-6 rostis, depending on size
- Place the sweet potato shavings into a cheesecloth or clean teatowel, wrap them up and squeeze out the water over a bowl. Continue to twist the material tighter and tighter until no more liquid leaks through.
- Pop the sweet potato shavings in a bowl and add the onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, flour and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Scoop up some of the mixture and squeeze together in the palm of your hands to make a tight, round ball. Repeat this process until you’ve got 4-6 sweet potato balls.
- Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and, once hot, pop the balls into the pan. Leave to cook for a minute or so, then use a spatula to press down hard on the top of each one to form a thin round rosti.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes on each side, pressing down with the spatula every now and then so they sizzle, and tucking any stray pieces of onion or potato back into the rosti with a spoon.
- Meanwhile, microwave the peas as per the packet instructions, drain and pop into a bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil, the mint and a good pinch of salt and pepper, then mash slightly with a fork. Set aside.
- Once the rostis have softened and are bronzed all over, remove them from the pan and pop onto a plate. Top with the minted peas, avocado and a pinch of chilli flakes.