In a heavy saucepan or deep-fryer, heat about 2 inches of oil to 375°.
Grate the sweet potatoes into medium-sized bowl; cover them with boiling water and let them stand for 15 minutes. Drain off the water and slowly add the flour, egg, salt and pepper, stirring to make sure that they are well mixed. You should have a thick paste that will hold its shape when picked up in a tablespoon. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of warm water. If it is too thin, add a bit more flour.
Drop the mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, into the hot oil and cook the fritters for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they float to the surface, turning them once to make sure that they are slightly browned on each side. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.
Adapted from a recipe by Elizabeth Softky from The Washington Post 12/20/95 as posted by R. Crockett
Serves 6 to 8.
The sweet potato fritters that begin this night's menu are a South African invention. They, like variations of this dish throughout the continent, combine the sweet potato, a New World tuber, with an African culinary technique.
One of the tricks to great fritters is to use clean oil and to make sure that the oil is hot enough before beginning. These fritters can be accompanied by a spicy hot sauce when served as an appetizer course. Alternatively, they can be lightly dusted with sugar and served as a dessert.