Sweet Potato and Apricot Croquettes

I've been rather occupied of late with various projects, distractions and interests, including a rekindled passion for my classic guitar. Battered fingertips and cramping left hand are my punishment for shamefully neglecting this beautiful instrument for the past two years. As there are only so many hours in a day at one's disposal, and sleep is one of the activities I enjoy, this means I have less time to devote to other passions, like cooking, cookbooks and food blog browsing.

Of course, the art of cooking and good nourishment is never far from my mind, and so my interest was piqued when I read that Allen of Eating Out Loud was exploring the delights of Turkish cuisine. Like Allen, I don't know all that much about Turkish culinary traditions, though I've enjoyed all the dishes I have prepared and regularly read Almost Turkish Recipes.

A big thanks to Allen for purchasing a copy of The Food and Cooking of Turkey and for noting and sharing his adapted version of these tender shallow fried rolls that I successfully adapted and enjoyed with friends. Slightly sweet, but also a little tart, with a hint of herbs, I served them alongside a mixed green salad splashed with Lemon Mint Dressing for a delightfully satisfying light meal.

Sweet Potato and Apricot Rolls with Mint Yogurt Sauce

For the Mint Sauce:

1 cup of plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup of finely minced fresh mint
juice from one small lemon

For the Rolls:

1 medium sweet potato
1 cup of cooked chickpeas (1/3 cup dried)
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup of dried apricots, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 - 2 fresh red chillies (or cayenne peppers), finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh dill, finely chopped
lots of freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1/2 - 1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of unbleached white flour
oil for frying (I used peanut oil)

Whisk together the ingredients for the Mint Sauce and refrigerate.

Peel the sweet potato, cut into slices, place in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and cook until soft. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl, along with the cooked chickpeas. Mash the chickpeas and sweet potato together until well combined.

Stir in the green onions, apricots, pine nuts, red chili, dill, basil and salt and pepper. Now stir in the egg. Add the cornmeal and 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. Add more breadcrumbs until the mixture is slightly moist and holds together.

Shape into roughly 3" long croquettes. Roll each portion in the flour.

In a heavy frying pan or pot, heat roughly 1/2 inch of oil over medium high heat. When it is hot, put the rolls in the oil, and fry for roughly 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the rolls every few minutes so they evenly brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve with the mint yogurt sauce.

Yields roughly 14 - 16 croquettes.
Other Turkish recipes from Lisa's Kitchen you might enjoy:

Wilted Spinach with Pine Nuts and Lemon Yogurt Dressing
Turkish Yogurt Hummus
Feta and Olive Scones
Turkish Barley and Apricot Porridge
Turkish Sour Cherry Pilaf


MapMaster said...

Indescribably good. I could eat these every week of my life.

Usha said...

This looks scrumptious...crunchy and tasty..love it :)

Allen of EOL said...

I was going through my reader and clicked into your post and thought, "hey, these look familiar" :-) Glad to see you tried them -- they look wonderful!

Astra Libris said...

ooohh, what a beautiful dish!!

Susan said...

OMG! Just OMG...

Bellini Valli said...

I love Turkish dishes:D

OhioMom said...

I love this dish, I may have to play with the herbs/spices but I am definitely trying this one :)

Holler said...

These just look so good Lisa and I would never have thought of adding apricots. Lovely recipe :)

Anu said...

Thanks, Lisa,

Nice to hear from you again! Pizza toppings are so much fun, aren’t they?! Reminds me of all the good times we’d participate in pizza making as a child..:)

These croquettes look fabulous-will be trying them out myself. :)

Hope all is well with you.


Mike of Mike's Table said...

This look delicious! I never would have thought of anything like it but I know for sure I would love it. I'll have to try these soon--the sauce seems like a great complement to it.

Johanna said...

these sound great - I love dried apricots with anything - and the mint dipping sauce sounds like a perfect accompaniment

Nidhu said...

hi....these croquettes looks so mouth watering.....i'll definitely try these
i have a quest..are the eggs important in this recipe...because me and my husband dont eat eggs so i was wondering if I can eliminate the eggs part or substitute it with something else ...

Lisa said...


The egg helps to hold the mixture together, but as there is only one used, you might try adding some olive oil or a few tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with a few tablespoons of water.

Kevin said...

I like the sweet aspect to these croquettes.