Latkes – Potato Pancakes

Latkes and Menorah

Latkes and Menorah

Happy Hanukkah! One of the many traditional Hanukkah dishes are potato pancakes known as latkes, which are often eaten with an accompaniment of sour cream and apple sauce, balancing sweet and savory tastes at the same time!

I love potatoes. They are my major weakness (dramatic, I know). If you gave me a bag of potato chips, I probably wouldn’t be able to stop eating them. Potatoes in other forms are also equally delicious, so needless to say,  I was pretty excited when I first had latkes!

To make latkes, you can either shred the potatoes leaving their natural texture (similar to hash browns) or blend the entire mixture to form a batter. A Google search reveals that there is quite a debate regarding whether the potatoes should be shredded or blended. While I’m not a latke connoisseur, I personally prefer the blended version because the taste and texture are so different from hash browns. This recipe for latkes is from my soon-to-be mother-in-law and is absolutely delicious! For this recipe, she blends all the ingredients together to form a pourable batter. The resulting latkes are crispy on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside!

Latkes

Latkes with sour cream and apple sauce

In India, we have a potato snack dish called “Aloo tikkis” that are patties made from mashed potatoes along with peas, onions and spices and deep fried into golden potato goodness! So, of course I couldn’t resist, I had to make some spicy latkes! A touch of cilantro, garam masala and chili powder did the trick and with a side of tamarind-date chutney and cilantro-sour cream, they were transformed into tikki-latkes! Lat-ikkis?

Desi Latkes

Desi Latkes with tamarind-date chutney and cilantro-sour cream

Both versions were delicious! Enjoy!

Notes: While I haven’t personally tried this, I imagine if you would like to leave out the eggs it would still turn out OK. Maybe a little more dense in texture without the fluffiness that eggs provide. Also, making latkes uses up a lot of oil! Make sure to drain them really well on paper towels before eating! You can also place them in the oven to keep them warm and crispy while you are preparing the whole batch! If you want to scale this recipe up, the potato:egg ratio is 2:1.

Ingredients (makes around 20 latkes)

2 russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 egg
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper to taste

Serve with a side of apple sauce and sour cream

Desitarian version:
chopped cilantro, chili powder and garam masala to taste
Serve with tamarind-date chutney and cilantro sour cream

Method:

  • Combine potatoes, onions and egg in a blender and puree to form a batter.
  • Transfer to a bowl, and add flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and mix.
  • Heat some canola or vegetable oil in a flat bottomed pan.
  • Drop spoonfuls of potato batter into hot oil and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on medium heat (so they don’t burn).
  • Flip the pancakes over and let them cook an additional 2 minutes till golden brown on that side.
  • Remove the latkes using a slotted spatula and drain them well on paper towels.

    Latkes

    Latkes

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