Spicy or Sweet, it’s Time for Latkes

Every year, my kids ask, “What do latkes have to do with Hanukkah?” And every year,  I relate the story of the Miracle of the Oil in the Temple.

But faced with the eating of latkes and donuts all week, they forget the Miracle all over again.But, let’s face it, one of the best things about Hanukkah is that one gets to eat oily food with impunity. Each year, I try to come up with an exciting new recipe for latkes, the potato pancakes that are commonly consumed during this holiday.

Half a grated zucchini added to this recipe may not make a difference to the taste of the latkes, but will certainly help the conscience 😉

I tried a new latke this year, made of sweet potato with chopped rosemary and caramelized onions – see the recipe further below.  And later in the week, we’ll also be making donuts. If you like the jam-filled ones, there’s a recipe for them right here.

  • potatoes, 3 large
  • shallots, 3 medium
  • green chili, one, chopped finely
  • ginger, 1 tsp, grated
  • cumin seeds, 1 1/2 tsp, toasted
  • cilantro, 1 handful, chopped finely
  • eggs, 2, beaten
  • plain flour, 2 tbsp
  • cornmeal, 1 tbsp
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, a few grinds of
  1. Peel the potatoes, grate them and soak in very cold water
  2. Drain and keep aside to dry out
  3. Peel the onions and chop or mince in a food processor
  4. Saute the onions, garlic, ginger, chili and cumin, till fragrant. Keep aside
  5. Combine flour, potato, onion mixture, eggs, salt, pepper and flour
  6. Preheat a large pan of canola oil (filling about 1/3 of the pan)
  7. Drop the potato mixture by tablespoonfuls into the oil, over medium heat
  8. Cook the cakes about 3 minutes a side, or till golden brown
  9. Remove with slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil
  10. Serve immediately with sour cream or apple sauce. Or Thai chilli sauce if you like going against the grain!

For the sweet potato latkes:

  • sweet potato, 1 large one, grated
  • potatoes, 1 large, grated
  • shallot, 1, large, chopped finely
  • rosemary, 1 generous tsp, chopped finely
  • egg, 1
  • flour, 1 tbsp
  • cornmeal, 1 tbsp
  1. Saute the shallot till fragrant and caramelized
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and season generously
  3. Fry as per the latkes above and serve with applesauce

Happy Hanukkah!

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December 1, 2010. Tags: , , , . Cultural Feasts, Festive, Hanukkah, Jewish.

One Comment

  1. For Hanukkah, Leek and Scallion Latkes with Chinese Five Spices « Diva Indoors: Food, with love replied:

    […] the longest time (okay, the past 15 years), I have made the family’s favorite cilantro-ginger-chili latkes – a Diva original – for Hanukkah and also come up with a new one each […]

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