Every year, my kids ask, “What do latkes have to do with Hanukkah?” And every year, (after some sneaky research to make sure I get the facts straight) 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.Hanukkah offers one the chance to eat oily food with impunity, for the next eight days. Well, thighs and hips may be impugned, but the obligatory New Year’s diet is, luckily, just round the corner.
Each year, I try to come up with an exciting new recipe for latkes, the potato pancakes that are commonly consumed during this holiday. Last year’s experiment comprised of sweet potato with chopped rosemary and sautéed shallots – see the recipe further below. It was deelish!
This year, it’ll be the family’s favorite cilantro and ginger ones, and new apple and potato fritters (see photo, and check out my blog for the recipe), to be dunked in lemon-flavored whipped marscapone (left over from making tiramisu recently).
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 😉 Having trouble with the batter? Here are some tips for overcoming them.
Meanwhile, if you enjoy your fried goodies stuffed with sweet fruit (i.e. jam or jelly), click here for donut beauties that will delight young and old alike.
Happy Hanukkah, all. May the year ahead be bright, and surround you with the good things – health, family and friends (with the odd fried goodie thrown in)!
Baum Family’s Favorite Cilantro-Ginger Latkes
- 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
- Peel the potatoes, grate them and soak in very cold water
- Drain and keep aside to dry out
- Peel the onions and chop or mince in a food processor
- Saute the onions, ginger, chili and cumin, till fragrant. Keep aside
- Combine flour, potato, onion mixture, eggs, salt, pepper and flour
- Preheat a large pan of canola oil (filling about 1/3 of the pan)
- Drop the potato mixture by tablespoonfuls into the oil, over medium heat
- Cook the cakes about 3 minutes a side, or till golden brown
- Remove with slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil
- Serve immediately with sour cream or apple sauce. Or Thai chilli sauce if you like going against the grain!
For the sweet potato and rosemary 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
- Saute the shallot till fragrant and caramelized
- Mix all the ingredients together and season generously
- Fry as per the latkes above and serve with applesauce