Need a latkes recipe? These are the best recipes for your Hanukkah dinner
You can celebrate a minimalistic Hanukkah with just nine candles & a match, but if you ask us, no celebration or festivity is truly complete without the cuisines that make up a culture. And for the occasion of Hanukkah, a crispy batch of latkes are exactly what you need to complete the festivities.
Festivals are the best excuse to consume all the deep-fried, sugary foods you normally wouldn’t eat. For Hanukkah, these are either latkes which are pancakes made with grated potatoes, or sufganiyot, which is a round doughnut filled with either jelly, jam or custard along with loads of powdered sugar (no doughnut is complete without a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar), among other delicacies.
It’s also important to note that much like every other festive recipe, latkes will have a traditional recipe being carried over across the generations of your family. If you think there’s one, learn the latkes recipe from the older generations. If not, here’s an easy one to make homemade latkes.
The recipe for latkes
We start off with the basic prep: First up are the potatoes. You don’t need to peel the potatoes but you can cut them in half for convenience. Next, grate the potatoes using the medium holes on a box grater. If you’re using a food processor, you can grate potatoes & onions in that, using the shredding disk feature.
The next step is to drain them as much as possible. You can do this either by squeezing liquid using a clean dish towel or you can let it drain sitting in the refrigerator overnight. In the latter case, you will need to start the rest of the prep next day, if it wasn’t obvious.
If you do let it drain, make sure you allow the potato starch to settle & save it & discard the rest of the liquid. The real latke ingredients come together at this stage. Bring the potatoes, onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper & mix ‘ em up in a bowl of starch. Feel free to go all in with your fingers. It’s honestly the only way you can make sure that the potato starch breaks up & gets evenly distributed.
If you use any other tool to mix them up, they are likely to be unevenly scattered – think of it as the equivalent of lumps in our usual pancake mix or batter. Set aside the batter mix for around 10-15 minutes.
You can now do this either in an oven or fry them in a large skillet. In case you’re using a frying pan, heat the oil. You have to be generous in your pour because a basic pan would require a cup of oil. Now we have to heat it enough so that the latke will sizzle immediately when dropped into the crackling oil.
Then pour over the mix over it. How much, you ask? Let’s say 1/4th of a cup is great for a 4-inch pancake. From here, the drill is the same as any pancake in any country or tradition – fry until both sides turn golden.
How are latkes best enjoyed?
You can keep frying more & more latkes until the pan becomes crowded. Cook until they’re golden brownish in color. Then pull them out of the oil, drain them on a baking sheet for 2 minutes.
Latkes are best accompanied by applesauce & sour cream. It’s best if latkes are had immediately – nothing like crispy & hot latkes to make for a festive feast in the cold. You can also make the applesauce from scratch at home. But if you’re planning to buy it, consider supporting a small business involved in applesauce trade, spread the festive cheer everywhere possible!