Latkes or Potato pancakes, are shallow-fried pancakes of grated potato and egg, often flavored with grated onion and may be herbs.
For me latkes are softly intertwined with the memories of warm and cozy meets during the Hanukkah feast in my daughter’s preschool with equally warm and cozy friends, teachers and children. Along with it are woven the dreidels, the lighting of the menorah, the chant of the prayers and of course the music which still rings in my ears. My daughter went to a nursery in a Jewish Temple (Temple Shalom). She learned to say her prayers, to play the dreidel and sing; while I learned my latkes
I am a bit late in posting this for this year; but better late than never. I have used purple potatoes to make these, not for any particular reason. I found a big bag of these unusual purple potatoes at a ridiculously low price and just had to buy them. They do not add any extra flavors or taste to the latkes, but they do add some sensational color.
A root with extraordinary colors that adds a distinctive look to any dish; it is the purple potato with a dark purplish skin and vivid purple, dense inside. The Purple Peruvian potato is supposedly an heirloom from the South American Andes’ highlands. and is regarded by many chefs as the “Gem of the Andes. The purple potatoes are high in anthocyanins – the pigments that impart the vibrant colors to the fruits and vegetables. Like in blueberries, their antioxidant properties are known to fight cancer, and various other illnesses.
“When selecting, choose those that are firm and plump, avoiding those that have shriveled skins, sprouting eyes, soft spots, blemishes and green spots. Store potatoes in a cool dry place. They will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks and longer when stored in cool temperatures. Do not store in the refrigerator because the cold temperatures will convert the starches into sugar and the potato will become sweet and turn a dark color when cooked. Do not store with onions, the gas given off by onions accelerate the decay of potatoes.” – Source
Shredded Purple Potatoes
Purple Potato Latkes
- 3-4 Large Purple Potatoes
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Chopped Parsley (Optional)
- Oil for Frying
Peel and finely grate the potatoes with a box grater or food processor. Put them into cold water, then drain them in a colander and squeeze them as dry as you can by pressing them with your hands.
Put the grated potatoes in a cheese cloth (or a few layers of paper towels), pull the sides up on to the top like a pouch and squeeze out as much water as you can. If you don’t drain and squeeze them dry, they might get runny during frying and finally the latkes will get soggy.
Grate the onions; drain them and squeeze the water out in the same way as you did with the potatoes.
Mix the potatoes, onions, and chopped parsley.
Beat the eggs lightly with salt and pepper; add to the potatoes mix. Add the flour and stir to combine well.
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in cast iron skillet. Take spoonfuls (I used a tablespoon), of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Flatten them with the back of the spoon, and lower the heat so that the fritters cook through evenly. When one side is brown, turn over and brown the other.
Lift out and place them on paper towels.
Serve very hot with applesauce, sour cream or your favorite condiment. I served them with Plum Applesauce.
You cannot go wrong with these crispy hot cakes! They disappear pretty fast.
Some Information on Latkes/Potato Pancakes:
Latkes are traditionally eaten by Ashkenazi Jews during the Jewish Hanukkah festival. The oil for cooking the latkes is reminiscent of the oil from the Hanukkah story that kept the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit with a long-lasting flame that is celebrated as a miracle. (Source: Wiki)
Around the World:
Potato pancakes are commonly associated with traditional Austrian, German, Polish, Ukrainian, Yiddish (where they are known as latkes or latkas, Hungarian and Czech cuisines, although other cuisines (including those of India and Korea) also have similar potato pancakes. It is also the national dish of Belarus. In Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian cuisines potato pancakes are commonly known as deruny or draniki . Throughout Germany, potato pancakes are also very much liked, most commonly under the names Reibekuchen or Kartoffelpuffer, and they are eaten either salty as a side dish or sweet with apple sauce and cinnamon; they are a very typical menu item during outdoor markets and festivals in the colder seasons.
A form of potato pancake known as ‘Boxty’ is a popular traditional dish in most of Ireland. It is made in a similar way but using more starch.
The Swedish version of unbound potato pancakes are called rårakor.When prepared with a batter of wheat flour, milk, egg, and shredded potatoes and fried like thin pancakes, they are called raggmunk, which literally translates as “hairy doughnuts” (the grated potatoes make them look hairy). Both kinds are enjoyed with fried bacon and lingonberry jam. – (Source: Wiki)
Links from other blogs:
Purple Potato Crisps - Jugalbandi
Fork Crushed Purple Potatoes – Smitten Kitchen