How to make potato latkes for Hanukkah

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Video produced by Larry Rochman

Hanukkah begins Tuesday night and all over the world, Jewish families will be celebrating the eight-day Festival of Lights.

The holiday commemorates how a small group of Jews in ancient Jerusalem defeated the Syrian army and reclaimed the Holy Temple. When the Jews tried to light the temple’s menorah, there was only enough oil for one night. But miraculously, it lasted for eight.

For the holiday, it is traditional to eat foods that are fried in oil to represent the oil of the holy temple.

Potato latkes, or fried potato pancakes, are the main dish served for the holiday. They are usually made with a mix of shredded potatoes, onions, eggs and flour. Then they’re fried in canola or vegetable oil. The latkes are traditionally served with sides of sour cream and applesauce for dipping.

Another food for the holiday is jelly doughnuts, or sufganiyot. These round jelly doughnuts originated in Israel. They are deep-fried with jelly or custard piped in. Powdered sugar is sprinkled on top.

Happy frying and have a very happy Hanukkah!

Homemade traditional potato pancake latke

To prepare the perfect latke, you’ll need:

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Onion
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup of matzoh meal
  • Cooking oil

Now that you’ve got your ingredients, start by peeling the 6 potatoes, and beat the 2 eggs.

You can shred your potatoes with either a hand grater or a food processor with a grating attachment. Some cooks swear by the hand grater, saying it somehow makes a big difference in taste.

After you finish grating the potatoes, grate in the onion. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper for taste, then the matzoh meal and finally, the eggs.

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl and prepare your pan with approximately one inch of cooking oil.

Place a few dollops of the mixture into the hot oil. When you see the latkes turning golden brown around their edges, it’s time to flip them over. Give them adequate time to brown; the less you flip latkes, the better.

When the latkes are a nice golden brown on both sides, remove them from the pan and place them on a rack with paper towels underneath.  This will help keep their crispiness.

Bon Appetit!