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Celebrate Hanukkah With Delicious Potato Pancakes

Celebrate Hanukkah With Delicious Potato Pancakes

This Friday at Sunset, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah honors an historical event, the struggle for religious freedom against the Greeks in the second century.

A small band of Jews risked their lives in order to preserve their heritage, and today Hanukkah, which means rededication, is celebrated by lighting the Hanukkah candles or oil lamps.

This group, the Maccabees, reclaimed a temple that had been overtaken by the Greeks. When they went to rekindle the eternal light, they could only find enough oil to burn for one day. Miraculously, however, the oil ended up lasting eight days (that is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days).

Besides the lighting of the menorah, Hanukkah is filled with songs, stories, games and food. Hanukkah dishes typically center around the theme of oil, due to the miracle of the menorah’s oil.

A favorite Hanukkah food is latkes, or potato pancakes. Latkes are made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, and flour, fried in vegetable oil. With a crispy outside and a tender inside, latkes are served hot, and are often dipped in applesauce or sour cream. Since potatoes weren’t available until the sixteenth century, traditionally, the pancakes were made of cheese, and later from vegetables or fruits.

Latkes/Potato Pancakes

12 large potatoes, grated
3 medium onions, grated
4 eggs, beaten lightly
5 tbs. flour
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Oil for deep frying

If you want great latkes, make sure you remove as much liquid from the potatoes and onions as possible. Put the grated potatoes in a clean tea towel and squeeze the liquid out of the mixture. Do the same for the grated onions. Combine all of the ingredients and mix together well by hand.

In a heavy skillet, put a 3/4″ deep layer of oil. Heat until sizzling. Form individual pancakes by hand and carefully slide into the pan using a slotted spatula. Fill the pan, but leave room between the pancakes. When nicely brown on one side, turn them carefully until browned on the other side and crisp on the edges. Remove with a spatula and place on paper towels.

Let the excess grease drain onto the paper towel. For the best taste, serve immediately. You can keep latkes hot in a warm oven. Serve with applesauce or sour cream, or sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Read more: Family, Food, Hanukkah, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life, , ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
8:26PM PDT on Sep 5, 2013

thank you for the recipe

5:38AM PDT on Sep 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

6:28PM PST on Dec 13, 2012

Haven't had any in years. Thanks for the reminder.

8:54AM PST on Dec 13, 2012

Thank you

8:35AM PST on Dec 13, 2012

I must have a go at these!

8:52AM PDT on May 28, 2012


12:40AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Thanks for the article.

2:52PM PST on Dec 22, 2011


6:01PM PST on Dec 21, 2011


8:53AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Thank you for this article about Latkes--I love them, never had a recipe but now I do.
Here is a link for recipe for Chapati's (Indian flat bread). There are other recipes out there, just look, even something on uTube. - Similar

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Sativas usually don't do that and are more.. functional..? (not really certain what a good term for …

Don't think girls today would like these

Thank you for sharing.

Really unsettling but necessary article. Thank you.


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