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Potato latkes cooked in oil are a traditional Hanukkah food

Potato latkes cooked in oil are a traditional Hanukkah food

Hanukkah is first and foremost a holiday about olive oil, so a good way to get to know Hanukkah better is to fry some kind of food in olive oil. Usually people make latkes, or grated vegetable pancakes. Here’s a super-healthy recipe for latkes that kids like:

Cut up two turnips, two carrots, and an onion into quarters. In a food processor or with a grater, grate them all together until there are no more big chunks (or just take out the big chunks and eat them raw if there are any left).

(You can also use other vegetables like zucchini or butternut squash or cauliflower. Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are good, but you have to drain off some liquid before adding the eggs.)

Mix the grated vegetables with two eggssalt and pepper, and a quarter-cup of flour. Heat about a quarter-cup of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and spoon this batter into the frying pan. Make the latkes small – about two inches in diameter. Otherwise it will be hard to flip them.

When the latkes are well cooked on one side, use a spatula to flip them gently to the other side. Some of them may break – that’s always a problem with latkes. Make sure they are pretty cooked before you try to flip them. If they are starting to burn before they’re ready to flip, turn down the heat a little. If they’re really impossible, add more eggs.

When the latkes are cooked on both sides, lift them out of the pan on to a plate and cook another batch. Keep the cooked ones warm with a dishtowel over the plate. If they get too cold you can microwave them for 30 seconds when they are all cooked. Serve them with thick Greek yogurt and/or applesauce. Grownups might like to add a little horseradish to their yogurt. Or not.

Origins of Hanukkah
Hanukkah in the Middle Ages

Bibliography and further reading about Hanukkah:


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