Lots of latkes

An amazing assortment of potato pancakes, plus a new take on the classic doughnut to make this Chanukah something special


By: Richard Pearce, Owner and Head Chef, Totally Kosher

Soft and creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside, potato latkes (Yiddish) are as Jewish as bagels, and just as versatile. Traditionally served on Chanukah, latkes (aka potato pancakes) originated in Eastern Europe and now grace the tables of Jewish homes around the world.

With the addition of a few simple ingredients, we give latkes a modern twist! For further info, Visit www.totallykosher.co.za


Classic Potato Latkes (serves 4 to 6)


  • 12 large potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 80g onion, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 160g flour
  • 225ml canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, level

Method of Preparation:

  1. Peel the potatoes while submerged under water to preserve their colour, and then grate. Avoid using a food processor as too much liquid will be released from the potatoes.
  2. Pat dry using kitchen paper, pressing the potato firmly to absorb excess liquid and starch.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
  4. Add the onion, salt, and pepper, and then gradually add the flour and baking powder.
  5. Stir in the grated potato.
  6. Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan.
  7. Form the potato mixture into small cakes by hand, and place into the pan once the oil is hot.
  8. Fry until golden brown and crisp on the edges, approximately 4 minutes per side.

Traditionally served with sour cream and apple puree or cinnamon and sugar, the latkes should be prepared fresh as needed.

Asian latkes with seared tuna and salsa

Ingredients for the Classic Potato Latkes (see below) plus:

Classic Potato Latke plus extras:

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (optional)
  • Fresh chilli to taste (optional)

Salsa Ingredients:

  • Pinch salt
  • 50g grated cucumber
  • ½ punnet cocktail tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 bunch spring onions

Tuna Marinade (Mix all ingredients together):

  • 2 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  • 1 Tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
  • Cubes of fresh tuna, portioned to fit neatly on top of each latke and seared
  • Fresh salmon is a good substitute should it prove difficult to obtain tuna.

Method of Preparation:

  1. To prepare the salsa, begin by adding a pinch of salt to the cucumber and allowing it to “sweat” for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Drain excess liquid and then pat dry using kitchen paper.
  3. Add the remainder of the salsa ingredients.
  4. Set aside while preparing the latkes.
  5. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan.
  6. Form the potato mixture into small cakes by hand and place into the pan once the oil is hot.
  7. Fry until golden brown and crisp on the edges, approximately 4 minutes per side.
  8. Assemble by spooning the salsa onto the latkes, topping with a portion of seared tuna.
  9. Garnish with coriander and serve.

Spiced mustard latkes


Ingredients for the Classic Potato Latkes (see above) plus:

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon spring onion, chopped

For serving:

  • Macon, pan-fried
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Fresh chives

Method of Preparation:

  1. Add additional latke ingredients to the Classic Potato Latkes recipe and prepare as described above.
  2. Top with pan-fried Macon, drizzle with sweet chilli sauce, and garnish with fresh chives.

Alternative: Use black mustard seeds where indicated to create an interesting colour contrast.

Sweet potato and cranberry latkes


Ingredients for the Classic Potato Latkes (see above), minus the white pepper, plus:

  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sweet potato, grated

For serving:

  • Fresh strawberries, chopped
  • Fresh mint
  • Icing sugar (optional)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Combine the cranberries, water, and sugar, and boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and the cranberries are soft.
  2. Cool, then drain the syrup well into a container.
  3. Set the syrup aside, and then add the sweet potato and cranberry compote to the classic recipe.
  4. Continue by preparing as described above.

Serve topped with fresh strawberries, drizzled with the syrup and garnished with mint. Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Butternut and orange latkes with chocolate drizzle


Ingredients for the Classic Potato Latkes (see above), minus the white pepper, plus:

  • 1 cup grated butternut
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves

For serving:

  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 100g dark or milk chocolate
  • 20ml milk

Method of Preparation:

  1. In a double-burner, melt the chocolate with the butter and milk.
  2. Set aside while preparing the latkes.
  3. Add additional latke ingredients to the classic recipe and prepare as described above.
  4. Serve the latkes in stacks of three, drizzled with the melted chocolate mixture.

Kolacky (like a Pastry Doughnut)


  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • ½ Cup warm water (41°C)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2½ tablespoons white sugar, or more to taste
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound all-purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons margarine at room temperature, divided

Method of Preparation:

  1. Place yeast into the mixing bowl of a large stand mixer.
  2. Whisk in warm water and let stand until a creamy foam forms on top, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add salt, sugar, soy milk, 2 tablespoons melted margarine, vanilla extract, egg, and nutmeg.
  4. Whisk mixture thoroughly.
  5. Pour flour on top of liquid ingredients.
  6. Place mixing bowl onto mixer.
  7. Attach dough hook to mixer and knead on low speed until dough comes together in a ball and becomes soft and sticky, about 3 minutes.
  8. Dough will stick to the hook and pull away from the side of the bowl.
  9. Transfer dough to a floured work surface, knead 2 or 3 times, and shape into a ball.
  10. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes to let gluten relax.
  11. Remove dough from refrigerator, unwrap, and dust lightly with flour.
  12. Roll out into a 9×18-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  13. Evenly spread 6 tablespoons softened margarine onto the middle third of the dough.
  14. Fold one unmargarined third over the margarined third and press lightly; spread remaining 6 tablespoons of margarine on top of that third.
  15. Fold remaining third over the first (margarined) third.
  16. Transfer dough onto a sheet pan, cover lightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and refrigerate 20 to 30 more minutes for margarine to become firm.
  17. Sprinkle dough lightly with flour as you work if it becomes sticky.
  18. Return dough to floured work surface and pat very gently into an 8×14 rectangle about ½-inch thick.
  19. Fold outer thirds over centre third as before; roll out into an 8×14-inch rectangle again.
  20. Keep edges of rectangle as straight as possible.
  21. Fold in thirds as before.
  22. Cover dough lightly with a kitchen towel, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  23. Roll the dough out to about 3/8 inch thick.
  24. Cut dough in half crosswise.
  25. Leave half on a lightly floured work surface; refrigerate other half of dough until needed.
  26. Use a sharp 3-inch circular cutter to cut 8 circles of dough from piece on the work surface.
  27. Use 1-inch size cutter to cut the doughnut holes out of the dough circles.
  28. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and sprinkle lightly with flour.
  29. Arrange doughnuts and holes onto prepared baking sheet.
  30. Let rise in a draft-free, warm place (such as an unheated oven) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Lemon curd filling

You can make curd up to one week ahead of use. Cover surface with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator.


  • ¾ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 table spoon grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup margarine

Method of Preparation:

  1. In a saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and margarine.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.

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