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Holiday latke recipes

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with the traditional and non-traditional potato pancakes.
/ Source: TODAY

To celebrate the festival of lights, we are making latkes! Sharon Lebewohl, from the Second Avenue Deli, in New York City, shares recipes for both the traditional and modernized latke.

Asian scallion cilantro pancakes


For ginger dipping sauce

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup sliced scallions

1 tsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. sugar

Combine all ingredientsFor pancakes

¾ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup rice flour

½ tsp. salt

1 whole large egg plus one egg yolk

1 cup water

½ small Thai Chile, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced

1/8 tsp. toasted sesame oil

4 scallions, sliced

¼ cup loosely fresh cilantro leavesDirections

Whisk together first 9 ingredients. The batter will be thin.

Heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil in an 8 inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat.

Pour in 1/3 cup of batter, scatter one fourth of the scallions and cilantro leaves over the top, gently pressing into the pancake.

Fry until underside is lightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Turn pancake, and cook until scallions are lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Transfer pancakes to paper towels.

Continue with remaining pancakes in the same manner.

Transfer pancakes to a cutting board and cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature with dipping sauce.

Indian sweet potato latkes with curry and mustard seed


2 cups (packed) coarsely grated peeled sweet potatoes

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, well drained

1 egg

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

8 tablespoons (about) vegetable oil


Combine sweet potatoes and bell pepper in large bowl. Add cornstarch; toss to coat. Puree chickpeas in food processor to coarse paste. Add egg, curry powder and salt and blend. Transfer mixture to small bowl. Toast mustard seeds in a frying pan until fragrant and begins to pop. Grind mustard seeds in a coffee grinder. Mix in cilantro and ground mustard seeds. Stir chickpea mixture into sweet potato mixture.

Heat 6 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop 1 heaping tablespoon batter per pancake into hot oil. Using back of spoon, spread to 3-inch rounds. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Yield: 12 latkes

Cranberry apple sauce


8 Cortland apples

½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup apple cider

½ cup brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick


Core and cut the apples into large chunks. Toss them with the lemon juice.

Place apples and the remaining ingredients in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until apples are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick. Put sauce through a food mill to separate the peel from the remaining sauce. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Makes 5 cups

Traditional potato latkes

Ingredients2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes1 medium onion1/2 cup chopped scallions, including the green part1 large egg, beatenSalt and freshly ground pepper to tasteVegetable oil for frying

Peel the potatoes and put in cold water. Using a grater or a food processor coarsely grate the potatoes and onions.

Place together in a fine-mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze out all the water over a bowl. The potato starch will settle to the bottom; reserve that after you have carefully poured off the water.

Mix the potato and onion with the potato starch. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the vegetable oil. Heat a non-stick pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can. Place the potato mixture in the pan, flatten with a large spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately.

Yield: about 2 dozen latkes