Latkes - My way!
(This was a recipe made last year for Hanukkah, It just never saw the light of day on the blog, just on the Facebook 'Panfusine' page)
I'll be the first to admit that Hanukkah was one of the most recent religious festivals that I came to know about, In that respect, I'm as gentile as it gets. but the connotation of a festival related to lights & the celebration of faith & devotion in the Almighty & the mere fact that it falls around Diwali was enough to raise a curiosity in wanting to learn more about the traditions surrounding Hanukkah. For those of you with a similar interest, I refer you to the wikipedia article on the festival ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah )
Even for a gentile like me, hearing the word 'Hanukkah' first brings to mind a plate of warm potato latkes served with sour cream. There are variations a plenty & my version is probably just one in hundreds. Since I do not usually incorporate eggs in my recipes, the binding agent used is chickpea flour.
One of the mandatory inclusions for a latke accompaniment is a dairy based dip. I paired mine with a raita made with greek yogurt spiced with a mustard coconut mix.
For these root latkes you need: (makes ~ 6 pieces)
1/2 cup grated parsnips
1/2 cup grated sweet potatoes
1/2 cup grated potatoes.
1-2 tsp chickpea flour.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of Asafetida. (optional for a gluten free dish)
Olive oil for shallow frying
Combine the grated root veggies, spices, lemon juice, seasonings & the chickpea flour in a mixing bowl.
Heat one teaspoon of oil in a skillet and add a tablespoon of the root vegetable mixture into the skillet.
press down lightly with a spatula to form a thin patty.
Cook for about 5-7 mins on each side till golden & crisp.
Remove from skillet. Serve with Raita (recipe given below)
Cucumber raita with a mustard & coconut seasoning:
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp Grated coconut
1 green chilli,
1/4 cup chopped cilantro loosely packed.
1/2 cup greek yogurt
salt to taste
Combine the mustard seeds, coconut, chilli, cilantro & salt with a spoonful of yogurt & grind to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the remaining yogurt & cucumber. Combine well to finish the Raita.
Garnish with a wedge or two of lime & serve warm. The sweetness from the yams pairs well with the bite from the mustard, while the yogurt complements the heat from the spicy seasonings in the latke.
here's wishing everyone a very happy & blessed Hanukkah!