Chanukah’s New Potato Latke

spiced potato latkes

Potato Baji Latkes for Chanukah

This gorgeously spiced up golden fried ‘baji’ version of potato latkes (from Now for Something Sweet) will really shake up your Chanukah!

Chanukah, sometimes called the ‘festival of light’, starts – way earlier than usual – on the 28th November this year.

It commemorates the miracle of the oil back in the time of the destruction of the first temple (around 165 BCE) when there was only enough of the ritual oil to light the sacred candle for one day, but miraculously it lasted for 8 days – until the oil was able to be replenished. To celebrate this miracle we light the special candelabra (chanukiah).

Like we do for many of the Jewish festivals, we celebrate by eating a particular type of food. We love how it is always about the food! This time it is food that has been fried in oil. It is certainly not the festival to be avoiding fried foods! In our family, we make potato latkes (small potato cakes, like roesti) and jam (jelly) donuts. We have the most AMAZING recipe for cinnamon sugar doughnuts in The Feast Goes On. And in our new book, Now for Something Sweet, we have a gorgeous Hot Jam Doughnut recipe that is irresistible.

But latkes (potato pancakes) are not only made over Chanukah. In fact, we make them in the weeks (errr…months) leading up to Chanukah…just to practice, and because we absolutely adore them! We eat them just with a little salt, or with smoked salmon. It has now become a family favourite to eat them salmon pastrami (recipe in The Feast Goes On) and horseradish creme fraiche.

spiced potato latkes

Potato Baji Latkes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sides and Starters
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 4 serves


  • 600 g Desiree Potatoes or frying
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil plus extra to fry the latkes
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion halved and sliced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • tsp ½ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 long red chilli finely chopped
  • ½ bunch coriander chopped
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  • Peel and grate the potatoes. Place in a colander for 15 min to drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir for 3 minutes. Take care as the mustard seeds will pop.
  • Add the onion and saute until soft but not coloured ( around 10 min), then add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt. Saute for a further 3 minutes stirring. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Squeeze the grated potato with your hands to remove any liquid and tip into a large bowl. Add the egg, flour, fried onion mixture and taste for seasoning. If necessary, add salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add enough extra oil to the frypan to reach a depth of about 1cm (½ inch). When the oil is hot, carefully add a tablespoon of the potato mixture to make round potato cakes.
  • Flatten slightly and fry on medium heat for a few minutes each side until golden brown. Drain on a rack.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander and a wedge of lemon.




  1. Sonia Bennett

    I love the Monday Morning cooking club and look forward to your emails. I especially love the way you made that fab salad and will make it. I never have used endive or fennel in a salad and will now use it more. The Latkes sound um,. I was born in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and remember buying similar food from the the women who came around those days with their baskets full of vadai and murrucu, mainly made of chick peas, chilli, onions, prawns. I love all the recipes you send me. I live in western Sydney which is very multi cultural and find I can also buy some of the great food I grew up with. Food brings us together , its universal and its great to share recipes like you do. Thank you for your lovely newsletter. Sonia Bennett singer/songwriter/botanical artist.

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks for this lovely comment Sonia 🙂
      I am thrilled you are enjoyed the MMCC recipes! Hope you can join us tomorrow for our online Zoom doughnut and latke (potato pancake) class! Cheers Lisa

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