Potato Pancake / Latkes / Levivot Recipe

On the third day of Hanukah my mother said to me . . . "Why the @#! (expletive deleted) haven't you posted my recipe for potato pancakes (actually she said latkes) yet?

Somebody may need it, it's Hanukah, you know". As you can see, she really takes an interest in my site.

In the Jewish world, most holidays are celebrated by eating, and Hanukah is no different. Traditionally, Hanukah pancakes (also called latkes, or levivot, as they are known in Israel), are the mainstay of Hanukah cuisine.

For me, that is quite sufficient, as they are so delicious, especially when they are topped by sour cream or applesauce.

Nowadays, there are many variations, and you will find an abundance of recipes for Hanukah pumpkin pancakes, oatmeal pancakes, and many other variations as well.

Play around and substitute as you please, but I still prefer my mother's traditional and easy recipe. Latkes are traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream, applesauce, or a sprinkling of a sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Give this easy pancake recipe a try:

Makes about 12 servings.


  • 8 large potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 heaped tablespoons cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon sugar
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • Vegetable oil (preferably corn oil), for frying


  1. Peel and finely grate the potatoes and onion
  2. Transfer to a strainer and strain as much of the starch as possible into a bowl.
  3. The starch in the liquid will sink to the bottom. Empty most of the liquid, retaining a few tablespoons, and mix the cornflour, salt eggs, sugar and pepper vigorously with the starch at the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Heat about 1/2 inch oil in a large, heavy skillet, meanwhile transferring all the grated potato/onion mix into the bowl with the starch mixture.
  5. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl to blend. For latkes with crispy, burnt edges (yum), use a spoon to transfer the pancake mixture to the skillet, and use another spoon to place in the oil. Fry until golden brown, flipping once. Replace oil as necessary.
  6. When done, place on paper towels to drain.