Latkes are potato pancakes and are integral to Jewish cooking. With the addition of onion, they accompany savoury dishes, or are eaten as a dessert, served with sugar, cinnamon, honey and perhaps cream. The addition of baking powder helps to make the latkes light.


  • lb (700 g) old potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Butter for frying


Peel the potatoes and soak in water for about 2 hours. Drain them well, grate and wring them through a clean cloth to dry well. At this stage you can put them through a food processor for a few moments but it is not necessary. Put with the onion, the flour, the lemon juice, the beaten egg, the seasoning and the baking powder, mixing together well.

Melt the butter in a pan and drop in spoonfuls of the mixture, frying on both sides until brown. This amount will make about eight latkes.

‘To make potato starch: peel and grate several large raw potatoes into a basin of cold water and stir well. Let them steep, squeezing the pulp in your hands, then pour off the water and let it stand till the starch can be seen settled at the bottom. Pour off the water and dry out the starch.’

From Food in England by Dorothy Hartley, 1954.