It’s been an unusual year, so how about an unusual spin on potato latkes, a traditional food for Chanukah / Hannukah (the difference in spellings)?
Lovers of fried potatoes and Indian food will enjoy these Tikka Masala Latkes—latkes flavored with tikka masala spices.
Mint Yogurt Sauce replaces the traditional applesauce an/or sour cream.
Infusing classic latkes with aromatic Indian spices will create conversation and palate memories.
A staple of North Indian cooking, garam masala (guh-ROM muh-SAHL-lah) is an aromatic blend made with more than 15 spices.
Like other spice blends, the ingredients and proportions will vary by the cook, manufacturer and region. Most Indian cooks will carefully guard their family recipes.
It is a mainstay seasoning in chicken tikka masala, curries, dals and vegetables.
The word masala means spices in the Hindi language, and garam means warm or hot. However, garam masala does not generally have a lot of heat. The “warm” in the name refers to the warming effect the spices have on the body, according to the principles of the Ayurvedic diet.
It is used alone or with additional seasonings.
In Northern Indian cuisine, garam masala is typically used in powder form, while in Southern India, it is often made into a paste with coconut milk, vinegar or water.
In fine cooking, the spices are toasted and ground before use, to maintain the intensity of the flavor. But you can buy pre-ground blends, like McCormick’s garam masala.
Whole spices are toasted and then ground; among them bay leaf; black, brown and green cardamom pods; black cumin; black peppercorns; cinnamon; clove; coriander; cumin; fennel seeds; fenugreek; garlic; ginger; malabar leaf; nutmeg and/or mace*; mustard seed; saffron; star anise, tamarind and turmeric.
The spice blend, which originated in India, spread to the cuisines of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistani and Sri Lanka.
That’s the case with this “tikka masala” recipe, as you’ll see with the spice blend in the recipe.
These crispy delights with an Indian twist are a new way to think of latkes.
If you want to blend your own garam masala, there’s a recipe below.
If kids want to help, they can shape the grated potato mixture into flat discs for you to fry.
Ingredients For 4-6 Servings
For The Latkes
You can make the sauce, Step 8, 2-3 days in advance and stored in a tight-lidded container in the fridge.
Latkes can also be made 2-3 days in advance, and either frozen in a single layer or stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Heat in the oven to crisp up before serving.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 250°. In a small bowl combine the spices for the tikka masala mix, and set aside.
2. PEEL the potatoes and onion, grate either by hand on a box grater, or use the shredding blade on a food processor.
3. PLACE the grated potato and onion in a large bowl lined with a tea towel and squeeze all excess liquid. This creates a crispier latke.
4. REMOVE the liquid from the bowl, trying to leave the potato starch at the bottom if possible and. Add the potatoes. Mix in the flour, salt, spice mix and baking powder. Toss to coat everything. When ready to fry the latkes…
5. HEAT a cast iron skillet over medium heat with enough oil to cover the bottom. Check to see if the oil is hot enough by placing a small amount of potato in the skillet. If it sizzles immediately you are good to go.
6. SCOOP about ¼ to ⅓ cup potato mix from the bowl, squeeze to drain any excess moisture that may have accumulated and flatten into a round disc. Gently place in the oil and fry about 3-4 minutes per side or until crispy. Depending on the size of your skillet, fry about 3-4 latkes at a time. You do not want to crowd the skillet while cooking. Once finished…
7. TRANSFER the latkes to a paper towel-lined tray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Keep warm in the heated oven. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
8. PREPARE the sauce by mixing the yogurt, chopped mint and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
If you want to blend your own garam masala, here’s a very simple recipe—many fewer spices than a traditional blend. Start with these proportions and then adjust to your particular preferences:
*Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg tree, while the more mild mace is the dried reddish covering of the seed.
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