With Chanukah starting tomorrow night, my thoughts turn, naturally, to food. Specifically, fried and oil-based food, so as to commemorate the miracle of the oil. The main food that comes to most people’s minds is potato latkes, those tasty Eastern European pancakes, served hot and spread with sour cream or apple sauce. But there is a whole world of delicious fried food out there, just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
We have friends who eat something fried every night of the eight-day-long festival. Potato latkes one night, tempura the next, and malawach after that. Add in some sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts), that Israeli treat, and you have a recipe for a very tasty trip to the cardiac ward.
My family has developed its own traditions over the years. I love potato latkes, and will cook and eat them very, very happily, but potatoes aren’t the only things that can be fried into fritters. In the past we have made zucchini latkes with feta and dill, sweet potato latkes, quinoa, chickpea and spinach latkes, and cheese latkes (really good!). My friend Michal recently added Draniki to her food blog too. And look at all of these options… It just wouldn’t be Chanukah here if the only thing we “latked” were potatoes!
But there’s more! Since my taste buds have not yet met a cuisine they don’t like, we look for foods from around the world to cook on holidays. Since Indian food is a particular favourite of mine, imagine how lucky we are that samosas are also fried! And what better to eat after a plate full of hot, tangy samosas than some sweet, exotic besan barfi, Indian chickpea fudge?
With all this wonderful food to choose from, who has room for chocolate gelt?
Oh – that would be me!