Hannukah is one of the most fun holidays in the Jewish calendar, maybe because for a full eight days there’s a feeling of celebration in the air. Family folks often quit work early to be home in time for the candle-lighting ceremony, games with the kids and festive dinner. Adults also get together at least once during the week, often making a pot-luck meal with drinks.
But children and adults all expect to eat something fried. Fried foods are almost mandatory on Hannukah. They are meant to remind the happy eaters of the Hannukah miracle, when the Maccabees rededicated Jerusalem’s Holy Temple after the Syrian-Greek war. The menu often features savory potato latkehs and jam-filled sufganyot (jelly donuts). Everybody loves those, but the conscientious cook sometimes likes to put something lighter and healthier on the table.
I suggest these zucchini-based latkehs, a more sophisticated version of the eternal potato latkeh. And a small boon – since there are no onions in the recipe, there won’t be the odor that usually pervades the house after a session of latkeh-frying.
1.5 kg. – 3 lb. zucchini, washed but not peeled
1 tablespoon salt
1- 1/3 cups whole-wheat bread crumbs, ground fine
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
oil for frying
Grate zucchini coarsely. Mix the salt into the grated mass and transfer it to a large colander. Allow it to drain for half an hour.
Squeeze the grated zucchini, wringing it out in a clean kitchen towel. Put it in a large bowl. Add bread crumbs, eggs and spices.
Using a large, heavy skillet, heat about 1/3 cup oil until a drop of water skips over its surface. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to pour the latkeh batter into the oil. Flatten each latkeh out with the bottom of the measuring cup.
Fry 2-3 minutes, turning each latkeh over once. The second side will fry up quicker. The latkehs should be a light brown when done. Remove from oil and place on a platter or baking sheet lined with paper towels.
The latkehs may be kept warm in a low oven.
Serve with cool sour cream.
More Hannukah recipes on Green Prophet:
Photo of zucchini pancakes via Shutterstock.