Latkes, Southwestern style

It’s Hanukkah time (happy Hanukkah!), and although my family doesn’t celebrate it, we like latkes. We also love Mexican food and always incorporate it into our holiday menu (tamales, albondigas soup, and champurrado are a Christmas Eve-Eve tradition). So when I saw this recipe for cilantro-jalapeno latkes with chipotle sour cream, I knew it was perfect for us. Grating potatoes and an onion and then mashing them in a colander to get the moisture out was also a great way for me to let go of some pent up stress and aggression that had accumulated in the past few days (finals/presentations, a brief flu, and a major personal problem ALL happened in a 2-day period). The latkes came out wonderfully and my parents loved them. I am sure I would have loved them just as much had I regained more of my appetite.

Here is the recipe, adapted from Alison Lewis’s, which she grabbed from Cooking Light.

Cilantro-Jalapeno Latkes with Chipotle Sour Cream

  • Prep time: 20 minutes (factor in 30 minutes to drain the moisture from potatoes/onion)
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: about 12 latkes


  • 6 Tbsp lite sour cream (or 6 dollops with a regular spoon)
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped (or 1 medium chipotle pepper with sauce, use only sauce if you don’t like too much spice)
  • 1/2 tsp lime rind
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • 6 big baking potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 onion, peeled and grated (a medium/large yellow will do)
  • 5 Tbsp AP flour (you might need a little more if your mixture’s too wet)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 and 1/2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • olive oil for frying (eyeball it as you go)


1. Grate your potatoes and onion, placing cupfuls into a colander to drain as you go. Mix, let drain for 30 minutes while you get to work on the sauce and chopping the other ingredients.

2. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lime rind, lime juice, and chipotle. Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge until latkes are ready to serve. Take a spatula and give your potatoes/onion a mash to squeeze out some juice. Do this periodically until mixing time.

3. De-seed and finely chop jalapenos. Rinse and roughly chop cilantro leaves.

4. When your potatoes and onion are ready (they should feel barely moist or at least not dripping wet), place them into a big mixing bowl with flour, cilantro, jalapenos, egg, cumin, and salt.

5. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Don’t just grease it, you want maybe 1/8 inch for them to sit in in order for them to get golden brown.

6. Mix the ingredients you’ve placed in the mixing bowl. If it’s still too wet, add flour a little bit at a time. Take a handful of mixture, put it on a spatula, then carefully place it into the hot oil. Carefully! Flatten a little. Repeat if you can add more to the skillet. Let them cook for 3-3.5 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. Keep going until you’ve used all of the mixture up. Drain on paper towels. Let cool a little and enjoy! Don’t forget your chipotle sour cream.

Note: These are probably really great with scrambled eggs and salsa the next morning if you have leftovers and don’t mind a less-crispy latke.

Think of all of the other flavors you can incorporate into this! Just replace the jalapenos, cilantro and cumin. I think I will try making samosa-style latkes with peas and Indian spices next.

[I wish I had a picture to show you but I didn’t think to take one last night. I could take a picture of the leftovers but that would be doing them an injustice. If you go to the link above you can see a picture from Cooking Light.]

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