Latkes are my favorite winter tradition. Four years ago, I threw a Chanukah party in India. I grated potatoes with three friends, two knifes and one hand peeler. We poked holes into a bottle gourd for a menorah. We covered the floors with newspaper to soak up the grease. We left the door open in my kitchen for ventilation, and a cow wandered inside. I might not have the wherewithal to make latkes plus deal with the corresponding mess in my little Berkeley kitchen, but I’ve been invited to a few Chanukah parties where latkes will be aplenty. I’ll bring curry cashew cream and mint chutney as an alternative to traditional sour cream and applesauce. Tradition is important, but this crowd calls for (Indian-inspired!) twists on conventions.
- 2 bunches fresh mint (3 cups, stems removed and flattened into cup)
- 1 bunch cilantro (1 cup, stems removed and flattened into cup)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 jalapeños (or fewer, to taste)
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- Salt to taste
- Put all ingredients into food processor and puree until the ingredients are no longer recognizable. The end product should be a thick paste.