Grandma Bertha’s Latkes

Zabar’s Own Recipes by Andrea Watman

My name is Andrea Watman and I have been working at Zabar’s for almost 30 years. At my house it doesn’t have to be Hannukah to enjoy Latkes. We make them all the time. But because they are fried in oil they are a traditional Hannukah treat.

This version of the recipe is really a simple and quick one – and the latkes are light and crisp - perfect with apple sauce or sour cream. This adaptation uses a food processor, potatoes that are not peeled and should only take minutes to prepare. I hope you enjoy these latkes.

The Recipe History: The recipe is my grandmother’s and she hated how hard it was for her to make them. She would peel the potatoes and then grate them on a four-sided metal grater. She was very economical and would never throw away the small pieces of potato, so she always ended up rapping her knuckles on the grater. The hand grating took so long that the potatoes would start to discolor and everyone would get annoyed. However, once she finished everyone forgot the time they took and enjoyed them immensely!

A Family Secret: I use a Zabar’s coffee scoop to measure out my latkes batter. The scoop makes latkes that are just the right size (you can also use a ¼ Cup measure but the latkes will be bigger).

View a print ready page.
Makes approximately 30 latkes.

4 Idaho Potatoes (Washed but not peeled)
1 Large Yellow Onion
3 Large Eggs
1 – 2 Cups Regular Flour
1 Tablespoon Coarse Salt

Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper


Oil for Frying (I Use Half Olive Oil / Half Corn Oil)

1.  Cut the potatoes and onion into quarters


Place in the Bowl of Your Food Processor  (with the “s” blade or Knife blade installed)

3.  Grind until finely ground – you can pulse if necessary

4. Add Eggs, salt and pepper – grind until mixed

5. Remove bowl from Food Processor and stir in Flour (mixture should be the consistency of thick oatmeal)

1. Heat the oil in a fry pan.
You will need about 1” of oil. Be patient and wait until it heats. I use an electric fry pan set at high heat – you can make these just as easily on the stovetop in a regular fry pan. The electric fry pan gives a consistent heat that I can never really get on the stovetop.

2. Using the Zabar’s Coffee Scoop – Scoop the batter into the fry pan.

I can usually fry  6 – 8 pancakes at a time.

You will see that they begin to bubble – just like regular batter pancakes. Turn them when brown. Try not to turn them more then once. The less you turn them the crisper they will be.

I remove all that are cooking before I add new batter – that way I can control the temperature of the oil and I find it easy to keep track of cooking time.

3. Put them on paper towels to drain and continue frying the balance of the batter.

This recipe should yield approx. 30 latkes.

They freeze really well and can be reheated in the microwave; but they are best when eaten right after cooking!

If this all sounds too complicated – just call us and order ours.
They are not the same as homemade – but they are delicious.

If you have a question feel free to email me at


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Zabar's Potato Pancakes - Latkes

  Grandma Bertha's Latkes