Butternut Squash and Leek Latkes with Pan-Roasted Cumin

Butternut Squash and Leek Latkes with Pan-Roasted Cumin
Viviane Bauquet Farre


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon  cumin seeds
  • 12 ounces  butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and grated coarsely
  • medium-sized leek, white and light green parts only, halved and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons  sea salt
  •   Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • large eggs, beaten lightly
  •   Olive oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup  sour cream
  • 36  cilantro leaves, for garnish

Of course, the potato latke is de rigueur on any Hanukkah menu, but why not serve latkes with other seasonal ingredients, I wondered? That’s when sweet, delicate butternut squash came to mind... and this recipe was born.

Because the squash is grated raw, the latkes remain light and slightly crunchy. The addition of the pan-roasted cumin seeds bring these lovely morsels an exotic flair, while the sour cream helps to pull the flavors together.


Heat a small, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they turn dark brown and are fragrant, about 2 minutes, shaking the pan constantly and taking care not to burn the seeds. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Place the butternut squash and leek in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle the cumin seeds and flour on top. Season with the salt and pepper and toss well. Add the eggs and stir until well blended.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to generously cover the pan (about 1/8-inch). Using a dessert spoon, drop 2 teaspoons of batter into the hot oil for each latke. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip the latkes and sauté for another 2 minutes until golden brown. (You may have to lower the heat as the pan gets hotter. The latkes shouldn’t turn brown too fast and the oil should never come to the smoking point.)

Transfer to a platter lined with a paper towel. Repeat until the butternut squash mixture has all been used up, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. Place the latkes on a platter. Spoon a dollop of sour cream on top of each latke. Garnish with a cilantro leaf and serve immediately.


Note: The latkes can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. To reheat, place on a jellyroll pan and warm in a 400 degree preheated oven for 6-7 minutes until sizzling.


Calories per serving:

40 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb, Low Sodium Sugar Conscious, Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly, Vegetarian, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 122g 188%
  • Carbs 76g 25%
  • Saturated 24g 118%
  • Fiber 11g 42%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 15g
  • Monounsaturated 80g
  • Polyunsaturated 13g
  • Protein 22g 45%
  • Cholesterol 402mg 134%
  • Sodium 1,970mg 82%
  • Calcium 448mg 45%
  • Magnesium 206mg 52%
  • Potassium 1,832mg 52%
  • Iron 14mg 79%
  • Zinc 3mg 18%
  • Phosphorus 484mg 69%
  • Vitamin A 2,184µg 243%
  • Vitamin C 88mg 147%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 44%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 45%
  • Niacin (B3) 6mg 30%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 54%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 255µg 64%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 18%
  • Vitamin D 2µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 22mg 109%
  • Vitamin K 126µg 157%
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