Monday, 4 January 2016


Is there anything in the world that is more comforting than a good old potato product? Potato waffles, crispy roast potatoes, they are all absolute favorites in our house. Another favorite is anything that you can deep fry! Onion bhaji's, falafel, it begs the question "What would happen if you deep fried potatoes." Well quite simply it creates these amazing potato cakes that are the most fabulous little weekend treat to give you a little bit of hug on the inside when you've had a hard week in school or work.

To stop these bad boys from being completely bland, I've fried a few onions in a bit of garlic and parsley which when you add these to the potato mix gives you a super fluffy and flavorsome filling once you fry the cakes up. The onions act as a vessel for the garlic and parsley flavors so you must always keep them in as part of this recipe but if your not a fan of garlic or parsley you can swap these out for something else if you wish. Why not fry your onions in cumin and coriander for a more curry like vibe or spice up your life with a bit of chili powder or maybe even cayenne pepper if your brave.

To bind the potato mixture together you can see I've used 70g of gram (chickpea) flour. Ever since I made my idiot proof bhaji I've discovered that gram flour is the best for holding together a mixture which you intend to deep fry and therefore prevents the potato cakes from dissolving into a mush in the oil. You can find gram flour a lot more now in large supermarkets or world food stores but if you are unable to find it or you are making theese on a whim you can try and replace it with another 70g of plain flour or rice flour if you have some of that knocking around. I can't guarantee the cakes will hold together as well when you fry them but it's worth a shot. 

It's also for this reason why I've added some polenta into the mix as well. The polenta seems to help with the binding process but again you can replace this with a smidge more flour but remember you do run the risk of the cakes falling apart and tasting too floury.

Here comes the recipe. You should be able to get around 15-20 potato cakes out of this recipe which is enough to feed  around six people. Remember to take care with the hot oil and have a damp tea towel to hand in case of any fire. Invest in a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil if you don't have one (they do come in handy!) or you can test if it's hot enough by dropping in a few of the breadcrumbs and they should instantly fizz across the top of the oil if it's ready.

Garlic, Onion And Parsley Potato Cakes

1 Diced Large Red Onion
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley Leaves
500g Potatoes
25g Plain Flour
70g Gram Flour
1 Tbsp Polenta
1 Whole Egg
100g Melted Unsalted Butter
Salt And Pepper To Season
150g Breadcrumbs

  1. Begin by placing a lightly oiled frying pan on a medium heat and adding in the onions, garlic and parsley and frying until the onions begin to soften. Remove the pan from the heat and tip the contents of the pan onto some kitchen paper to drain any excess oil and then transfer the garlic and herb onions to a large bowl. Leave to one side.
  2. Chop the potatoes into small chunks and pop them into a pan of boiling water and boil them until soft and mashable. Drain the potatoes and add them to the bowl with the onions.
  3. Add the the plain and gram flours, polenta, egg and melted butter into the bowl with the onions and potatoes. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper and then mic everything together, mashing the potatoes as you go until everything is well combined and smooth.
  4. Tip the mixture onto a large sheet of cling film and then wrap up the potato mixture tightly before popping it in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
  5. When you ready to fry your potato cakes, heat up a pan of oilaround 2 inches deep to 180 degrees. 
  6. Tip out the breadcrumbs onto a plate and the, using dry hands take around 50g of the potato mixture, roll it into a ball and then roll the ball around in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Pop the coated ball onto a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper and repeat with all the potato mixture until you have a tray of breadcrumb coated potato balls ready to fry.
  7. Carefully drop 4 of the potato cakes into the oil and fry on each side for around two minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place back on the grease-proof paper lined baking tray to drain. Repeat with all the balls until they are all fried, golden and looking delicious!
The potato cakes are best served straight away so that they retain that crispy outer shell but do take care when you take your first bite as the inside will be piping hot. You can reheat the cakes if they start to go cool or you want to fry them in advance to serve later. Just pop your oven on to 200 degrees (180 fan) and pop the cakes in for around 10-15 minutes until they are once again super roasty toasty hot. The cakes are best served with a great big dollop of cooling mayonnaise for you to dip your potato cakes into. The filling will fluffy and packed with those garlic and herb flavors and that what makes these tater cakes truly terrific.

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