The Sylvia Center Latke: “Latke-purria”

By November 29, 2018May 3rd, 2024Recipes

Join us in celebration of the delectable versatility of the potato pancake at the 10th Annual Latke Festival, one of the city’s most deliciously fun holiday events!

Watch our students compete for the title of Best Latke, battling 25 local chefs and restaurants – like Jacob’s Pickles, Veselka, and Fonda. Revel in plenty of eating, drinking and general merrymaking in the stunning pavilion of the Brooklyn Museum while supporting our programs that serve young people throughout New York.

The Latke Festival, hosted at the Brooklyn Museum and produced by Great Performances, is a annual charity tasting event benefiting The Sylvia Center. It is a one-night affair, celebrating New York’s best latkes and creative interpretations of a potato pancake. It is set to be the biggest and most special yet!

All net proceeds will go to The Sylvia Center, and will power programs that teach young people in underserved communities  to enjoy, prepare, and speak up for healthy food.


Try our delicious take on the potato pancake that is a combination of a traditional latke and the popular Puerto Rican stuffed fritters, alcapurria.


Sylvia Center Latke: “Latke-purria”

Grand Street Settlement/Lyon’s School

“Latke-purria” a Latke inspired by where we are and where we’re from



5 very green plantanos, peeled

1 pound taro root, peeled down to white flesh

1 pound yucca, peeled down to flesh

2 tsp salt

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sazon (see recipe below)

1 tablespoon olive oil


For the filling

1 large spanish onion, small dice

2 peppers, red and green, small dice

1 16-oz can black beans, rinsed & dried

2 teaspoons sazon

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt to taste (1 teaspoon or less)

2 tablespoons capers or green onions, minced



  1. Using the shredding blade on a food processor, shred platanos, taro, and yucca*. The platanos is what will be binding mix and should be crumbled and somewhat moist. Transfer starches to a bowl.
  2. Add the sazon and olive oil, folding to incorporate into the dough, working with the hands if needed.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you make the filling. This dough can be made up to 48 hours in advance as long as it is chilled and kept away from air.
  4. Rinse and dry the black beans. Crumble them either by hand or in a food processor– careful not to puree! It should be dry and chunky.
  5. In a saute pan, add olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent. Add peppers and cook until tender.  Add black beans, sazon, oregano, and garlic. Cook for about 2 mins and add the capers or olives. Remove from heat.
  6. To form latkes, take a heaping tablespoon of the dough and flatten into the palm of your hand, or on an oiled surface such as plastic wrap. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center and using your fingertips, roll the dough towards the center to cover filling. You may need to add some extra dough if you are struggling to connect the outside pieces. Once the filling is covered, flatten into a disc. Continue until dough is gone.
  7. Assembled latkes should sit in the fridge to firm up before pan frying.


* leaving some shredded yucca or taro visible gives this recipe the latke look the students achieved in class.



1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon achiote (annatto)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

2  teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground pepper



  1. Add all ingredients to a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until a fine consistency appears.