Potato Pancakes

Name: Laila Kienel (Buligina)
Class Year: 2008
Country of Residence: Belgium

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

This is a recipe I learned from my maternal grandmother who passed away this winter at the age of 95. She was an amazing cook and baker and could whip up the most amazing dishes in no time using very few simple ingredients. Even though she was so good at it, she actually did not really enjoy spending time in the kitchen, and preferred reading poetry or playing the piano when she had the time.

There are many more recipes I wish I had learned from her while she was still able to cook, instead of simply coming to the table to enjoy what she had prepared. Fortunately, this is one of the recipes she did share with me, and making the pancakes now always makes me think of her. One of the secrets of ensuring the pancakes stick together and do not fall apart in the pan, is adding hot milk to the grated potatoes.

My Grandmother’s Potato Pancakes

Serves 2-3 Takes approx. 30 minutes.

3 large potatoes (about 1 kg)
1/3 cup of milk


Grate the potatoes and squeeze out the liquid into a bowl. Let it rest until the starch has sunk to the bottom. Pour out the liquid and reserve the starch.

Heat up the milk. Season the grated potatoes with salt and pepper, mix the starch back in and pour the hot milk over the mixture. Mix well.

Heat up oil in a pan and fry the pancakes in batches, using a heaped tablespoon of the potato mix per pancake.

Serve with smoked salmon, lemon, dill and sour cream; or applesauce and sour cream; or crispy fried bacon/lard and sour cream for the ultimate comfort food on a cold day! A side salad is an option, if you must 🙂

Potato Pancakes


Family recipe

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