Although it is often mistaken for Taro root, Malanga is it’s own species. Malanga goes by many names: Yautia and cocoyam in parts of South America, Tannia in Dominican Republic and Taniera in the Bahamas. It is brown, and has a similar in shape to a yam and has sort of shaggy skin. It’s full of fiber, iron, vitamin C and is richer in minerals than a potato. Get in depth information about specialty produce by clicking here. I bought my malanga in Shoprite, but you can find it in Whole Foods, or ask your online kosher grocery if they carry it, or can get it for you!
Don’t let the “ugly” outside of the Malanga deter you from buying it, because you can pretty much treat this as a potato. Boil, bake, roast and fry – hence LATKES!!!!
Trust me, they might not look it, but they are delicious. They don’t even need the chili lime because it has a sort of nutty flavor, but since I was cooking South American produce, it reminded me of the way I used to eat mango on the streets of Colombia. (I still make mango this way as a snack)
- 1 6 1/2 - 7 inch piece of malanga root (a tightly packed, heaping cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Approx 1/4 cup (as needed) safflower oil for frying
- Shred the malanga and add the spices. Mix well and form into latkes in your hands (it's sticky enough to stick together without anything else)
- Heat oil over medium heat until it bubbles around the end of a wooden spoon, and slowly drop the latkes into the oil. Flip to the other side when edges are light golden brown and continue to cook for approximately 2 minutes or until fully golden brown and crispy. With a spatula, remove and drain on paper towels and squeeze lime juice and a little sprinkle of salt. Transfer to a wire rack and continue with the rest of your latkes.