These potato patties are crispy on the outside and creamy and soft on the inside. This is an easy potato patties recipe to make a light meal.
You can find many Persian recipes here on the blog. Delicious vegetarian dishes such as one pot tomato rice or Persian noodle soup are quite popular among our readers. Today, we are sharing another classic Persian recipe called kuku sibzamini (Persian potato patties) that happens to be vegetarian as well.
What is kuku?
Kuku is Farsi for “patty.” It’s a common category of Persian dishes that can be made with different ingredients and vegetables. Kukus can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. One of the common kuku recipes is kuku sabzi which is a popular Persian recipe made with different types of herbs. Today’s recipe is kuku sibzamini, “potato patties,” which is another popular kuku recipe.
Since kuku is a typical and traditional category of Iranian dishes, each family has their own favorite patty recipes and they vary region to region.
Persian potato patties vs American potato patties
Both patties have a cooked potato base but there are a few differences between American and Persian potato cakes:
- Persian potato cakes use dried mint in the recipe whereas the American version uses green onion.
- American potato patties have cheese in them (usually cheddar) but Persian potato cakes don’t use cheese.
- Some American potato cakes recipes call for breadcrumbs to coat the patties before frying. Traditionally, this step is not included when making the Persian version.
Are these potato patties same as latkes?
No, they’re not. Latkes or potato pancakes are made with raw potatoes whereas these potato cakes or potato patties use cooked potatoes. Potato cakes or patties are not the same as potato pancakes. We will publish a recipe for latkes and potato pancakes in the future.
Ingredients to make potato patties recipe
To make this crispy potato patties, you need some simple ingredients:
- All purpose flour
- Spices such as black pepper, turmeric and saffron
- Dried mint
Using saffron is completely optional and it’s mostly used to give some bright golden color to the patties. Turmeric and dried mint are basic spices in this potato patty recipe and I suggest you don’t skip them. If you like your potato patties spicy, add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to your lineup of spices.
What kind of potatoes work best for potato pancakes?
My favorite type of potatoes to use to make these potato patties is russet potatoes. Not only because I grew up having russet potatoes, but also because they have a good amount of starch with binds the patties together. If russet potatoes are not available, please use Yukon gold potatoes. Check out this article about different types of potatoes on Jessica Gavin.
How to cook potatoes to make potato patties
You can either boil or bake potatoes to make this Persian potato cake recipe:
- Boil potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut each of them into half. Place them in a pot with enough water to cover them. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring it to boil. Let the potatoes boil for about 25 to 35 minutes until fully cooked. You know a potato is fully cooked when you can insert a knife into it without any resistance.
- Bake potatoes: To do so, preheat the oven to 425°F. Scrub the potatoes so the skin is completely clean. Prick all over the potatoes using a fork and brush with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some salt on them. Wrap each potato in a piece of aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Once you can easily insert a knife into the potatoes, they’re baked completely.
How to make Persian style potato patties
Once you cook the potatoes, mash them in a bowl using a masher or simply use a fork. Add the eggs and the spices to the potatoes and mix well. Gradually add in the flour and mix after each addition. Make sure not to add too much flour. Your mixture should be consistent enough to be handled but not doughy or hard. Please watch the tutorial video for visual instructions.
Heat vegetable oil in a nonstick pan and once the oil is hot enough, shape the patties and fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Serve immediately.
Other ways to cook potato patties
- Potato patties in oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the potato patties as instructed in the recipe card. Shape the potato patties and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, and flip them midway to make sure they get crispy on both sides. Baked potato patties are just as tasty as the fried ones.
- Potato patties in air fryer: Make and shape the potato patties according to the recipe card. Place them on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Flip and coat the other side with cooking spray as well. Place the patties in the air fryer in one layer. Set the temperature to 370°F and cook for 8 minutes.
How to make potato patties stick together
The binding agent in this potato recipe is the eggs. I used 2 eggs for 4 large potatoes. The number of eggs you use depends on the size of the potatoes and also the amount of starch they have. If you’ve added too many eggs and now the mixture is too loose and hard to scoop or shape, then add a bit of all purpose flour to balance the consistency.
The secret to a good potato patties recipe
There are a few factors that you should know to make sure you make the best potato patties:
- Seasoning: Add enough salt to the batter to make sure it’s well seasoned. Taste it before you fry the patties. Fry one potato cake, let it cool for a few minutes and taste it. If the seasoning is on point, then proceed with the remaining batter. If not, fix the seasoning and then fry the remaining.
- Consistency: Add enough flour so you’re able to either form the patties with your hand or easily scoop them into the hot oil. If the patty mixture is too runny or too sticky, add a little bit of flour (one tablespoon at a time) and mix again. Don’t add too much flour otherwise the patties will end up tasting like flour instead of creamy potato flavor.
- Heat: First of all, use neutral oil to fry these potato cakes. Flavored oils such as coconut oil won’t work for this recipe. Secondly, make sure it’s at the right temperature. You don’t want the oil too hot because it’ll burn the patties on the outside and will leave them raw on the inside. And, you don’t want the oil to be too cold because it will make the patties soggy instead of crispy. To make sure the oil is at right temperature, hold a toothpick in the oil, if bubbles start appearing around the toothpick, then it’s oil enough and ready to use.
Can I use leftover mashed potatoes?
You can definitely use leftover mashed potatoes or leftover cooked potatoes to make this potato patties recipe. To make fried mashed potato patties, put the leftover mashed potatoes in a bowl and soften it using a fork or a spoon. Then add the eggs, flour, salt and spices and mix well until all comes together. Shape the patties and fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side. These patties cook pretty fast since the potatoes are pre-cooked.
What to serve with potato cakes
When I was growing up, we would serve these potato patties with some flatbread such as lavash, pickles, lettuce and fresh tomatoes. And that’s my favorite way to serve them to this day.
These potato cakes make a great side dish to any meat dish such as chicken wings, chicken shish kabobs. or baked salmon. If you’re serving these patties as a light meal with some bread, you can make a side salad such as fattoush or Mediterranean salad to turn this into a complete vegetarian lunch or dinner.
Can I make potato patties ahead of time?
Persian potato patties are best if served hot right out of the frying pan when they’re crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. It’s possible to make them ahead of time and reheat them in the microwave or the oven but the texture won’t be the same.
Can I freeze potato patties?
These potato patties or mashed potato patties if you’re using leftover mashed potatoes freeze beautifully. You can freeze them either before or after frying the patties:
- Before frying: Make and shape the patties as instructed in the recipe. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about two hours until the patties are hard. Place them in a single layer in a ziploc bag and freeze for up to three months. To cook, thaw the patties at room temperature and then fry in a pan.
- After frying: Let the potato cakes cool completely and then store them in a single layer in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw them at room temperature and then heat them in the oven at 250°F for 15 to 20 minutes until fully warm and heated.
Tips to make the best potato patties at home
- Leftover cooked or mashed potatoes are perfect for this recipe. They bind really well thanks to the milk and/or cream so make sure the batter is not too thin and sticky. If after adding the eggs, the batter is too sticky or runny, add a bit of flour and mix again until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Make sure you season the potatoes well before frying the potato cakes. Taste as you go and make sure it has enough salt.
- You can either mash the cooked potatoes using a fork or a potato masher or grate them. Both methods work similarly.
- I’ve always fried these patties using neutral oil like vegetable oil but canola would work just as fine.
- The addition of dried mint is optional in this recipe and you can leave it out if you’re not a fan or it’s not available in your kitchen. However, I love adding dried mint to potatoes as they simply make a great combination. Fresh mint won’t work in this recipe as it would change color and will become dark and unappetizing when cooked.
Persian Potato Patties (Kuku Sibzamini)
- 4 russet potatoes see notes
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp bloomed saffron see notes
- 1 tbsp dried mint see notes
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour see notes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
- Cook the potatoes by boiling or baking them.
- Mash the potatoes in a large bowl using a potato masher or a fork.
- Add the eggs to the potatoes and mix well.
- Add in salt, pepper, turmeric, bloomed saffron and dried mint. Stir well to combine.
- Add in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. Mix after each addition.
- The mixture should be thick enough to be handled but not doughy.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a non stick pan over medium heat. You'll know the oil is hot enough if you hold a toothpick in the oil and bubbles start appearing around it.
- Shape the patties and fry them in the hot oil in batches. Fry for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side until crispy.
- Place fried potato cakes on a kitchen towel to absorb their excess oil.
- If russet potatoes are not available, you can use yukon gold potatoes.
- You can either bake or boil the potatoes to make these patties:
- Boil potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut each of them into half. Place them in a pot and enough water to cover them. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring it to boil. Let the potatoes boil for about 25 to 35 minutes until fully cooked. You know a potato is fully cooked when you can insert a knife into it without any resistance.
- Bake potatoes: To do so, preheat the oven to 425°F. Scrub the potatoes so the skin is completely clean. Prick all over the potatoes using a fork and brush with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some salt on them. Wrap each potato in a piece of aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Once you can easily insert a knife into the potatoes, they're baked completely.
- Bloomed saffron is an optional ingredient in this recipe. Please check out our tutorial on how to bloom saffron for more information about saffron and how to use it.
- Dried mint makes these patties really delicious so don't skip it if possible. Please don't use fresh mint instead of dried in this recipe as the flavor and texture won't be the same.