Ask Marilyn – “Potato Cakes”

by Marilyn Markel in Learn

Have questions about a recipe, cooking techniques, cooking tools or ingredients? Hosting your first dinner party or holiday gathering and need some ideas or tips?

Marilyn, our Cooking School Manager, is here to answer all of your cooking questions. We will protect your anonymity so feel free to ask anything, even the questions you never dared to ask about cooking. From novice to pro, this advice column is for food people, by food people.

Ask the questions you want answered!

Email with subject, “Ask Marilyn”

Reader Question:

My Mom used to make the best potato cakes with additional seasonings and vegetables in them.  Do you have a recipe for an Indian-style potato cake?
- Barbara

Marilyn’s Answer:

Yes, I have a great recipe!  If possible, go to the farmers’ market and get the best potatoes (new or Yukon gold) and peas, and our store for the spices – our spice selection can’t be beat in quality, selection or price.  Toasting the spices and then grinding just gives them a wonderful flavor. 

Summer Pea and Potato Cakes with Saffron Aïoli
Serves 6-8


Potato Cakes


1 lb red potatoes, cooked whole in boiling water and cooled
2 cups summer peas, cooked and cooled
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp salt
1 egg
½ cup flour
2 – 4 Tbsp oil


1. Toast spices in a dry skillet until fragrant. Grind to a powder.
2. Mash potatoes. Stir in peas seasonings. Add flour and egg and combine thoroughly. Form potato mixture into patties.
3. Heat oil over medium high heat and sauté the cakes on both sides until nicely browned and cooked through.

Saffron Aïoli


2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (or more, to taste)
1 egg yolk
½ tsp salt
pinch of sugar
½ tsp saffron
¾ cup canola oil


1. In a blender jar put the lemon juice, Tabasco, egg yolk, salt, sugar and saffron.
2. Very slowly, in a thin stream, add the olive oil. Mixture will become very thick and glossy.