Pakistani Potato Cakes

Pakistani Potato CakesI’ve never imagined I would post a Pakistani recipe on my blog, but here it is.

Living in overseas as an expat offers me many wonderful cultural experiences. I live in Malaysia; one of the beautiful SE Asian countries where so many cultures intertwine. My family got to know a Pakistani family here and learned a lot about their culture and “the Food”.

Fouzia, a Pakistani mother of three young handsome boys and an amazing cook, showed me how to make chicken biryani, butter chicken, chapati, and this simple and delicious Pakisatni Potato Cakes. Her biryani was especially delicious but it was quite of work if you make from scratch. She also taught me how to make chapati. Chapati is quite fun to make (mine never came out as round as hers). It is so hearty and healthy compare to Naan. Now I prefer eating my curries with chapati.

My first attempt to imitate the authentic Pakistani food is these potato cakes. They are truly one of the best potato cakes I’ve eaten. The gentle spicy kick with cumin seeds, chili, and coriander..,  they provide lovely fragrance and the deliciousness in your mouth. They are gluten free, partially vegetarian (need to use eggs) and yum-yum to anyone’s stomach. Not to mention how easy it is to make, of course.


These are cumin seeds.


I like to toast them to bring out their wonderful fragrance even more.


Boil the potatoes until fork tender.  I used Yukon potatoes.


Remove their skins and mash them.


Add cumin seeds, minced shallots, chili flakes, and chopped coriander (cilantro), salt and pepper to taste.


Mix all together.


Form into patties, about 2 1/2″ in size.


Coat them with beaten eggs.


Heat a little oil in a skillet and add the patties, pressing them down gently.

How do you like my slightly faded Henna on my hand?…


Fry them over med-low heat…


…until golden brown both sides, about 3 minutes on each. Serve warm or at room temperature. They make a wonderful appetizer or side dish, even as a snack. I wish you can take a bite of mine…


These past few days, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of Boston Marathon explosion. I got teared up by reading what happened and all the heroic actions of people at the scene.

The world is getting harsher, and tragic events are happening everywhere around the us. But with the humanity we cherish and the noble actions from the caring people…, I think that makes this troubled world much better place to live.

Charity never fails…


With much love,




Pakistani Potato Cakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: about 6-8


  • 1kg (2-1/4 lb) Yukon or russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • canola or grape seed oil for frying


  1. Boil potatoes in the water until soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds until fragrant and lightly browned.
  3. Mash potatoes in a large mixing bowl, add cumin seeds, shallots, cilantro, chili flakes, pepper and salt. Mix well with a spoon. Form the potato mixture into patties, about 2-1/2" in size.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Coat the potato cakes with beaten eggs and place on a heated skillet pressing down gently. Fry them until golden brown on the outside, about 3 minutes. Turn over and fry the other side.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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  1. 5


    These are great! I’ve made “potato pancakes” out of leftover mashed potatoes that are similar, but spiced quite differently. Really nice recipe (and fun!) – thanks so much.

  2. 6


    As a child, I wished that my dad was working oversea! Before marriage I wish to find a husband who will take me to the world. Haha. But here I am, still oversea, but my life is here. No complaint at all, but just want to say you have an amazing life! I know it’s a lot of complicated things to go through besides the image of “life of expat” (as I know Japanese expats here). Anyway, what a fantastic recipe! I want to visit Malaysia too… :)

    • 7

      Holly says

      Yes, I am blessed with opportunities to live in different countries. However, everything in life has its pros and cons. Love our life in overseas but often miss our families and friends in the States. The older you get, the deeper rooting instinct kicks in.

  3. 11


    Discovering other cuisines is the best part of living overseas! I loved eating Serbian food in Beijing and learning to cook Indian curries in Paris :) Thanks for a delicious recipe.

  4. 15

    Yaoli says

    This was so delicious! It tastes very savory, I imagine it must be what street food in south asian tastes like. Thank you for such an amazing and easy recipe!

  5. 17

    Hilal says

    I love cumin and we also use it in some of our recipes in Turkey. I will also add this one in my recipe notebook. After coating them with egg, they could be coated with bread crumbs for the ones who like more crunchy things. I will also try to cook your Korean recipes and I hope, I will succeed :) thanks for your sharing from Turkey.

  6. 19

    Mary says

    Made the Pakisani pancakes this evening. Absolutely delicious–2 thumbs up from both my husband and my 9 year old son, definitely the best potato pancakes ever. I also made your naked mandoo yesterday which my son liked but he said he likes the traditional mandoo better. I am very happy to have found your site and your delicious recipes. I love to cook, read and try new recipes, especially ethnic dishes.– My therapy! Your recipes remind me of the delicious cooking my aunt from Pusan does, which is very different from my mom’s cooking (from Seoul area). My secret – I like my Pusan aunt’s cooking much better…and now I can cook more like that, thanks to you!!! :) My American husband loves duk so I will be trying your LA ride cakes soon.

  7. 21

    Emily says

    Hopefully you get email notifications, or you’ll never see this, but I’ve been following you for what seems like forever. Before I entered college at least. You hooked me in with your Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, and I never looked back!

    With these, how well are they supposed to hold together? When I’m done, they’re kind of just like baked mashed potatoes, not crispy or crunchyish as I thought they’d be!

    Any tips with this?

    Thanks so much- again, I absolutely love your website, never stop!

    • 22

      Holly says

      Hi Emily
      These potato cakes are somewhat delicate to cook. They are not particularly crispy but you can achieve that by using more oil when frying in the pan. I would turn these cakes only once during the cooking time. If you turn them over too often they might get broken easily. Just let them sear in the skillet for a few minutes, then turn over and continue to cook without moving them around. Add more oil if the skillet seems dry. I am sorry to hear that you cake didn’t turn out the way you hoped for. It is always frustrating when recipes didn’t work out.

  8. 23

    Azarmeen says

    How wonderful to find a Pakistani recipe on a Korean blog. I grew up enjoying these in Pakistan. I haven’t made these in a while and I think they’ll make a perfect vegetarian summer dinner with a bright corn and burst tomato salad. Thanks for posting

    • 24


      Hi Azarmeen
      Surprised? I love Pakistani food and I wish I can find some ingredients here so I can cook more often. Corn and tomato salad sounds so refreshing!

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