Step 1In a medium saute pan, heat one-fourth cup of oil and saute the onion and garlic till golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cumin. Beat in the eggs and onion and garlic mixture with a fork. Stir in the olives and add water, as needed, if the mixture seems too thick.
Step 3Heat one-fourth cup of the remaining oil in the pan and use a small cup or soup ladle to form 3 to 4 latkes. Fry on both sides till golden. Repeat until all the batter is used, adding additional oil as needed for frying. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve with thick yogurt or sour cream.