Batata Harra (Lebanese Spicy Potatoes)
Batata harra is one of my favorite potato recipes and a wonderful addition to any mezze spread.
Spicy potatoes are by far one of my favorite Middle Eastern side dishes.
These potatoes are an upgrade from any other spicy potatoes I’ve tried anywhere else.
Often known as Lebanese spicy potatoes, batata harra are local to all the countries of the Levant.
What Is Batata Harra?
Batata Harra is a fried spicy potato dish that is said to have originated in Lebanon.
This gluten free dish consists of potato cubes, ground coriander, chili, and garlic.
Many times red peppers are added as a nice contrast of colors and flavor.
Other additions are paprika and lemon.
It’s always best to use fresh ingredients but you can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
Similarly, you can use chili powder as well if you don’t have fresh chilis.
These seasonings are not always the same since there are many variations.
Although it is normally served as an appetizer it is definitely a great meal for any time of the day.
I have heard of it being served for breakfast or as a side dish for lunch/dinner.
The name of this dish translates from Arabic to English to mean ‘hot potatoes’.
This is the perfect name for this dish as it is a literal translation of what the dish actually is – spicy potatoes.
Making this should only take you 30 mins.
How to Make Batata Harra
This dish is incredibly easy and straightforward to make.
Firs, cut the potatoes into medium sized cubed pieces, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
To get the crispiest potatoes, soak them overnight in cold water before cooking.
Fry the potatoes in olive oil until slightly brown, then remove from the pan, and put into a bowl.
In the same pan, fry the garlic and chili until aromatic.
Put the potatoes back in the pan and add salt, black pepper and fresh cilantro.
Stir and continue frying the potatoes until crisp, until they become golden brown.
Remove from the heat and check that the potatoes are cooked.
Then you’re ready to serve.
I would not advocate a diet of nothing but roasted potatoes.
But every once in a while you just can’t beat the crunch of fried potatoes with your lunch or dinner.
It is a wonderful addition to any mezze.
With its combination of crunch and heat from the pepper, it really is to die for.
I make this dish when I crave french fries, as they have all the characteristics of fries but with so much more depth.
I like to make my fried potatoes in a frying pan.
If you want a healthier alternative, you can always use sweet potato instead.
If you decide to use sweet potato, I would recommend cooking it on a baking sheet.
You can also add a little lemon juice or lime juice if you want a fresher taste!
Something About Potatoes
Did you know that the humble potato is the first vegetable to be grown in space?
The potato is such a well loved vegetable, that in the grand scheme of things is relatively low in calories.
Included in that potato jacket is fiber, vitamin C and B6, along with manganese, phosphorus and niacin.
The trouble with potatoes is that lots of people like to deep fry them.
Or alternatively smother them in cheese, and sour cream, making them less healthy.
But the potato goes back a long way in history, first domesticated over ten thousand years ago.
Beginning in South America the potato has traveled the world and become part of almost every cuisine.
First arriving in Europe around the end of the 16th century, potatoes became a cheap food mainly eaten by the poor.
Potatoes grew in popularity for their tendency to stay fresh longer than other vegetables.
As well as the ease with which they could be grown in small plots.
The potato became the nutritional engine that drove the industrial revolution in England, cheaply fueling workers.
Which Chili Pepper To Use
Your favorite ones of course!
You can either use dry chili peppers like red pepper flakes, or you can use fresh chili peppers.
The choice is yours depending on the level of heat you are looking for.
A dry pepper will have just the same amount of capsaicin as a fresh pepper, but it will be more concentrated in the dry flakes.
I like to use harissa paste at times to give a deep concentrated and spicy flavor profile.
The good news is that there are a lot of peppers out there to try, finding your favorite will be fun.
Tips For Making
- Soak the potatoes in cold water before cooking for crispy potatoes.
- If you like spicier potatoes, add more chili. Add less if you don’t!
- Cut the potatoes in uniform to have evenly cooked potatoes.
Batata Harra Recipe
- 4 Potatoes diced
- 1 Red Chili sliced
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Cilantro diced
- Peel and dice the potatoes.
- Thinly slice the red chili.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the diced potatoes and fry until slightly brown. Remove from the pan into a bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in the same pan and fry the garlic and red chili. Add in the potatoes back to the pan. Add the salt, pepper and cilantro.
- Stir and fry until golden brown.