Batata Harra gets my award for the ultimate potato recipe! Crispy potatoes are tossed in a spicy garlic and cilantro sauce, and they're finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice.
What Is Batata Harra?
Batata Hara is Arabic for "spicy potatoes." Specifically, crispy potatoes that are tossed in a sauce of spicy chili peppers, cilantro and garlic. Lemon juice is typically squeezed over the top of the finished dish for a fresh, zesty finish. It's typically served as a mezze dish, alongside other Middle Eastern dishes.
Batata Hara's original home is in Lebanon and Syria, where you'll find as many different variations as there are cooks. Some like to add a squeeze of tomato paste for a saucier dish, and many like to add red or yellow peppers. However, the base ingredients remain the same.
Here's the ingredients you'll typically find in this delicious, authentic Middle Eastern recipe:
- Potatoes: Choose any potato that's good for roasting, such as Yukon Golds or Russet potatoes.
- Olive Oil: Traditional batata harra is usually deep fried. However, we're going to lighten the traditional recipe up as many Lebanese chefs do today.
- Garlic: Garlic is a must in this recipe. And lots of it!
- Chili Peppers: I used two red chili peppers with their seeds removed, however if you want to tone down the spiciness factor, feel free to use one chili pepper.
- Chili Powder: I like my spicy potatoes coated in a bit of chili powder for batata harra.
- Cilantro: Cilantro is what makes this dish so special (in my opinion). It's almost like tabbouleh, with crispy potatoes added. Yum!
- Lemon Juice: If you pass on the lemon juice, you'll miss out on the full, authentic taste of this unique dish.
How To Make Batata Harra
In this version of batata harra, we're going to oven roast the potatoes. They'll be just as crispy as the deep fried version, but much heart healthier. I'll also give you air fryer instructions, it you want to roast your potatoes in your air fryer.
- Preheat your oven to 400° F (200° C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Peel and cube your potatoes. Transfer them to a large bowl and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes with a spoon, to ensure that they're evenly coated in oil and seasoning. Spread them out evenly on your baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes.
- When your potatoes are almost finished roasting, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan. Saute the garlic, chili peppers, chili powder and 1 cup of the cilantro for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can combine the garlic, chili peppers, cilantro and oil in a boil, and add the roasted potatoes to the mixture. This makes it like a batata harra potato salad, something like tabbouleh, but with potatoes.
- Finally, add your roasted potatoes and toss everything together. Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Garnish with the remaining cilantro.
Air Fryer Instructions
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 C (200 F).
- Peel and cube your potatoes and toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer your potatoes to the air fryer, and fry for 25-30 minutes. Toss the potatoes at the half way point. You may need to roast the potatoes in two batches, depending on how big your air fryer is.
- Proceed with the oven roasted recipe.
- Serve batata harra as part of a larger mezze with a flatbread like my Za'atar Bread - Za'atar Manaquish ,Creamy Gluten Free Hummus, Ful Medames - Egyptian Fava Bean Dip.
- Make a batata harra wrap and falafel wrap sandwich. Use vegan yogurt as a topping.
- Make a sandwich by stuffing pita bread with your spicy potatoes. Top with yogurt and some fresh mint leaves.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Frequently Asked Questions About This Recipe
If you don't like cilantro, you can use parsley, much like a traditional tabbouleh salad.
Absolutely! There's no gluten here.
Batata harra is best enjoyed fresh. However, if you do happen to have some left over you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. To crisp up the potatoes, reheat in the air fryer or in a saute pan with a little oil.
Craving More Easy Vegan Recipes?
- 2 pounds potatoes peeled and cubed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 2 red chili peppers deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1½ cups cilantro/coriander minced
- 1 lemon juiced
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Peel and cube the potatoes. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes with a spoon, to ensure that they're evenly coated in oil and seasoning. Spread them out evenly on the baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes.
- When the potatoes are almost finished roasting, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan. Saute the garlic, chili peppers, chili powder and 1 cup of the cilantro for 30 seconds.
- Add the roasted potatoes and toss everything together. Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Garnish with the remaining cilantro.