Batata Harra (Spicy Lebanese Potatoes)
Batata Harra are Lebanese Spicy Potatoes with cilantro. Typically the potatoes are diced and fried, but we’re making them extra crispy and skipping the frying step altogether! Tossed in a spicy coriander lemony sauce at the end, these potatoes are to die for!
That’s not only fun to say but to eat as well! It’s one of the first things we always order at a Lebanese restaurant. And who wouldn’t? Crispy cubed potatoes tossed in garlic cilantro spicy sauce with a hint of tang from freshly squeezed lemon juice – sign this girl right up!
In all seriousness, most restaurants fry the russet potato cubes and then toss them in the red pepper flakes and cilantro sauce – delicious but not fun when you need a vat of oil at home to fry them. And honestly, it’s not so great for the waistline, either. So instead, I’ve taken a page out of my garlicky extra crispy roasted potatoes side dish and gone ahead and boiled the potatoes a bit before adding them to a sheet pan and roasting them into little crispy nibbles of deliciousness.
My recipe for Batata Harra is modeled after one of my favorite cafeteria-style Lebanese restaurants in town. It took me quite a while to figure out what made their potatoes so much better than all the ones I had made at home. And I found it! One little ingredient that I’ve rarely seen mentioned in Batata Harra recipes, but it honestly makes the dish for me!
Ingredients for Batata Harra
- Potatoes: The potassium powerhouse! You can use russet potatoes or even Yukon gold potatoes for this appetizer. I like to use russet potatoes more often because they tend to get the crispiest in the oven. White potatoes will also work, but both white and Yukon gold potatoes don’t get as crispy in the oven – they make up for it in flavor, though!
- Baking soda: This is a little ingredient that I’ve added to my roasted potato recipes for years, thanks to Kenji. Adding baking soda to the water while boiling potatoes makes the water alkaline, which helps break down the surface of the potatoes. The broken-down edges crisp up in the oven as they roast and create the ultimate crispy roasted potatoes.
- Ghee or Oil: I like to use ghee for my Batata Harrarecipe as it provides the best flavor. You can also use any high-heat oil that is safe for roasting. Avocado oil or a high-heat olive oil blend would be my next options.
- Coriander Seeds: This is that little ingredient that I just couldn’t make Spicy Lebanese Potatoes without! It adds the perfect fragrance and fresh flavor to the dish. Even if you aren’t a fan of cilantro, give coriander a try! The taste is completely different and has notes of citrus that pair beautifully with the lemon in this dish.
- Garlic Cloves: You’ll need a handful of garlic cloves for this recipe. We’ll saute the garlic in the ghee with the spices and chili until it’s fragrant before we toss it with the potatoes.
- Red Pepper Flakes: The red chili flakes add just a tad bit of heat to the potatoes
- Cilantro: You’ll need a handful of cilantro. Be sure to wash and dry the cilantro thoroughly before using it in the recipe.
- Lemons: You’ll need both the lemon zest and the lemon juice. You can try subbing the lemon juice with lime juice if you’d like but the lemon zest is what gives most of the flavor to the ghee that flavors the Batata Harra.
How to make Spicy Lebanese Potatoes
- Start by parboiling the potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cube them into 1-inch pieces. Add water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. Salt the water and add baking soda to get the potatoes nice and crinkly! Preheat the oven as the water boils.
- Boil the potatoes. Allow the potatoes to come back to a boil and cook about halfway through, you want the knife to pierce through the potatoes with just a bit of resistance. We’ll finish cooking them through in the oven as they roast in a layer. When the potatoes are done, drain them, add them back to the same pot, and toss with a tablespoon of ghee and a big pinch of kosher salt.
- Roast the potatoes. When the oven is preheated, line a baking sheet with parchment if you’d like. I usually skip this step and I find that the potatoes are crispier when they roast in a single layer directly on the baking sheet. Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray to keep the potatoes from sticking. Then spread the potatoes out and roast them for 20 minutes undisturbed. This gives the cookie sheet a chance to get hot and crisp up the nublets. Toss the potatoes and then continue baking them for a few more minutes while you make the lemon coriander sauce.
- Make the lemon cilantro sauce. Once the potatoes are almost done, add the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee to a skillet over medium-low heat. When it melts, add a tsp of crushed up coriander seeds, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook for another 30-45 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Add most of the chopped cilantro add the lemon juice and zest to the pan and stir to combine. Leave the potatoes off the heat and add in the remaining lemon juice and stir.
- Toss and serve. When the potatoes are done, toss them in the lemon and cilantro sauce. Return them to the baking sheet and bake for another few minutes until the potatoes soak up all that flavor. Top with the remaining cilantro and serve warm with roasted chicken or whatever else you like.
FAQs about this recipe
Keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to reheat them in the oven or air fryer right before serving.
My recipe for Spicy Lebanese potatoes is entirely gluten-free.
Spicy Lebanese Potatoes pair beautifully with chicken kebabs and Lebanese rice pilaf as a side, a shawarma wrap instead of fries, and kefta with a bowl of Shirazi salad, hummus, and flatbread. Basically all of your standard middle eastern favorites.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Cart-Style Halal Chicken Rice Bowls
- Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Stew)
- Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)
- Arayes (Lebanese Stuffed Pitas)
- Most Delicious Homemade Shawarma Seasoning
Batata Harra (Spicy Lebanese Potatoes)
Batata Harra are Lebanese Spicy Potatoes with cilantro. Typically the potatoes are diced and fried, but we're making them extra crispy and skipping the frying step altogether! Tossed in a spicy coriander lemony sauce at the end, these potatoes are to die for!
- 2 pounds Russet or Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons ghee (or high heat oil, like avocado)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed up
- 5 cloves garlic, minced garlic
- ½ -1½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, divided
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
- PARBOIL: Heat a large pot of water until boiling. Add a generous tablespoon of kosher salt along with the baking soda and potatoes; stir to combine. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- POTATOES: Allow the potatoes to come back to a boil and cook about halfway through, about 8-10 minutes. Test using a paring knife, it should go through with some resistance. Drain the potatoes, place them back in the same pot. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee and a big pinch of salt and toss to combine. Set aside.
- ROAST: When the oven is preheated, line with parchment if desired, I usually skip it. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray and quickly spread potatoes out in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Then toss and continue baking for another 8 minutes or until the potatoes are golden.
- LEMON CILANTRO SAUCE: Once you toss the potatoes, heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee. When hot, add the coriander seeds, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook for 30-45 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Add cilantro, add 2 tbsps juice, and the lemon zest to the pan. Stir to combine; remove from heat. Add the remaining lemon juice and stir together.
- TOSS AND SERVE: When the potatoes are done, toss them in the lemon and cilantro sauce, return to the baking sheet. Bake for another 5 minutes then sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve warm with roasted chicken or whatever else you like!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 8gCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gProtein: 5g
The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is just an estimate. To get the most accurate information, please input the ingredients you've used into a nutrition calculator.