These amazing pan roasted potatoes are delicious and different. Lebanese spicy potatoes, or batata harra are first pan fried or oven roasted until golden brown, and then tossed in a delicious spicy infused olive oil.Jump to Recipe
I am always on a lookout for a delicious potato side dish, and if it's healthy and delicious, even better! These Lebanese potatoes don't require any weird ingredient, yet they are beautiful and full of flavor. They really are the perfect Mediterranean potatoes to serve as a side dish, or compliment to any meat dish or food platter. Did I mention this is a gluten free potato dish? Oh and it's also dairy free, and no one will ever miss a thing!
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If you have never had Lebanese food you are really missing out! Want to know more about it? Read the article "The Ultimate Guide to Lebanese Food"
What is batata harra?
Batata harra is literally translated to spicy potatoes. They aren't overly spicy, just enough to give a little kick and to make your potatoes a little more adventurous. This batata harra recipe can be served hot or even cold as a type of Lebanese potato salad. I personally prefer it hot.
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How to prepare Lebanese potatoes for the best results:
There are several different ways to prepare Lebanese spicy potatoes.
- Traditionally, these potatoes are actually twice fried- once deep frying them, unseasoned, in oil and the next time pan frying them in a skillet with a spicy infused olive oil.
- Another way to make these Middle Eastern potatoes is to roast them on high heat, and then toss them in the infused olive oil: this is my preferred method.
- The cookbook that has been passed down through our family for generations, calls for the potatoes to be slightly boiled, and then fried in the olive oil
As I said, my preferred way of cooking batata harra is for them to be oven roasted.
The ingredients for this recipe for Lebanese batata harra are very simple:
One thing I love about Lebanese food, is that it's not scary and it doesn't have crazy ingredients that are hard to come by. It is the same with this batata recipe, the ingredients are very simple.
- potatoes (I used creamer potatoes, or new potatoes)
- crushed red pepper
- ground black pepper
- olive oil
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
How to make Lebanese spicy potatoes:
As I said before, there are different ways of preparation for this potato dish. The one I use is the oven roasted potato method. If you are wondering what kind of potatoes to use, there really isn't a wrong answer. If you want to use russet potatoes or red potatoes that would be fine. For this particular batata recipe I used a petite potato medley with a mixture of red, yellow and purple potatoes. It made for a beautiful dish and I loved how the potatoes were nice crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take 2.5 lbs of potatoes (about 6 russets) and cut them into bite sized pieces. For the petite potatoes, I halved or quartered them, depending on how big each one was.
Place the cut up potatoes in a roasting pan and toss them with 1 tablespoon of light olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place the potatoes uncovered in the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, give the potatoes a toss.
Once the potatoes are almost done roasting, prepare the infused olive oil. Take 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add it into a small sauce pan. On medium heat sauté the minced garlic for one minute, or until fragrant. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, chopped cilantro and chopped parsley. Toss the herbs in the hot oil for about 30 seconds or just until it begins to wilt. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the lemon juice.
As soon as the potatoes are golden brown on the outside and fork tender, remove them from the oven and toss them in the herb infused olive oil. Serve hot, or you can serve it cold if you wish.
How to make air fryer batata harra:
I know that air fryers are all the rage. I have one, but use is sparingly. It's not that I dislike my air fryer, it's that I am feeding a family of 6 and normally I can't cook enough food in the air fryer for my army of hungry kids. You will have to to scale down the recipe by ½ in order for it to fit into your air fryer, and you will need to use less oil.
So go ahead and take 2-2 ½ cups of diced potatoes and toss it in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the prepared potatoes in the air fryer on 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, shaking the basket periodically. Use the same prep method for the infused olive oil as instructed above (only cut the recipe in half). When the potatoes are done, toss them in the prepared olive oil and serve. Enjoy!
Serve these up with my Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and check out some other popular recipes!
- Fried potatoes and onions
- Halloumi Fries
- Burrata Bruschetta
- Baked Kibbeh (Lebanese)
- Lebanese garlic toum
How spicy is this batata harra recipe?
I have a very high tolerance for spicy food and love it with all my heart, so I do not think these potatoes are very spicy. Please feel free to add more crushed red pepper if you want it to be more spicy, or cut it in half if you don't want much spice at all. I think they are tolerable for most human beings and it shouldn't be a problem if you are serving them to guests or anything.
Can it be made ahead of time and served cold?
Yes, this recipe can be made ahead of time and served cold, however you will lose the crispiness. My original family cookbook calls for this to be more like a Lebanese potato salad that is served cold. I prefer it hot, crispy and fresh, but it's up to you!
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Lebanese Spicy Potatoes (Batata Harra)
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 1 ½ teas salt
- ¾ teas fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice or ½ lemon- juiced
- Preheat the oven to 425° F
- Halve or quarter the petite potatoes. If using russet or a larger potato, dice them into bite sized pieces *see note
- Toss the potatoes in 1 tablespoon of light olive oil and add the salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place them in a greased roasting pan or glass baking pan
- Bake the prepared potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes, remove them from the oven and stir them around
- Place them back in the oven and bake them for another 15 minutes, or until they begin to get golden brown and crispy on the outside
- When the potatoes are almost done, prepare the dressing or infused olive oil by adding 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a saucepan
- Heat the pan and sauté the garlic in the olive oil for one minute, or until fragrant
- Add the crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for another 15 seconds
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and toss in the chopped cilantro, parsley and lemon juice, stirring for 30 seconds. The cilantro and parsley should just begin to wilt.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven. Pour the prepared olive oil mixture over the top of the potatoes and toss it all together
- Serve the potatoes hot, or if you would rather, refrigerate and serve it later as a potato salad *see note
Air Fryer directions
- Halve the recipe
- Toss the potatoes with only 1 teaspoon of light olive oil, salt and pepper and place the prepared potatoes in the air fryer
- Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and fry the potatoes for 25 minutes, shaking the basket every so often
- Halve the olive oil dressing ingredients and prepare them according to the directions above.
- Once the potatoes are golden brown around the edges, remove them and toss them with the infused olive oil