Batata harra is fried Lebanese potatoes infused with chopped cilantro (coriander) and fresh garlic cloves. These fried potatoes side dish have the perfect Mediterranean twist!
In Lebanon, you can find these golden brown crispy potatoes as a part of a mezze platter. Mezze are appetizer dishes in Lebanese cuisine, like baba ganoush, labneh, hummus, and fattoush, to name a few.
What You'll Love
Batata harra is a famous Lebanese fried potato dish that can be jazzed up in several different ways. The base recipe uses garlic and cilantro, but feel free to add chili peppers and a squeeze of lemon.
The different cooking methods are explained below, including a baking option if you'd rather skip frying.
- Potatoes: Use white potatoes like russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.
- Vegetable oil: To fry the potatoes.
- Fresh cilantro: The absolute star of this dish. Some people also use parsley along with it while others use other kinds of herbs alone. I recommend that you stick to coriander no matter what variation you're using.
- Garlic: A few cloves add the most incredible flavor here.
- Salt and black pepper
- Chili peppers (optional): Use red chili flakes, cayenne pepper, chili powder, or fresh chili peppers if you want to make this batata harra recipe spicy.
- A squeeze of lemon or lime juice (optional) after the potatoes are fried.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for ingredient measurements.
How To Make Batata Harra
Finely mince the garlic.
Chop the cilantro. Set aside.
Peel and boil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes. Let them cook down a bit and then cut them into potato cubes.
Heat the frying oil. Add the cubed potatoes. Add garlic and cilantro one minute before removing them from the oil. Place on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top of the finished dish to make these Arabic potatoes zing!
Tips and Tricks
- Boil the potatoes for a few minutes before frying. This is a super important step that will guarantee you'll get perfectly cooked cubes when you serve.
- Add the flavorings and seasonings toward the end. Add the cilantro and garlic during the last minute of frying so that they'll just slightly cook. This allows the flavors to blend together without the risk of getting a burnt herb or garlic flavor.
There are several ways to make this dish. Here are the three that are most popular:
Double frying: This is the most popular way to prepare this dish in Lebanon. Basically, you can fry the potatoes alone and then set them aside. Make the spicy garlic cilantro sauce in a frying pan with a little olive oil and add the potatoes back in. The potatoes will be crunchy and crisp and covered in the delicious sauce.
Parboiling and frying: This is the method I use. It ensures you get the same crunch and crispiness as the double-fried version minus all the extra fat. Basically, I boil the potatoes for a few minutes, then fry them and add the flavorings to mix everything together.
Baking (and Air Fryer): In a bowl, mix the cubed potatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, chopped cilantro, and olive oil together. Add them on a parchment paper baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 425 ℉ (220 ℃) for about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust the time for the air fryer because every air fryer is different.
I've made batata harra countless times and experimented with different spices. Here are the ones I found work most:
- Cumin: Just a dash gives this a pretty cool twist.
- Paprika: My favorite addition to these. It gives it a mild spicy flavor that's subtle.
- Red chili peppers: This is great to add if you love extra spicy flavors. You can also crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Jalapeño: Just a few pieces add a little kick.
- Red or green pepper: These add perfect spice and sweetness to balance things out.
Ways To Eat Batata Harra
- Serve these spiced potatoes with some garlic labneh (Labneh b Toum) drizzled with olive oil.
- I know friends who serve batata harra with a wide array of hot and cold mezze dishes. These include cold salads like fattoush and tabbouleh and hot dishes like fried za'atar and cheese rolls and Lebanese sausages (makanek).
- Where I come from in North Lebanon, we serve batata harra alongside fried fish, and it's super popular with seafood in general.
- Always serve these up with a few lemon wedges on the side. They taste absolutely wonderful with a little lemony flavor.
- I also once tried it drizzled with a little bit of olive oil, coriander, and garlic (raw) and it turned out so good (it also gave it a fresh kick).
Other Mezze Dishes To Try
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Batata Harra (Lebanese Garlic Cilantro Potatoes)
- 5 large potatoes
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 4 tablespoon chopped cilantro coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt you can add more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- lemon wedges
- chili peppers optional
- Finely mince the garlic. Chop the cilantro leaves. Set aside.
- Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water for 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the water. Let them cool down a little bit then cube them.
- Heat up the frying oil. Fry the potato cubes until golden brown. One minute before the cubes are done, add in the chopped cilantro, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
- Mix everything together. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the oil. Squeeze lemon juice on top just before serving (optional).