This 5-ingredient recipe for Spicy Lebanese Potatoes, also known as Batata Harra, is incredibly easy to prepare and comes together in under 30 minutes. It works great as a side dish or as part of a meze board.
Batata Harra is a popular Levantine side dish served with shawarma or falafel. It’s hard to pinpoint where in the Levant it originated from, but the consensus is modern-day Lebanon. The Arabic name translates to spicy or hot (harra) potatoes (batata).
You’ll often see it served with a big dollop of Toum (garlic sauce). I personally think this recipe is just an easy and delicious way to dress up plain old roast potatoes so feel free to make this recipe as a side any day of the week.
The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t need any fancy or hard-to-get ingredients. All you need are fridge and pantry staples.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Potatoes. Traditionally this recipe is made with large potatoes that are cubed, with skin on. You can use Yukon gold, white, red-skinned or even new potatoes if you want to. Russet potatoes are also an option, but see the expert tips section below on how to handle those.
- Olive oil. I like to use extra virgin olive oil for both roasting the potatoes and for the dressing. But if you prefer to use a lighter oil baking the potatoes, you can use avocado oil or vegetable oil. For the dressing, however, olive oil is best.
- Garlic. Use as much or as little as you like. You can also use confit garlic if you have it.
- Chili flakes. You can make this recipe as spicy or as mild as you like. Crushed red chili flakes are traditional, but you can also use Aleppo pepper flakes or pul-biber flakes.
- Fresh herbs. Cilantro is traditional and highly recommended. You can also use parsley if you don’t have cilantro.
- Coriander Spice. I like adding coriander to this recipe as it adds an earthy layer to the overall dish. Traditionally however it is not used. So, it’s up to you if you use it or not.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to make this Batata Harra Recipe
Step 1. Prepare. Pre-heat your oven and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Add the cubed potatoes in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2. Bake. Bake the potatoes until golden brown and cooked through.
Step 3. Dressing. To a small frying pan set on medium heat, add the olive oil and crushed garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant, but not burned. Add the chili flakes, coriander spice and cilantro. Fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Step 4. Combine. Transfer the hot potatoes to a serving dish and drizzle the spicy garlic and cilantro sauce all over. Toss to combine. Garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh lemon juice.
- Rinse the potatoes. To remove excess starch from your potatoes, you can soak them in cold water for 15 minutes. You should only do this with starchy potatoes like Russets. Make sure to drain them on paper towels before baking or frying.
- Don't crowd the potatoes. Make sure to use a large enough baking pan or sheet so that the potatoes are not crowded and touching each other. You want them to be as crispy as possible.
- Use an air fryer. I love making this recipe in an air fryer. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions as each air fryer is different. You want to make sure your potato cubes are golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Deep frying. You can also deep fry the potatoes in a deep fryer or pot with oil. The oil temperature should be 350F.
- Don’t use foil. I recommend using parchment paper to line your baking tray. If you use foil, the potatoes will likely stick and cause a mess.
Cilantro and coriander are related. Coriander spice is the crushed-up seed pod of the coriander plant (sometimes called green coriander). When coriander seeds are planted, the cilantro plant will grow. It will eventually flower and set seeds.
As the name suggests, yes. However you can make them as spicy or as mild as you like.
I don’t recommend making batata harra in advance and reheating it. This recipe is best served right after you combine the baked potato cubes with the dressing. If you wanted to, you could make the potatoes and dressing ahead of time and keep them warm and only combine them right before serving. These spicy Lebanese potatoes are best served warm or at room temperature.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat them in a pan, microwave or toaster oven.
If you make this Batata Harra recipe or any other side dishes on Urban Farm and Kitchen, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe.
Batata Harra (Spicy Lebanese Potatoes)
- 2-3 lbs Medium Potatoes - about 4-5 potatoes, cubed into 1" (2.5cm) pieces
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil - You can also use cooking spray
- Kosher salt and black pepper
Garlic and Cilantro Dressing
- 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 2-4 Garlic cloves - finely minced
- ½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes - Optional, use more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon Ground coriander spice - Optional, use more or less to taste
- ½ cup Cilantro - Finely chopped
- Lemon wedges, extra cilantro and flaky salt for garnish
- Preheat. Preheat your oven to 400F/200C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare. Add the cubed potatoes to the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and arrange the potatoes in a single layer.
- Bake. Bake the potatoes until golden brown and cooked through, 25-30 minutes.
- Dressing. To a small frying pan set on medium heat, add the olive oil and crushed garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant, but not burned. Add the chili flakes, coriander spice and chopped cilantro. Fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Combine. Transfer the baked crispy potatoes to a serving dish and drizzle the dressing. Toss to combine. Garnish with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of flaky salt.