Batata Harra might just be the best way to enjoy potatoes! This Lebanese dish literally translates to spicy potatoes as it’s crispy fried potatoes tossed in a spicy sauce with lemon and cilantro. If you like potatoes, you’ll absolutely love this – especially enjoyed with some salad and grilled chicken!
Making the Spicy Tomato Sauce
The secret of batata harra is all in the spicy tomato sauce! Now note it is not a spicy burn your mouth kind of heat, it’s super mild and more of a flavorful spicy.
Here are all the ingredients you will need:
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- red pepper flakes
- black pepper and salt
- lemon juice
Start out by sautéing the garlic and tomato paste in the butter and olive oil until it deepens in color. This will remove the acidity from the tomato paste.
Then add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, and cumin. This recipe is mild in spice level so if you’d like it more spicy, add more red pepper flakes. Mix together and finally add the lemon juice and cilantro. Combine all together until smooth. Taste and adjust anything to your liking. Now the sauce is ready!
Preparing the Potatoes
There are many ways you can prepare potatoes for batata harra! The goal is to just have crispy potatoes whether that be deep-fried, air-fried, or even baked in the oven. Feel free to prepare the potatoes the best way you see fit to achieve crispness. Here is how I prepare the potatoes in this recipe:
1. Peel and cube the potatoes
Start out with Russet potatoes that have been peeled and cubed into small pieces.
2. Ice water bath!
Transfer the cubed potatoes to an ice water bath just for 10 minutes to remove any excess starch.
This step is optional but I find it yields a more crispy potato. Just add the potatoes to boiled and salted water for 5 to 6 minutes and then drain them and dry completely!
4. Coat in cornstarch
Toss the parboiled potatoes in cornstarch until coated evenly.
Heat up vegetable oil until very hot, 350°F. Add the potatoes and fry in batches if overcrowded. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Drain any excess oil and transfer to the spicy tomato sauce.
Toss in the sauce and enjoy warm.
Other Potato Dishes to Try
If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it.
- 3 large Russet potatoes peeled and cubed
- vegetable oil for frying
SPICY GARLIC TOMATO SAUCE
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
MAKE THE SPICY TOMATO SAUCE
- To a saucepan, add the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for about 4 minutes. The tomato paste will darken in color from a bright red to reddish brown. This process removes acidity from the tomato paste.
- Then add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir together.
- Finally, finish it off with cilantro and lemon juice and mix together until a sauce forms.
- Taste and adjust anything to your liking. If you want it more spicy, add more red pepper flakes or I like to add sriracha. Then set aside.
PREPARE THE POTATOES
- Add the potatoes to ice cold water and allow to soak for 10 minutes.
- To a pot of boiling salted water, add the cubed potatoes and parboil for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain all the water and pat dry.
- Toss the potatoes in cornstarch until all are coated evenly.
- Heat a pan with vegetable oil for frying (about 350°F). Once hot, add the potatoes, making sure they're not overcrowded. Fry until golden brown and then transfer to the pan with the tomato sauce.
- Toss the potatoes in the sauce and serve warm!