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Maakouda with Lemon Harissa Aioli

Fried potatoes spiced with the flavors of Morocco – this is Maakouda!

This Moroccan potato fritter can be served as an appetizer or in a sandwich. The sandwich version is commonly sold on the streets back in Morocco and it’s like their equivalent of falafel. I served it with a tangy and creamy harissa dip and it makes for the perfect combo.

Some tips for making Maakouda:

  • You don’t want to mash your potatoes all the way. My mom has always made them with a few potato chunks inside as you can see in the cross section and we love it like this.
  • If you are not serving with the harissa dipping sauce (recipe below) and you would like the maakouda to be spicy, add some cayenne pepper.
  • Make sure your oil is very hot before adding them in to fry! They will suck up too much oil if you drop them in before.
  • This recipe calls to bake the potatoes but you can also boil them.
  • If you want them even more crispy and have the patience to wait longer before diving in, throw them onto a baking tray and bake them a bit.


5 Idaho potatoes, 1 pound cooked and peeled
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon harissa
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
oil for frying


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Poke potatoes with a fork all around to speed up the baking process. Place them on a wired tray and bake for 75 minutes, just until fork tender. Allow the potatoes to cool for 10 minutes on the counter.
While the potatoes cool, make the lemony harissa aioli. Mix together the mayo, harissa, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Remove the skin and place the potatoes in a large bowl. If the potatoes are still hot, let it come to room temperature now.
Add 1 egg, paprika, ginger, cumin, black pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice.
Mix all together while mashing some of the potatoes but not ALL. You want to mash enough potatoes so that the mixture can easily be shaped but still have some potato chunks. Taste the mixture to ensure all the spices and salt are to your liking.
Shape the potato mix into small patties, each about 2 tablespoons of mixture each. You can always make them smaller.
Heat up oil in a skillet or deep pan.
Meanwhile, prepare your dry mixture in one bowl by whisking together flour, breadcrumbs, salt and Italian seasoning. In another bowl, whisk 2 eggs together.
First, dip every single fritter in flour, coating every inch and set on a tray or plate. Then, once the oil is hot enough, dip one fritter in the egg mixture letting any excess drip off and drop straight into the fryer. For extra crunch, dip in the flour after the egg for a second layer. Repeat with the rest of them.
Once dark golden brown on one side, flip over and allow the other side to get golden brown.
Serve warm with the lemony harissa aioli!

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