Batata harra is a Lebanese recipe that pairs tender roasted potatoes with a spicy sauce for a delicious side dish to enjoy any day of the week!
Potatoes are so simple in flavour and even appearance, and yet they’re somehow totally irresistible. I love Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes and Loaded Potato Skins, but I’ve recently discovered batata harra and I can’t get enough!
What Is Batata Harra?
Batata harra means “spicy potatoes” in Arabic and that’s exactly what you get in this recipe! Seasoned potatoes are tossed in a fiery sauce, adding lots of big, bold flavour. While it is spicy, it’s also balanced—the heat isn’t overpowering, in my opinion, although if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can definitely dial it back a bit.
This Lebanese dish is served as a side dish or appetizer—it’s often part of a mezze platter with hummus and other Mediterranean favourites. Of course, if you love potatoes, you could make a meal out of batata harra alone!
Why You’ll Love This Batata Harra Recipe
Here’s what makes batata harra a standout:
- A new way to enjoy potatoes. Roasted potatoes are delicious, but if you want something with a little more flavour, batata harra fits the bill. It’s a spicy twist on an old favourite!
- Simple and quick to make. With just a few simple ingredients and only 10 minutes of prep time, this is a recipe that’s perfect for those evenings when you want a homemade meal, but don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking it.
- Perfectly crispy. Roasting the potatoes gives them a divinely crisp exterior that’s impossible to resist!
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Olive oil – You’ll need some for roasting the potatoes and some for the sauce.
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder – For lots of garlic flavour in the potatoes.
- Paprika – Sweet paprika or smoked; we’re already adding chili flakes, so don’t use hot paprika unless you want extra spicy batata harra.
- Chili flakes – Feel free to adjust the amount.
- Cilantro – Not a cilantro fan? Use parsley instead.
- Lemon juice – Use fresh, not bottled; it has a superior flavour.
What Are the Best Potatoes for Roasting?
Certain potatoes are better suited for roasting than others. I use Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe because they have a higher starch content, which makes them perfect for achieving crispy, golden edges while staying tender on the inside. Fingerling potatoes also work well for batata harra.
How to Make Batata Harra
Here’s how simple it is to make batata harra at home:
- Prepare. Preheat the oven to 400ºF, then wash, peel, and cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Wash again, then pat the potatoes dry.
- Season. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder until they’re well-coated.
- Roast. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crisp, stirring once after 20 minutes of cooking.
- Make the sauce. While the potatoes are roasting, stir together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
- Finish. Toss the potatoes with the sauce, then serve.
Tips for Success
Follow these simple pointers for perfect batata harra:
- Dry the potatoes well. Pat the potatoes completely dry before roasting to achieve maximum crispiness.
- Make sure the potato pieces are uniform in size. Cut the potatoes into evenly-sized pieces to ensure that they all finish cooking at the same time.
- Give them space. Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet, as this will keep the potatoes from getting crispy. If needed, use two baking sheets.
- Adjust the heat as needed. If you prefer a milder dish, use less chili flakes. On the flip side, you can add more chili flakes, use hot paprika, or add some cayenne for extra-spicy batata harra.
Air Fryer Batata Harra
Want to use your air fryer to make batata harra? No problem! Here’s how:
- Follow the same recipe as above, but instead of roasting the potatoes in the oven, place them in the air fryer basket and cook at 400ºF for 20 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take out the basket and shake it to ensure even cooking.
- Once the potatoes are cooked and crispy, toss them with the sauce and serve hot.
To serve batata harra as part of a mezze, set out an array of olives, hummus (try my Roasted Cauliflower Hummus or Beet Hummus for something different!), Crispy Homemade Falafel, Baba Ghanoush, Homemade Pita Chips, and other Middle Eastern favourites.
How to Store Leftovers
Batata harra is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven for the crispiest texture, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place in the oven or air fryer at 400ºF until heated through, or use the microwave. (The potatoes won’t be as crisp in the microwave, but they’ll still taste good!)
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Potatoes tend not to freeze well, so I don’t recommend freezing this dish.
More Vegan Potato Recipes
- Loaded Potato Soup
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
- Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Roasted Potatoes (Buttery & Crispy)
- 2 pounds roasting potatoes, russet or yukon gold will be best (900g)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Juice from ½ lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400° (200°C).
- Wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them into 1 inch pieces and wash again.
- Spread potatoes on a clean kitchen towel, pat them dry and let air dry for 5 minutes. This step is important to ensure the crispy potatoes.
- After drying, stir the potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder until it’s evenly coated.
- Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes of cooking.
- Potatoes should be golden and crisp on the outside.
- While the potatoes are roasting, mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
- When the potatoes are ready, sprinkle the sauce on top and mix to coat evenly.
- You can air fry potatoes in two batches at 400 F for 20 min.
- To store: Batata harra is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven for the best crispy texture, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place in the oven or air fryer at 400ºF until heated through, or use the microwave.
- To freeze: Potatoes tend not to freeze well, so I don’t recommend freezing this dish.
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