From Dauphinoise in France to Patatas Bravas in Spain and – every cuisine has their own deliciously-unique way of cooking the humble potato. My favourite has to be Batata Harra – a classic Lebanese dish which literally translates to spicy potatoes! This recipe features a healthier spin – the batata harra are roasted rather than fried, before being liberally tossed with a flavour-packed dressing tingling with the tartness of Lebanese spices!
Steps For Making Roasted Batata Harra
- We start by roasting the potatoes with olive oil and salt. Be sure to remove the baking tray at the halfway mark to flip the potatoes, thus ensuring that they bake evenly. The potatoes are roasted to golden-brown perfection until crisp yet fork tender.
- Meanwhile, get on with the dressing. While the potatoes are in the oven, prepare the dressing by mixing together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, fresh parsley and a bevy of key spices. Chief among the seasonings is sumac, a wine-hued ground spice made from dried berries. Sumac adds a terrific tartness, which is similar to that of lemon juice or zest. We also use sweet paprika in the dressing (for colour) and a pinch of Ras el Hanout (optional). All our spices are sourced from Arqa by Foodhall India; and you can find the recipe for Ras el Hanout below in the recipe notes. Literally translating to “Head of the Shop” Ras el Hanout is made by pounding together a medley of spices likely to be knocking around in your kitchen. Please note that these potatoes are not very spicy: if you would prefer to dial up the heat, simply add red chilli flakes or chilli powder to the dressing as per taste (see recipe notes).
- Once the potatoes have roasted, simply toss with the dressing and garnish with more parsley.
Roasted Batata Harra
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup olive oil + more for roasting
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, destemmed
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp sumac
- salt & pepper to taste
- pinch of ras el hanout (optional, see recipe notes to make this Middle Eastern spice blend)
Roast the potatoes
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a mixing bowl until each piece of potato is evenly coated. Season with salt.
- Place the potatoes on the tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden-brown. Remove the tray at the halfway mark, flipping the potatoes to ensure they roast evenly.
Prepare the dressing
- Mix together ¼ cup olive oil with the lime juice, crushed garlic, paprika, sumac, ras el hanout (if adding) and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as per preference, for instance adding more lime juice for a zing, sumac for tartness, paprika for colour and/ or garlic for flavour.
Assemble the batata harra
- Remove the potatoes once they have roasted and immediately toss with the prepared dressing. Garnish with more parsley and serve hot!
- Add crushed red pepper flakes or chilli powder to the dressing to make these potatoes spicy.
- For added impact, you can also add a pinch of Ras el Hanout – a warm, maroon spice blend that can be liberally added to all Middle Eastern preparations for flavour. Recipe below.
Recipe: Ras el Hanout
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- ½ tbsp cumin
- ½ tbsp coriander seeds
- ¼ tbsp clove
- ¼ tbsp cardamon
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp black pepper
Method:Try and get the spices whole, toast them in a dry pan and blitz it together using a spice grinder or pestle & mortar. Keep in a dry container!
Wondering what to serve alongside this Roasted Batata Harra?
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