Batata harra or Lebanese spicy potatoes that have been air fried and tossed through coriander (cilantro), lemon, garlic and chilli. The ultimate way to enjoy potatoes.
As you may know by now, I love potatoes. They have so much good nutrition and can be enjoyed in so many ways it's almost ridiculous.
Batata harra or Lebanese spicy potatoes is one from my childhood that I could never get enough of. Mum, would alternate between making them chilli and non-chilli, either way, these potatoes are just so-damn-amazing.
They also remind me of nights in the Hamra in Lebanon, where we would feast before enjoying a night out.
Traditionally batata harra is deep-fried in oil, I am so glad for my air fryer, which yields amazing results as a deep-fried alternative. If you do not have an air fryer*, you can roast these potatoes in the oven instead.
The Arabic words “batata harra” translates to “potato spicy” in English. Lebanese spicy potatoes have been called by a few names including Lebanese potatoes, Arabic potatoes, Middle Eastern potatoes, coriander potatoes or cilantro potatoes.
😋Why you’ll love this recipe
- Vegan and gluten free
- A new way to enjoy potatoes
- Air fried and not deep fried
- Gorgeous flavouring with a slightly crispy yet soft texture
- A versatile Lebanese side dish
✔️What You’ll Need
Potatoes should be fresh, peeled and then cubed into 2½ cm (1") cubes. A good starchy potato such as russet works well.
After peeling the potatoes place them into a bowl of water for at least 15 minutes, this will help expel excess starch, which keeps the potatoes soft when fried.
Coriander, also known as cilantro (cilantro in Arabic is “kiz-ba-rra”), should be fresh. Use the leaves and soft stalks and finely chop up after washing and thoroughly drying.
You will need 1 cup divided into 2 portions; 1 portion for air frying and the other for tossing the air fried potatoes through at the end. The coriander in batata harra is the hero in this dish in my opinion.
Chilli, can be used fresh or dried. The type of chilli selected can be left up to you and your threshold for spiciness. In this recipe I have used dried bird’s eye chilli, mainly because I have quite a bit in my pantry. I will generally chop up the entire chilli, seeds and all, to toss through these Lebanese spicy potatoes whilst air frying.
Fresh lemon juice is used to dress the potatoes once they have been air fried. I do not recommend store-bought lemon juice.
Oil should be selected for what is good to be heated at high temperatures. I have used avocado oil*, however, any neutral oil is okay.
Fresh garlic cloves are best to use within this recipe. You can either finely chop or crush the garlic.
Let’s get to how to make batata harra;
Step 1 - Soak potatoes in cold water once diced for 15 minutes. Thoroughly dry with a paper towel or tea towel.
Step 2 - In a bowl mix potato, oil, half the coriander (cilantro), chilli, garlic and salt. Make sure potatoes are evenly coated.
Step 3 - Transfer potatoes to the air fryer and fry on high for 15 minutes, then tossing and frying for another 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked.
Step 4 - Place air fried potatoes in the same mixing bowl as used in step 2 and add the remaining coriander (cilantro) and lemon juice. Toss all ingredients and adjust salt if required. Serve immediately.
Changing the size of the potato cubes will change the cooking time i.e., if larger cubes are used, you may need to air fry the potatoes for longer.
Ensuring that all ingredients are dry before cooking is vital, otherwise, the potatoes will not crisp up in the air fryer.
Air Fryer’s differ in makes & models and have different settings, I recommend keeping an eye out on the batata when you first make this recipe. This is a similar air fryer* to what I am using.
I like to toss my Lebanese spicy potatoes in the lemon juice (step 4) just before serving, as this will softened the potatoes.
Air fryer batata harra can be turned into batata b kizbara which translates to potatoes in coriander (cilantro). You can do this by simply removing the chilli altogether from the recipe.
The amount of garlic, chilli, lemon and coriander (cilantro) can be adjusted to suit your taste.
Roasting the potatoes is also a good option, simply preheat your oven to 200C (390F) and roast your cubed potatoes until crispy golden brown.
Adding all the coriander (cilantro) to the Arabic potatoes before air-frying is also a good option, I just love having the contrast of both the fried and fresh herb, I find it more aromatic.
Whilst it is advisable to enjoy batata harra immediately, they can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few days. To heat up, add them back into the air fryer, oven or pan until crispy again, though they will not be like when freshly made.
The Arabic word for coriander (cilantro) is “kizbarra” pronounced as kiz-ba-rra.
Mezze is a selection of small differing dishes. These dishes can be a combination of hot and cold dishes.
Batata harra is usually featured as part of a mezze, side or part of a wrap. Try them with;
Arnabeet mekle, Lebanese fried cauliflower
Vegan Shawarma - this is the best vegan shawarma recipe
Tabouli, the famous Lebanese parsley salad.
Easy made from scratch falafel
Baba Ghanouj the famous Middle Eastern eggplant dip
🥔More Batata recipes
Or try this Patatas Bravas recipe from Europe dishes.
Did you enjoy making air fryer batata harra (Lebanese spicy potatoes)? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and give me a rating. This will help me sustain Plant Based Folk.
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Batata Harra (Lebanese Spicy Potatoes)
- 5 medium - large Potatoes 2½ cm (1") cubes
- 1 medium Lemon Juiced
- 1½ tablespoons Oil
- 1 cup Coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
- 3 large Garlic cloves crushed
- ¼ tablespoon Salt or to taste
- 2-3 Birds eye chilli or any chilli you prefer, finely chopped
- Soak potatoes in cold water once diced for 15 minutes. The thoroughly dry with a paper towel or tea towel.
- In a bowl mix potato, oil, half the coriander (cilantro), chilli, garlic and salt. Make sure potatoes are evenly coated.
- Transfer potatoes to air fryer and fry on high for 15 minutes, then tossing and frying for another 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked.
- Place air fried potatoes in the same mixing bowl and add the remaining coriander (cilantro) and lemon juice. Mix through all ingredients and adjust salt if required. Serve immediately.