Lebanese Batata Harra (Potato Chilli or Spicy Potatoes)

Lebanese Batata Harra (Potato Chilli or Spicy Potatoes)

Spicy Potatoes
Lebanese Batata Harra( Spicy Potatoes)
 Literally spicy potatoes,  best known potato starter in Arab world , Best eaten with pita bread or Lebanese bread

My first ever Arab food experience:
I had been working in professional kitchen for years in Nepal. When I was in Abu Dhabi working in Lebanese Restaurant I had zero knowledge & experience in Arabic Cuisines. When I first saw Arabic food in the kitchen I wonder how were they prepared. The food tasted completely different then any other food like Chinese, Indian or any other International Cuisines I had been preparing for years. I was completely blank while I was new almost for months. I was confused how weird I felt. I felt like a baby just born in the new world. When I tasted staff food first time I was I felt that I just put lake of lemon juice in my mouth cause it tasted nothing rather than sour. There was no other tastes I found rather than sourness.  Later on I realize that the food was really more sour than other food I cooked before. After running in the kitchen for months I came to know about Arabic Food.
Since the restaurant was Lebanese the food prepared were Lebanese based. The cook style was also not too different than other. The Lebanese food is Levantine Cuisine, the food from Levant region, south east Mediterranean area. The food has great impact of both Asian & European Cuisines. Tomatoes play vital role in Lebanese food. Most sauces and gravies are made with tomatoes. Food like Daud Bacha, Bamia bil laham, khudar bil laham, fasolia bil laham, kebab Hindi, shaksuka, kofta khaskhas are tomato sauce based food. Olive oil is also one of the must ingredient in Lebanese cuisines. Olive oil is used in cooking foods, seasoning & dressing the salad and topping like in Homous. Rice dishes are very flavored and salted. Dishes like Kabsa or muchbus rice, Vermicelli rice, oriental ouzi rice or kharukh masi rice, pilaf rice, tomato rice, green peas rice, mansaf jordanian rice, bukhari rice and biryani rice are very very tasty rice dish. Since I understood the secret of Arabic or Lebanese food I got more interested in learning more about it. Appetizers like Homous, muttabel, baba ghonus and muhammara are very famous among Arab People. Arabic Salads like tabouleh, fattush, oriental Arabic salad, rocket salad, houllami salad, arabic green salad, oriental Caesar salad  & fried vegetables are famous salads. Since Lebanese Cuisines is from Mediterranean cuisines we can find Mediterranean food in Lebanese restaurant. Pizza, pastas, steaks, seafood & salads are European influenced. The most famous soup is Lentil soup served with fried pita croutons & lemon juice.

Batata Harra is an Arabic vegetarian appetizer dish originated in Lebanon. The main ingredient is potatoes and needs chilli  for spicy taste. Ingredients like red peppers, green peppers & garlic are fried lightly together in canola oil or olive oil with potatoes. Then chilli paste, lemon juice & coriander are also added. Though the potatoes are boiled & pre fried for toughness. This Lebanese speciality Maza or mezza is selection of appetizer also known as muqabbilat. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and boil untill cooked but still firm and then fry till light yellow color. Use this potatoes to make batata harra with red & green  peppers, chilli, garlic, onion & coriander. Add some lemon juice, salt & pepper. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves & serve it.

Yield: 2 servings    Preparation Time: 15 mins.   Cooking time: 5 mins.

400 grams Boiled Potatoes

50 grams yellow pepper
50 grams red pepper
50 grams red pepper
50 grams onion
1 tsp chopped  garlic
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch ground pepper
2 tsp red chilli paste or green chilli
1 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
5 chopped coriander leaves
1tbsp lemon juice
100 ml Oil for shallow frying

  • Take 4 to 5 pieces of fresh medium sized potatoes. First boil them, peel & cut into medium cubes or first peel them, cut into medium cubes & boil. Both of the procedure can be followed. 
  • The potatoes should not be too soft so don't boil too much. Now take some fresh bell peppers and cut into bite size squares or triangles. Just use half or quarters if you have many color bell peppers. If you have only red use medium one as a whole.
  • Now take 1 medium onion and  cut  same as bell peppers. Use onion only one half. 
  • Take some garlic cloves & crush with chopper then cut into pieces not too minced. Take some fresh coriander leaves and chop them. 
  • Keep some fresh leaves for garnish. You can use green chilli or red chilli paste or both as your choice. If you have pickled chilli paste you may not need lemon juice. 
  • Batata Harra is little spicy & little sour not too spicy or too sour.
  1. Take a thick bottomed frying pan in medium high heat. Add 100 ml of oil wait till it gets hot. When the oil is hot add the potatoes and fry. Fry the potatoes till it turns into light yellow. It should be firm when touched.
  2. Now remove the potatoes from the pan & drain in a strainer. Pour the hot oil in a container and keep aside.
  3. Since the pan is already hot add olive oil and place the pan in medium low heat.
  4. Now add chopped garlic and stir it until it turns light brown. Now add bell peppers & onion then cook it until onion turns translucent.
  5. Now add potatoes, salt, pepper and chilly paste and cook for some time properly. Add some lemon juice and stir it. 
  6. The food should not be too dry so add some hot water if it is so. Now the food is almost ready, sprinkle coriander and mix it properly.  
  7. The food is ready now garnish with fresh coriander leaves. and serve hot with pita bread or Lebanese khabus.
Note: Some chefs don't use red chilli paste,  peppers & onions.
Spicy Potatoes

Cooking Pot: You can use thick bottomed frying pan. Aluminium pan is too sticky better use steel pan. Also don't use too thick pan it is used for steaks.

Similar Recipe

Chinese Potatoes Chilli: Chinese style potatoes chilli is similar potato dish. Cut potatoes into fingers. Boil the potatoes fingers & fry till light yellow. Fry chopped garlic, peppers & onions together in oil. Add potatoes, chilli paste, salt & pepper. Add little tomato ketchup. Add little vinegar and mix all ingredients well and serve hot.

Samek Harra (Spicy Fish): Samek harra is similar fish dish. First cut the fish fillet into large pieces. Grill the fish in a thick pan or griller in oil. Fry all the ingredients mention above and add some chopped tomatoes and cook well. Pour in a deep container and Use hand blender and make sauce. Leave the lumps of vegetables in the sauce. Don't blend finely.  Now serve the grilled fish fillet in a plate & pour the sauce above the fish & serve hot.

Lebanese Appetizers:
Homous  - A blend of boiled white chickpeas and olive oil atop  served with pita bread or Lebanese Khabus. The varieties include Lebanese Homous or Homous Beiruti, Homous with meat & pine nuts etc.

Sambousek - Dumplings stuffed with spinach, meat, varities of cheese & pinenuts. Served in bed of greens or fried bread. Varieties include meat sambousek, cheese sambousek, sabanek sambousek, cheese rolls etc

Foul - Fava/Broad  beans served with tomatoes, onion, parsley and olive oil atop and pita bread. Varieties Homous Foul, Tahina Foul, Foul Meddames

Fatteh-  - Chickpeas with fried breads, lemon juice and talatule(lemon, tahini and yoghurt sauce) and hot vegetable ghee/oil and pine nuts atop served with pita bread. Varieties: Fatteh rice,fatteh homous, fatteh meat, fatteh batunjen/egg plant

Falafel  - Deep Fried ball, doughtnut or patty made with broad beans & chickpeas, onion and garlic served on the bed of greens. Variations: wrapped in pita bread ( falafel wrap)

Musabaha - Chickpeas with talatule and lemon sauce

Grilled Halloumi - Grilled thick slices of Halloumi cheese served on lettuce bed and tomatoes and cucumber slices

Batata Mahroussa - Mashed potatoes served with pita bread

Click here for more Lebanese  Appetizers