Having a Lebanese husband I need to indulge him now and then with a home cooked Lebanese meal. Something that is always part of these meals (and always a hit) is batata harra, which are spicy Lebanese fried potatoes. It is a simple dish but very delicious – you can make it ahead and reheat it, great for leftovers. Reheating anything fried probably does not sound like something you would associate with the term delicious, but here it works. The coriander gives it a wonderful, almost lemony, taste which I love.
- 1kg of potatoes (you can use any kind of potato – I like using new baby potatoes)
- oil for frying the potatoes (any flavorless oil, for example sunflower or peanut oil)
- 1 medium hot chili pepper
- 4 spring onions
- a large bunch of fresh coriander (about 40 grams, stalks and all)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Wash the potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes in bite size chunks, no need to remove the skin.
- Fry the potatoes but do not fry them till they are crispy, they work best in this dish when they are still a bit soft. Once fried, put them to the side.
- Cut the chili pepper very finely, if you like it hot leave in the seeds, if you don’t take them out.
- Cut the coriander very finely, stalks and all.
- Slice the spring onions finely.
- Fry the chili, coriander and spring onions in a generous amount of olive oil (2 to 3 tablespoons). Add the salt. Once the chili and spring onion are soft, the coriander should be ready as well and a lovely smell should come from your pan. I prefer doing this in a wok, I am a messy cook and once the potatoes get added using a wok prevents everything from flipping out of the pan and making a mess in the kitchen.
- Add the fried potatoes and mix them in with the fried chili/coriander/spring onion mix.
If you like lemon, just before serving you can put a generous squirt of lemon on it.