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Spicy Potatoes and Cilantro (or Lebanese Batata Harra Recipe in Arabic) is a spicy potato dish that is quick to prepare with basic ingredients. These spicy Lebanese potatoes are usually prepared as a warm appetizer in a large skillet or as part of a mezze platter in Arabic.
Of course, you can prepare this humble potato recipe as a perfect side dish with other fried/air fried or baked veggies like cauliflower and eggplant (or baba ganoush). A great way would be adding a side of tabbouli and hummus to that YUMMM, but I digress.
In this recipe, the cubed potatoes are roasted before being tossed in a sauce made of olive oil, spicy garlic, paprika, red chili flakes, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lime juice on top of the finished dish. The end result is a scrumptious spicy potato dish that is one of the most favorite side dishes.
Simple, Versatile, and Delicious
Why You’ll Love Potatoes and Cilantro Recipe
This Batata Harra recipe turns traditional fried or roasted potatoes into a flavorful and delectable side dish. However, the best part is that you only need a few simple ingredients to make these deliciously spicy roasted potatoes.
If you enjoy Mediterranean recipes, you must try this traditional Lebanese recipe. It is a new way to enjoy Middle Eastern potatoes or any other potatoes in a vegan and gluten-free manner. It’s also a healthy choice since the crispy potatoes are not deep fried as in French fries. Alternatively, they are either baked or air fried.
Above all, Spicy Potatoes and Cilantro is a versatile batata harra recipe. You can side it by many main dishes. Additionally, it is a simple potato dish that fits as an appetizer for barbeques or party meals as well.
A Wonderful Appetizer
Air Fried Spicy Potato and Cilantro (Batata Harra)
This is a cleaner version of Lebanese batata harra dish since in the traditional recipe, the Lebanese spicy potatoes are deep fried. For this recipe, you can air fry potatoes for 30 minutes on 450 F, toss once or twice in between.
Once finished, add in all the ingredients in the recipe card into a large pot. Just leave out the olive oil (or use a drizzle of it) or use cooking oil spray instead. You may also add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
Advantages of Using the Air-Fryer
Just as when you oven roast the potatoes on a sheet pan to get that healthy golden brown color, this frying method helps you save on oil as well. It only requires a tablespoon or less of oil.
The best part is that it cooks by hot-air circulation, so there is no deep frying or double frying in fatty oils.
You can cut fat content almost up to 75% less than that in the original potato recipe.
More than that, air-fried foods have similar texture and moisture content as deep-fried foods cooked in a frying pan.
It aids in weight loss prevention.
It decreases the formation of harmful compounds like acrylamide.
The cleanup is also much faster than deep frying.
Crispy, Spicy, and Fresh
How to Adjust the Heat Level in this Recipe
In this Middle Eastern dish recipe, I use paprika and cayenne pepper. Paprika cools the dish without sacrificing flavor.
You can adjust the spice level to your liking. If you are sensitive to spicy food, I recommend using Aleppo pepper and substituting chili powder for the red pepper flakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some people prefer to eat this recipe warm while others prefer it cold, straight from the fridge. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days and can be reheated on medium heat or otherwise served cold.
Golden or Yukon gold potatoes are best. They’re fairly waxy, so they keep their shape. If you can’t find Yukon gold, Russet is a good choice, too.
I don’t recommend making Batata Harra ahead of time. They’re delicious when fresh, just like French fries, but they get soggy and lose flavor if you prepare them ahead of time.
Both cilantro and coriander come from the Coriandrum sativum plant. In the United States, cilantro refers to the plant’s leaves and stem whereas coriander refers to the dried seeds. Internationally, the leaves and stems are called coriander whereas the dried seeds are called coriander seeds.
It is better to use fresh cilantro leaves because the fresh herbs add a lot to the flavor. However, if you don’t have fresh cilantro, dried cilantro works instead.
Crispy Outside, Tender Inside
Tips for Crispy Air-Fryer Potatoes
Use Yukon or Russet potatoes because they keep their shape better.
Soak the potato cubes for, at least, 15 minutes in cold water. After draining the potatoes, pat them dry with paper towel.
Toss the potatoes in a small amount of neutral oil (vegetable, avocado,…).
Shake the air fryer every 5-6 minutes so that the potatoes remain crispy.
Ingredients for Spicy Potatoes and Cilantro (Batata Harrah)
Potatoes: As a potato lover, I use fairly large yellow potatoes. But you can also use Russet, Yukon Gold potatoes, Bombay potatoes, Mexican potatoes, baby potatoes, Maris Piper, red potatoes, or Arabic potatoes that are available in Middle Eastern markets.
Cilantro: Whenever possible, use fresh cilantro. However, a few readers have tried it with a herb mixture of dried, ground coriander or cilantro sauce, and enjoyed it.
Garlic: Use finely chopped fresh garlic and garlic powder if you like it.
Lemon: Choose some fresh lemons for a squeeze of lemon.
Crushed Red Pepper: Feel free to use a chili that has a level of heat that you are comfortable with. You can also use bright-red pepper flakes, chili peppers, red chili powder, or black pepper.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: For some little olive oil like a tablespoon of oil, EVOO is the best choice for this recipe. Otherwise, you can substitute another neutral, high-heat cooking oil like avocado oil.
(Scroll down for recipe details.)
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Spicy Potatoes and Cilantro (Lebanese Batata Harra Recipe)
- 5 large potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil, extra virgin
- 5-7 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- crushed red pepper, desired amount, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the potatoes, and then cube them into ½ inch cubes.
- Prepare baking sheet with cooking oil spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the cubed potatoes on it, drizzle the rest of the olive oil and mix them in until coated.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes until they are golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven 10 minutes before they are finished. Mix in the chopped cilantro and garlic then place back into the oven for the remaining 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add salt, paprika, lemon (add more if needed). Combine until all ingredients are well incorporated. Enjoy alone or with pita bread.
- Use Yukon or Russet potatoes because they keep their shape better.
- Soak the potato cubes for at least 15 minutes in cold water.
- After draining the potatoes, pat them dry with paper towels.
- Toss the potatoes in a small amount of neutral oil (vegetable, avocado,..).
- Shake the air fryer every 5-6 minutes so that the potatoes remain crispy.
- Air fry the peeled and cubed potatoes for 30 minutes flipping once or twice, until golden brown.
- In a large skillet add olive oil on high heat then add the air fried potatoes, garlic, paprika, cilantro, and crushed red pepper.
- Mix on high heat for a whole minutes. Turn heat off.
- Mix in the lemon and enjoy just like that or with pita bread.