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With every failed exam grade, bad hair day, sleep-deprived evening or downright rough day, my mama has followed with a plate of batata harra. Translating directly to “spicy potatoes” from Arabic, these fried diced potatoes topped with cilantro and lemon juice have been my favorite Lebanese comfort dish for as long as I can remember. Batata harra is too simple and far too delicious to skip trying, and hopefully, the end product will result in a dish so delectable and mouthwatering that you’ll expand your appreciation for Lebanese delicacies. Here’s my mama’s recipe for two people, which she recommends accompanying with a cup of black Arabic tea.

Batata harra:


5 potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes

¼ teaspoon salt

Dash of black pepper

2 cloves of garlic (crushed or minced)

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

½ teaspoon paprika

½ bunch cilantro leaves

½ lemon, juiced


  1. Pat peeled and diced potatoes dry, then add them to a large pan with oil heated to 350°F.
  2. Fry potatoes for about 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
  3. Remove potatoes from oil, then dry on a paper towel.
  4. In a separate pan, add olive oil, garlic and chili flakes. Cook for a minute over low-medium heat, then add paprika and cilantro.
  5. Add in cooked potatoes and toss until they’re well coated.
  6. Remove potatoes from the pan and place in a serving dish. Garnish with extra cilantro and lemon juice, and serve hot. Sahtein!

MiC Senior Editor Grace Garmo can be contacted at