Lebanese Crispy-Gold Potatoes: A side dish of Worldwide Popularity
In this traditional Lebanese dish, the potatoes are deliciously cooked with a mixture of garlic and cilantro, and enhanced with lemon. It is called Battata Bil Kezabra, which translates into Potatoes in Cilantro.
You have seen it plenty in Lebanese restaurants in Canada and the U.S, or a version of it. This dish has become so popular and available in North-America. It is often served to you when ordering Shawarma, Shish Taouk, or Kababs. However, many serve a pale version of the authentic dish.
The Lebanese Crispy-Gold Potatoes requires:
- Mediterranean potatoes, and not sweet potatoes that take away all the particular flavor of this dish.
- Fresh cilantro sauteed (or fried) with garlic.
And we, Lebanese, do indulge with it in our cuisine. That particular mixture, we use it in various Lebanese dishes, among which the Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, the Mloukhieh, the Tripolitan Spicy Fish with Tahini, famously known as Samke Harra Trabelsieh, and so on.
At home, I cook the Crispy-Gold Potatoes a lot. My children love it, and so do I. It can accompany many main dishes and salads.
We also love it with Laban (Plain Yogurt). The soothing freshness of Laban with the crispiness of the potatoes and the piquant flavor of lemon and cilantro combine well to please your palate to delight. You might want to try it! 🙂
Another local recipe of this dish comes spicy, and it is then called Battata Harra: Spicy Potatoe.
Potatoes Health Benefits : A Pack of Powerful Nutrients and Antioxidant
Originally, the potato cubes are fried. Some have been baking them instead, for health purpose. My recipe is neither and both, which results in a tastier dish that is crispier and healthier.
The potatoes are half fried, strained from the excess of their oil, mixed with the cilantro preparation, seasoned, flavored with lemon juice, and then baked to completion.
Importantly, the potatoes should be cut in small cubes to ensure a full absorption of flavor from the cilantro mixture, and a good crispiness when cooked.
You will love this dish! Great with any main dish and any salad.
- 6 Potatoes (large) peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 bouquet Fresh Cilantro chopped
- 6 cloves Garlic mashed; (8 cloves if small)
- 5 tbsps Olive Oil Pure; for cooking
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Salt to season; or as desired
- 1 1/2 tsps Lebanese 7-Spice
- 1/2 Lemon Optional
Season & Fry
Season the potato cubes with 1/2 tsp 7-spices and 1/2 tsp salt.
In preheated oil, fry them to a soft gold-color but not crispy.
Remove the potatoes into a sieve for the excess of oil to drain out.
Add the remaining spice and salt to the lemon juice on the side.
Preheat your oven (375F).
Prepare the Cilantro Mixture
In a pan, over medium heat, warm the 5 tbsp of oil, and lightly fry the mashed garlic for few seconds.
Stir in the chopped cilantro.
Cook until it withers, mixing randomly (about 5 minutes).
Baking & Serving
In a baking pan, mix gently the cilantro mixture and the seasoned lemon juice with the potatoes. Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy golden.
Move the potatoes into a serving plate, and drizzle on more Lemon juice (half a lemon) to enhance the taste further.
Delicious when crispy hot, or warm.
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