Batata Harra is a well known middle eastern appetiser, but in this recipe, there is a twist because I have used the air fryer. Learn how you can make a healthier alternative home-made version.
What is batata harra?
Batata harra is a popular Lebanese side dish which is essentially spicy potatoes that complements a main dish such as a kofta lamb kebab.
The first time I tried this recipe was when I went to a Lebanese restaurant in London and was advised to order these with my main dish, and I have to admit these were the highlight of the meal.
I could not stop eating them!
The herbs, spices, lemon and chopped coriander all combine beautifully to make this spicy and crispy potato taste better than any other potato out there.
How does it taste using the air fryer?
Batata harra are traditionally deep fried in oil and then mixed in a saucepan with the main ingredients which is the best version of this recipe.
- Step 1: deep fry in oil to make potatoes crispy
- Step 2: combine potatoes with spices in a saucepan
This is why it is best to eat these fresh because that is when they will taste crispy and delicious.
However, what about air frying them? Is there a way to not deep fry in oil and make a healthy alternative?
Well, here is the result:
As with most air fryer recipes, when you compare it to a traditionally fried recipe, there will be a big difference in terms of the texture which could leave it more dry.
However, these batata harra still came out great and taste very similar to the traditional version because it is fine to still use oil with an air fryer.
- Step 1 healthy alternative: use air fryer with a little extra virgin olive oil
Most air fryers tell you that you do not need to use oil because this is a way to sell you the product as it comes across as a revelation.
Although in theory they are correct, it does not mean you should avoid using oil and there is no harm by using a healthy oil in an air fryer.
If anything, you are getting the best out of both worlds: food cooked fast and healthier.
If you cooked these potatoes in the air fryer with no oil, they will come out dry and horrible. This is why, for this recipe especially, I combined the potatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil and they came out nice and crispy after 10 minutes.
Also, adding lemon juice to the potatoes after the air frying stage makes them nice a tender which can be then added to the herb, spices and chopped coriander.
Will this be fine for meal prep?
Batata harra is not usually a meal prep recipe because it is more of a luxury or cheat snack in the health world, but you can use air fryer batata harra for your meal prep and by adding extra lemon or lime will keep them fresh in your air tight containers.
Of course, if you are watching calories, then it is worth noting that each serving is around 160 calories which is not too bad if you combine them with some spicy chicken breasts or a lean protein source.
I was sceptical at first and did not think an air fryer could pull this one off, but I was proved wrong and these tasted just as great.
This is very convenient because it saves time and you do not need to use tons of oil to deep fry the potatoes in which is great from a healthy perspective.
I do try to watch my carbohydrates when I use these recipes but one serving of these does no harm and as long if your diet is balanced and you keep yourself in shape, this is a great for a meal prep.
Air Fryer Batata Harra
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop the potatoes into cubes by slicing vertically and horizontally. Add the potato cubes to a mixing bowl, add olive oil and stir to combine.
- Add the potatoes to the air fryer compartment. Set the heating to 180 C / 356 F and cook for 10 minutes.
- After the potatoes are ready, pre-heat your frying pan and add olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the paprika, turmeric, ground cumin and lemon juice. Stir for another minute.
- Add the potatoes to the frying pan, season with salt and black pepper and stir to combine all the ingredients. Add the coriander leaves and cook for another 5 minutes and serve.
Data source: USDA
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