If you are into fusion cooking, or eating, or trying new things, or basically just want to experience a spicy ride, this Pakistani street food style Batata harra has to be the next thing you try!
Back in Karachi, Pakistan, there is this street food slash food truck kinda place called Al Arab. They serve these amazingggg fusion style Batata harras. Now batata harras are Lebanese spicy potatoes which are cut up in cubess and fried in olive oil along with garlic, peppers and cilantro.
And I mean I loveeeeeee Lebanese food but this fusion just had me going gaga all over it. They (the food truck) had this awesome yogurt sauce slathered all over the potatoes, some veggies and some desi spice mixes happening. Needless to say I’ve been cravingggg some fusion style potatoes since I’ve been back. So this is me attempting to recreate the same dish.
You are welcome to recreate it however you want, I mean its fried potatoes, how can it possibly go wrong?
Here’s a few Desi Pairing Ideas for your Batata harra platter
- Pair this as a side with a Spicy chicken Tikka for dinner
- Or serve it as a snack with your evening Chai/Tea
- If you are having it on one of your meatless days, pair it with Tangy lentil oats to make an awesome meal.
- Oh and you can also pair it with a Malai boti Pulao to make an awesome lunch meal.
- Or just use it as one of the appetizers for your dinner menu if you are hosting a party.
Simple steps to make Pakistani street food style batata harra
PREPPING FOR THE DISH
For this recipe you need 4 medium potatoes on average. I peeled them for the recipe but you can leave the skin on if you like that. Cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch cubes making sure they are all sized more or less the same.
We are going to par boil the potatoes for 4 to 5 mins. And we are also going to add salt and vinegar in the boiling water as well.
Why do this step?
- Boiling the potatoes is essential for 2 reasons. Firstly, it removes excess starch from your potatoes and makes it healthier to eat. Secondly it half cooks your potatoes and reduces roasting/pan frying time by half.
- Salt adds flavor to the potatoes.
- Vinegar helps keep the potatoes retain their shape even if they get a little overcooked.
After boiling the potatoes, strain them and spread them on a tray to dry them off. In the meantime we are going to prepare the spice mix which has sumac, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, a little bit of salt and white pepper. Sumac is an Arabian spice which has a really nice tart lemony flavor.
Add the spice mix all over the dried potatoes, mix it up and get ready to cook them.
NOTE: If you are preparing these for an event, you can do this step a day or 2 days in advance. And keep the spiced potatoes in the fridge.
To cook these potatoes, you can chose to either pan fry them, deep fry them or roast them in an oven. I pan fry them on days when I can’t be bothered to turn on my oven. It’s the quickest of all the methods honestly.
On days we are feeling super indulgent, I do deep fry them but that rarely happens now since pan fried and deep fried taste almost exactly the same.
For pan frying, I just dump the potatoes in a frying pan with 3 tbsp of oil and fry them at high heat.
Remember to toss and turn them. I seared them for about 5 to 6 mins at high flame to get a nice crispy texture and dark brown color. You can stop at a light brown golden color if that’s what you prefer.
ASSEMBLING YOUR FUSION STYLE POTATOES
Once you are happy with the color of your potatoes, dish them out on your serving platter directly. And sprinkle a generous amount of chaat masala or Dahi bara masala (also jam a few in your mouth before anyone sees you). This will you give you that really nice fusion flavor that is similar to the Pakistani street food style potatoes. If you aren’t a fan of either of the spices, go with a black pepper sprinkle.
Putting together the yogurt sauce
These potatoes are topped off with a nice mellow sauce that just brings the wholeee dish together. This is the quickest and easiest dip/sauce to make. It just has 5 simple ingredients; yogurt, mayo, salt, lemon juice and garlic powder. Mix it up and move on to stage two: SLATHERINGGG.
After dishing out your potatoes, drizzle the sauce generously all over your potatoes. Don’t be stingy. Top it off with the final touches. Finely chopped tomatoes, spring onions and a little cilantro.
Dig in that platter directly with forks and forget that you have smaller plates to serve this in. Also fight for the potato that has the most sauce on it, its tradition ok ?
ALTERNATES AND REMIXES
Make it healthy
Here are the options you can use to make your dish 100% healthy
- Oven roast the potatoes instead of deep frying them.
- Leave the skin of the potatoes on.
- Use olive oil/coconut oil for glazing your potatoes while roasting
- Swap out the mayo from the sauce and substitute it with more yogurt.
- Add more raw veggies to your topping, like chopped onions or cabbage etc.
- Sumac -You might not have sumac at hand if you don’t do a lot of Mediterranean style cooking. That’s ok. Use lemon juice instead.
- Dahi bara masala – Not always will you have this masala at hand, use chat masala powder instead to sprinkle over your potatoes. You can also skip this if you are not a fan of spicy food. Or use a little black pepper instead.
- I mean its potatoes! There is no way you can possibly go wrong with these. Feel free to add or subtract any spices mentioned in the recipe.
- Coat the potatoes with bbq sauce to get a yummy sweet and spicy bbq batata harra
- Add or change the veggie topping according to your liking. On the top of my head I can think of cabbage, capsicum and olives that would go really well with this dish too.