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Batata Maqlieh
twice-fried lebanese french fries

Batata Bi Mit

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Everyone loves French fries, and we Lebanese are no exception! You’ll find Batata Maqlieh, which translates to “fried potatoes,” on any traditional Lebanese table. We put them in pita sandwiches, serve them with meat, and, of course, eat them plain. When I visited my Sitto in Lebanon, there was never a meal without her special fries, which always brought a smile to everyone’s face. When it comes to Batata Maqlieh, don’t even think about reaching for the ketchup; my creamy garlic Toum is the perfect accompaniment to these crispy-crunchy delights!



3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

4 cups vegetable oil

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 recipe Toum (Lebanese garlic sauce)

1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely minced


Thoroughly wash the peeled potatoes under cold running water and pat dry. Cut the potatoes lengthwise down the center and then cut them into 1⁄2-inch-thick strips. Place the potato strips into a large mixing bowl and cover with cold water, so that they release some of their starch and do not brown. Drain the strips and spread out onto paper towels to thoroughly dry.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Pour the vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot so that it comes only 3 to 4 inches up the sides of the pot. Heat on medium-high until the temperature registers 325°F.

Using a handheld strainer or slotted spoon, carefully submerge about a quarter of the potatoes into the hot oil. Allow them to fry, undisturbed, for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, gently turning them halfway through the cooking time, until they are light golden brown. Immediately remove the first batch, straining the excess oil over the pot, and transfer the fries directly to the paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining potato strips, frying them in small batches and maintaining a steady oil temperature of 325°F.

While the fries are draining and cooling, bring the oil temperature up to 375°F. Working in small batches, submerge the fries into the hot oil for a second time and fry until they are deeper golden in color and crispy.

Drain the fries on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt.
Spoon the Toum sauce over the fries, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.

Copyright 2017 by Julie Ann Sageer in Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen, St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin. All Rights Reserved.



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