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Batata Koucha - Algerian Oven Potatoes

                                                       Batata Koucha Recipe | Halal Home Cooking
Lamb & chickpeas sauce covered with a layer of fried potatoes.

Another recipe adapted from one of my go-to sources in the english language for Algerian cuisine - La Petite Paniere, which if google translate serves me well in French means the little basket which is quite modest, really it's a treasure trove of culinary delights!

Although this dish means oven potatoes it's quite deceptive as the separate components are first cooked/ fried  on the stove then all brought together for 1 last burst of heat in the oven. Sorry to disappoint you if you were thinking this would be a healthier version for fried potatoes! saying that you possibly could roast the potatoes in the oven like you do potato wedges.
Batata Koucha Recipe | Halal Home Cooking
I've cooked the recipe about 3 times to date , each time downscaling the recipe all with a different result but all equally delicious.

One time, instead of slow cooking the lamb sauce i wacked up the heat so there was hardly any sauce before covering with a layer of fried potatoes and cooking for a further 15 minutes in the oven This resulted in even crispier potatoes that had soaked up the little sauce there was, the flavours were intense and perfect to build a eat me now sandwich.

Now this time, I cooked the lamb sauce for exactly 1 hour on low heat as the  original recipe says slow cook for an hour, not noticing much difference in the sauce consistency instead of further cooking until it had reduced I went ahead anyway and placed  my 2 large potatoes worth of chips/fries over and into the oven it went.
The flavours are still there as I made sure to sprinkle the potato layer with cumin and cinnamon but the chips came out this time more soggy or let's says drenched in sauce which could be due to the fact I halved every ingredients apart from the potatoes, doh! using 2 instead of 3 which is half of 6 (you already knew that i know) which wasn't a problem for us as we are happy eating wet dishes and soggy chips! it gives us the excuse to eat with copious amounts of bread but you might not be happy to follow such a bad example (joking I do eat rainbow salad) so here are a few suggestions to remedy this problem that isn't even a problem:-

Batata Koucha Recipe | Halal Home Cooking
  • Cook the lamb sauce using 1 3/4 cups / 420ml instead of 2 cups / 500ml for 1 hour or cook the sauce (using 500ml water) until it has reduced let's say by half and/or
  • Use 3 large potatoes cut into thick chips/fries instead of 2 this will ensure there are enough chips to cover the surface of the pot which will help in soaking up the sauce and also ensure a crisp layer or simply
  • Oven cook the dish for longer than 15 minutes until your certain the chips are crisp

Batata Koucha Recipe | Halal Home Cooking
I cooked batata koucha, took photos, ate some for a late lunch then reheated the dish for my husband and I for dinner alhamdulillah the chips were crisper by then and he did nothing but compliment the dish.

As this is quite a rich dish it's best served with a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of vinegar, harissa as always, is optional.
Batata Koucha Recipe | Halal Home Cooking

Batata Koucha

Adapted slightly from linda @ la petite paniere
Serves: 3
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: approx 1 hours 25 minutes


250 grams halal lamb, boneless shoulder cut into chunks
2-3 large potatoes, see above post for details
1/4 of a 400 gram tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 50 grams dried and soaked overnight
3/4 medium brown onion, sliced
2 tablespoons oil (i used olive)
salt, black pepper (i started with  3/4 teaspoon S, 1/4 P for 500ml water)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling 
1/4 teaspoon ras el hanout
425ml to 500ml water, see above post for details
cumin, for sprinkling
fresh parsley or coriander, chopped

oil for frying

to serve

lemon juice / vinegar 
harissa *optional


  1. Put a large pot on medium heat. Add oil, sliced onion, lamb, salt, pepper, cinnamon and ras el hanout. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally  until onions have softened and lamb is sealed.
  2. If using soaked dry chickpeas add these now along with water, bring to boil, cover and reduce to slow simmer. Slow cook over medium-low heat for at least 1 hour (if using tin chickpeas add after 45 minutes) or until the liquid has reduced.
  3. Turn off the heat and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Whilst oven is warming up, cut and fry your chips until they are light golden brown. Drain chips on paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. Chop coriander/ parsley and add this to the lamb sauce.
  4. In a oven proof dish such as the base of tagine add the lamb and chickpea sauce, layer the potatoes on top and sprinkle with extra cinnamon and cumin. Put in oven on middle shelf and cook for 15 minutes or until your desired sauce / crisp chip consistency is achieved.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or vinegar, harissa and bread.
Batata Koucha Recipe | Halal Home Cooking


  • You could cook the lamb chickpea sauce straightaway in a tagine without having to transfer it to another pot before the oven but definitely make sure to reduce the water to about 350-400ml as they lock in the moisture more readily than regular pots and pans. The only reason I didn't cook my batata koucha in a tagine as I mentioned in a previous post the lid of my tagine broke but the base still comes in handy for dishes such as this.
  • This is a Ideal dish for Eid Al Adha you can use meat from any cut of the lamb/sheep bone in or boneless just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • A nice alternative if you haven't chickpeas, from the start of cooking the sauce add a few chopped carrots, let sauce cook / reduce then add a handful of frozen peas 5 minutes before you put your layer of chips (fries) then proceed with the recipe as above.

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At 25 September 2014 at 18:45 , Blogger Heni El G said...

Salaamu aleikoum,
Looks like a great dish! I also love her blog!

At 25 September 2014 at 20:19 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Wa alaykum salaam, alhamdu'lillah it sure is and a new favourite dish. Jazak Allahu khair.

At 26 September 2014 at 02:06 , Blogger The Halal Gourmet said...

Assalamu alaykum, this looks so heart warming and delicious. I really like how you detailed the different reduction and cooking times you used. It will work well as a quicky or as a long "Sunday" meal. Mashaa allaah.

At 26 September 2014 at 09:25 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Wa Alaykum Salaam, jazaak Allahu khair.
alhamdu'lillah it's one of those dishes that gives you a big comforting hug!

At 26 September 2014 at 17:52 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful one-pot meal! Now the cooler temperatures are coming, this would be so comforting!

At 26 September 2014 at 18:36 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

give this dish a go sometime Henna you will enjoy it in shaa Allah and your spot on there this is 1 home comfort dish which I would happily eat everyday of the week haha.
Jazak Allahu khair wa salaamu alaykum


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