Join me in making my grandma's spicy potatoes that are seasoned with preserved lemon, Moroccan harissa paste, garlic, parsley and spices.
Table of Contents
- Popular Moroccan Salads
- Moroccan Spices & Condiments
- How to Make Spicy Potatoes
- What to Serve with Your Potatoes
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One of many popular Moroccan salads
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Morocco, you know how important salads are as an accompaniment to any traditional lunch or dinner.
Moroccan salads take what the average American might imagine a salad to be, and expand the definition. The dynamic use of vegetables, both cooked and raw, combined with spices, herbs and usually some kind of acidity makes salad anything but boring.
These spicy potatoes combine the deep flavor from preserved lemons with soft, perfectly cooked potatoes and some traditional Moroccan spices that lend to a super satisfying side.
In my Grandmother’s dining room this salad is usually served cold, accompanied by several other small plates like this Tomato Salad, Lentil Salad and Carrot Salad. These small dishes usually sit around a large platter in the middle with the entree, which is almost always a tagine of some kind.
If you’ve ever claimed to ‘hate’ salad (like I used to), your mind will be changed when you explore the world of Moroccan salads.
In case you’re heading out to do your grocery shopping, here’s what you’ll need to make this potato salad:
- 2 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ½ preserved lemon, minced
- 1 tbsp harissa (can be substituted with a sprinkle of cayenne or hot chili sauce)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup parsley, minced
- Enough water to cover the potatoes
Popularly used Moroccan spices & condiments
Most Moroccan cooks I know are no stranger to the spice cabinet. Spices are essentially the most important element to any Moroccan dish and there are a variety of different ones you will want to get familiar with when exploring this cuisine.
Let’s break down some of the most popularly used Moroccan spices and 'condiments' used to make these spicy potatoes:
- Cumin - this rich and earthy spice is commonly used in savory dishes in addition to or instead of black pepper.
- Paprika - paprika adds a great deal of earthiness and depth to many savory Moroccan dishes as well. It’s often confused with cayenne, although it’s hardly spicy at all.
- Harissa - harissa is essentially Morocco’s hot sauce. It’s really more similar to a chili paste than a hot sauce, but either way it packs a serious punch of heat and acidity that is wonderful in savory dishes. You can check out my recipe to make your own or find a great quality store bought version here.
- Preserved lemons - preserved lemons are commonly used in Morocco to add a great depth of acidity that is unmatched. They only require 2 ingredients and a few simple steps to make, if you’re interested in trying my homemade preserved lemon recipe. Alternatively, this is the brand I use when I don’t have any on hand. Their products are super high quality and the closest I can get to doing it myself.
How to make them
Like pretty much every person I’ve ever met, I love potatoes. It’s one of the few vegetables that feels like a treat no matter how it’s prepared. Boiled, steamed, fried, baked; they’re pretty much impossible to mess up.
What I will say about this particular method of making potatoes, is that it’s incredibly light. Boiling them in this flavorful liquid on the stovetop requires only a bit of olive oil unlike many other potato dishes where the saturated fat content can get pretty high up there.
So here’s how we’re making them:
Start by peeling and chopping the potatoes into thick bite sized pieces.
From there, you’ll mince up half of a preserved lemon, lots of fresh parsley and some garlic and add them to a bowl with the potatoes.
Next, add olive oil, salt and paprika before mixing to combine. Add the potatoes to a pot and add water just until the potatoes are covered.
Bring the water to a boil and continue to boil until the potatoes are fork tender and the liquid has reduced significantly. This usually takes somewhere between 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your potato slices.
To serve, top with lots of fresh parsley and flaky salt. This is truly the easiest way to make potatoes ever!
What to serve with your potatoes
As mentioned above, these potatoes are traditionally served with many other Moroccan salads. That said, if you’re not feeling up to the task of making 5 salads and a tajine in one night, I’m not judging!
Here are some of my favorite entrees to enjoy these spicy potatoes with:
- Mediterranean Meatballs - these kefta style meatballs are the perfect pairing for a Moroccan spin on the classic meat and potatoes meal.
- Chicken with Olives Tajine - what better way to enjoy some perfectly seasoned potatoes than with a perfectly seasoned chicken? This combination is a flavor bomb waiting to happen!
- Moroccan Lamb Chops - this popular street food goes excellently with all of the Moroccan salads, this potato dish being a wonderful example.