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Potato, pepper and onion casserole

In the back streets of Soho, there's a great Lebanese restaurant called Yalla Yalla.

We stumbled on it earlier this year, when it had just opened. It's cheap, the food's great and the service is lovely. After the serendipitous discovery, we'd go back regularly and slunk into one of the comfy seats and rack up plates of hummus, falafel, baba ganoush and all the other Lebanese goodies that they serve.

A couple of months down the line, Time Out paid the restaurant a visit, found out just how good it was, and published a review extolling its virtues. Since then, every time I've been back, it's been impossible to get a table - it's always rammed with other happy dinners racking up those plates of hummus, falafel and baba ganoush, and I'm left pressing my nose against the window like a Dickensian orphan at Christmas.

Unable to get in, I've been attempting to recreate one Yalla Yalla dish - the batata harra.

I've yet to master it (darn you, Yalla Yalla, for your tasty yet unfathomable recipes) but I've come up with some alternatives.

Here's one.

Potato, pepper and onion casserole


Olive oil
250g of waxy potatoes, like Charlotte
One red pepper, cut into small dice
Half an onion, chopped finely
One garlic clove, finely sliced
Pinch of dried chilli flake
One dessertspoon of cumin
One dessertspoon of coriander
The juice from a quarter of a lemon
Splash of stock or white wine
Small bunch of both fresh coriander and parsley
Salt and pepper

How you do it

Chop the Charlotte potatoes into quarters, pop them into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.

Boil for 10-ish minutes until almost-but-not-quite cooked. Drain.

Heat a dessertspoon or so of oil in a large frying pan, and add the potatoes and toss until covered in the oil.

Cook over a high heat until they've turned brown and crispy - another five to ten minutes, say.

Push the potatoes aside to create a space in the frying pan, and pour another dessertspoon of oil into it.

Add the cumin, coriander, chilli and garlic into the oil and allow it to cook for 30 seconds or so.

Tip the pepper and onion in and stir til everything is covered in oil and spices.

Cook for another five minutes or so, adding in lemon juice when it begins to stick to the pan.

When the peppers and onions are almost cooked, tip in a big splash of stock of wine - 50mls or so, maybe more - and wait for it to cook off.

Once it's dry, add in the salt, pepper, parsley and fresh coriander, then dig in.

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