Snacking Saturday – Meat & Potato Libyan Style

26 Mar

Mubatan Batata

Final Product

Dinner for 2 and leftover filling

Saturday is always the “on-the-go” day in our house.  Left to the “last minute” monster it would be leftovers or fast food.  We found Mb’atten to be easy to make, tasty after reheating and very very filling.

This recipe puts some quantities behind the description given on the Temehu page for Libyan Food and slightly a different mix than the Mubatan Batata post over at visually stunning blog Libyan Food… not to mention the “growth potential” I have in photography :-)!

This recipe will provide a hearty dinner for 2 or a hearty addition to a picnic for 4 with 2 serving options:

Finger Food – Stop with just the potatoes for a sporting-event-watching food.

Bathed in Tomato Sauce – Easy to reheat later and placed in tin foil could also be taken to a picnic and heated on the grill.

If you are a more visual person complete step by step can be found in my Mubatan Batata set on Flickr.

Meal suggestions to accompany this dish can be found in the post on the Dinner News of Southern Libya.


Collage of Ingredients

8 small potatoes
Oil of choice for stove top pan frying.

For the inside

4 oz by weight or 1 cup by volume cooked ground beef, cooled.
1 cup total chopped parsley, dill, green onion combined.
1 T Olive Oil
1 t Butter
1 Small Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
1 T Salt, Kosher or Sea
1 Dash Cayenne Pepper (optional)
1 Pinch Cinnamon
1 Smidgen Pepper

1 T Tomato Paste
1 Egg

For the outside

1 egg, beaten
1/2 Cup Flour


Making Garlic Paste

1. Mince onion.

2. Saute in butter and olive oil until just turning brown.

3. Allow onions to cool and add to ground beef.

4. Mince herbs. Reserve stems for later use in soups and stocks.

5. Measure herbs to ensure 1:1 ratio with beef. It will take more than you think.

6. Mince garlic and grind with salt and a few drops of olive oil to form paste.

7. Add garlic, tomato paste and egg to herbs and mix well.

8. Press excess moisture out of herb mixture using your hand, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer.

9. Mix herbs into meat mixture.


11. Peel potatoes and place in water.

12. Place oil in frying pan on the stove and heat until simmering, not smoking.

13. (Optional) Place tomato sauce in a separate frying pan on low.

Slice potato three quarters of the way through14. Slice sides off of small potatoes or large potatoes into slices.

15. Insert knife into center of slice cutting 3/4 of the way through.

16. Insert filling into slice.  The filling will not expand and the potato does not shrink so do not be shy with the filling, but be careful it does not split.

17. Dip filling edge into egg and then flour or flour and then egg… recipes using both options abound.

Filled slice coated with egg and then flour on the filling edge only

14. Place coated slice into oil and flip when golden brown.

15. Place on serving plate or into tomato sauce.

Holding in SauceI found it helpful to have them slowly simmering in the sauce as I gained confidence in filling and frying.

Some instructions call for placing a lid on and cooking for 10 minutes until potatoes are soft… I wasn’t that quick so it wasn’t an issue.

The potato on the left of the above picture split while I was filling, but I was easily able to fry on both sides and simmer in sauce without it coming apart… and it tasted just as good as the rest.

Next Time

I would use more spice… the herb mix was nice… we enjoyed the dill… but I will try the turmeric next time and try and sneak it past my husband.

I would not be afraid to have leftover filling. I had the half cup that was left over rice for lunch the next day and it was great!

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Posted by on 26 March 2011 in Libya, Snacking Saturday


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