Potato cakes with meat filling (Iraq)

Batata Chap

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 55 minutes


Potato Shell:

  • 1/4 cup white rice, any type except converted or instant
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 or 2 thick slices day-old sourdough or French bread
  • salt
  • black pepper

Meat Filling:

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kebsa spices
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • oil for sautéing


Boil rice in 4 cups or more of salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.

Steam the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain completely and use a potato masher to mash.

Tear the bread into pieces and whirl it in a food processor. You should have about 1 cup of crumbs.

Measure 1 cup of cooked rice, discarding any excess, and add to the food processor, processing again with the bread crumbs.

Add the potatoes to the rice-bread combination and knead the mixture until a relatively smooth dough is formed. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

For the stuffing, gently sauté the onion in the oil until soft and transparent. Add the meat and the spices, stirring to break up all lumps as the meat cooks. When all traces of pink have disappeared, remove from the pan and drain well. Stir in the minced parsley.

To shape the potato cake, form a ball the size of a lime and insert your finger to hollow out the inside. Fill with a teaspoon of the meat stuffing and close the potato mixture around the filling. Flatten slightly between your palms.

Lightly sauté in oil until pale golden brown and crisp. Serve hot or at room temperature.


from The Arabian Delights Cookbook

by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush

ISBN 1-56565-219-3