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Patatas Bravas
(Fierce or Brave Potatoes)

“Patatas Bravas” means, so I’m told, “fierce potatoes” because of the relative spiciness of the sauce. It is one of my absolute favorites. It is a dish that originated in Madrid, Spain -- after the conquistadors brought back potatoes, tomatoes and chilis from Latin America. The dish can now be found in tapas bars all over Spain.

A square bowl of Patatas Bravas & a mini cocotte full of bravas sauce by Simon Majumdar

Patatas Bravas (Fierce or Brave Potatoes) Recipe

(Serves About 4)



For the Potatoes:

  • 3 lbs. Potatoes (You can use your favorite type – I used Yukon Gold)

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

  • 1 Cup Olive Oil (or Vegetable Oil) for Deep Frying


For the Brava Sauce:

  • 3 Large Tomatoes (Deseeded & Diced)

  • 2 Shallots (Diced)

  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Minced)

  • 2 Red Chilis (Deseeded and Minced)

  • 1 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika

  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne

  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry or Red Wine Vinegar

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil


For Garnish:

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Italian Parsley (Roughly Chopped)


For the Potatoes:

  1. Cut the potatoes into a 1-inch dice.

  2. Par boil the potatoes for 5 minutes in salted boiling water.

  3. Drain the potatoes and then shake them around in the pan to give them a few rough edges. This makes them even more crunchy.

  4. When ready to fry, bring the olive oil or vegetable oil to a medium heat and fry gently for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden. You can also air fry the potatoes. Just toss them in olive oil before adding them to the air fryer.

  5. When they are cooked, drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

  6. Place in a bowl and toss with salt and pepper.


For the Bravas Sauce:

  1. Bring the olive oil to a medium heat in a large saucepan.

  2. Add the shallots. 

  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Add the red chili and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the sweet and smoked paprika, the sugar, and the cayenne.

  7. Combine well and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  8. Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute.

  9. Add the tomatoes and combine well.

  10. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to a gentle heat.

  11. Cook for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.

  12. After 15 minutes, blend the sauce to a smooth paste.

  13. Pass the sauce through a strainer to make it even more smooth. This is optional, but I like the end result.

  14. Check the sauce for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.

To Serve:

  1. Spoon the sauce over the crunchy potatoes.

  2. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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