A surprising and decadent twist on this popular Indian inspired dish! Halloumi is roasted and mixed into a butter masala sauce for a tasty vegetarian curry that everyone can agree on. This halloumi curry recipe is easy to make at home in just 30 minutes.
So lately, the Happy Veggie Kitchen approach to recipe brainstorming goes something like “find chicken recipe, replace with halloumi”… My regular readers may have noticed.
I am obsessed with this cheese. I promise to give you a break soon. But not today.
Halloumi Curry Though?
YES. No apologies.
This epic dish is my halloumi-fication of Butter Chicken. And another instance where we have a vegetarian version that ramps up the decadence factor instead of making it healthier.
Halloumi curry might seem like an odd choice, but paneer curries are my absolute favorite, and halloumi has similar grillable and non melting qualities, so I figured why not?
And yep, halloumi works really nicely in curry. In this recipe it is roasted with a dusting of garam masala before being stirred into the butter masala sauce.
I wondered if a halloumi curry would be too rich? Nah. It’s rich, for sure, but not too rich. Just on the right side of decadence for me.
Oh and guess what? Butter halloumi is super quick to make!
Another twenty minute curry for the collection. Because quick and easy curries are my new obsession.
I know that traditionally a curry should be prepared over a longer space of time to allow the flavors to develop perfectly, but thirty minutes is how long I have to make dinner on a given weeknight, and curries are one of my family’s favorite things to eat, and so I just have to make it work.
And it does work! Of course, with this and any other curry recipe you see here, if you have longer to let the sauce simmer, do!
If you are super organized and can make the sauce in advance, do!
But if you’re like me, horrible at planning and short on time in the moment, I’ve got you covered anyway. This is still going to taste great.
How to Make it
The workflow is quite nice. You’ll put on some rice while the oven pre heats, then sprinkle some garam masala over your halloumi and roast it while you get to work on the sauce.
To make the sauce, you’ll fry up some whole and ground spices, mix with tomato sauce and paste, then add lots of butter and cream at the end before mixing in that halloumi.
Dinner is done!
The sauce is based on Gordon’s Ramsey’s butter chicken, but I used a smidge less butter and cream. Feel free to correct that and add more butter and cream if you dare!
Butter Halloumi Curry
- 250 g (8.8 oz) block of halloumi, sliced into chunks
- ½ tsp garam masala , for sprinkling
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp of minced ginger
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cardamom pod, seeded
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 240 ml (1 cup) passata / tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) cream*
- 30 g (2 Tbsp) 2 tbsp butter , (more for frying)
- Heat the oven to 200C / 390F.
- Spray a large baking sheet with oil. Put the halloumi on top and sprinkle with garam masala. Spray with another layer of oil and then place in the oven for 10- 12 mins until golden.
- Meanwhile, get to work on the sauce. Melt some butter in a pan and then add the garlic, ginger, cardamom seeds and cloves. Fry for a moment until the garlic is softened.
- Add the ground spices (coriander, tumeric, garam masala and chili powder) to the pan and cook for a minute or so, letting the spices become fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and mix through the spices before adding the passata (tomato sauce) and lemon juice.
- Simmer until just before serving.
- A few minutes before serving, add the butter and cream and stir over a low heat until the sauce has become creamy (but be careful not to cook it for too long or on too high heat at this point to avoid the cream splitting.)
- Add the halloumi last, and mix through until it’s coated in the sauce.
- Serve immediately, over rice.
Omg this looks soooooo good! Paneer is hard to find where I live, so unless I make it myself I usually have to go without. I’ve never thought of using halloumi instead! So damn smart!
You had me at halloumi, my friend, you had me at halloumi. This is amazing!
It was so great to meet you this weekend. I’ve just been introduced to halloumi and this looks super tasty!
Hi lovely blog. Wanted to know What is the taste and texture difference between cottage cheese and this cheese ??
By cottage cheese do you mean paneer (pressed cottage cheese, not the looser curds)? If so they are pretty similar – halloumi is just much harder, saltier with a “squeaky” texture as opposed to paneer’s fresh, milky and smoother finish.
Hi, looks like a great recipe!
Would it be possible to freeze the leftovers?
Yes absolutely! Halloumi goes a little softer after being frozen in sauce but it still tastes great.
Tried this recipe last night and I’m super impressed! I didn’t expect it to be
sooo tasty, and I needn’t have worried about freezing it as it all went in one sitting!!
Hooray! I am sooo happy to hear this!
I was lucky to have this cooked for me a couple of weeks ago ……. absolutely delicious, we couldn’t stop eating it! And, so true that the recipe is ‘ramping up the decadence factor’, and why not, we all need a regular dose of delicious decadence in our lives ……Many thanks to Christine for the recipe and Kristie for the cooking!
Totally delicious meal, we are halloumi fans anyway so this was a must. I will be making it again
Could I use Goat’s cheese instead of halloumi as I have some in the fridge?
Goat’s cheese would just melt into the curry, you’d need paneer or halloumi for this one. Perhaps you could use potato or a tin of chickpeas or other beans with the sauce instead?
Wow! This looks amazing and I personally think halloumi has better flavour than supermarket-bought paneer. Have you tried with any lactose-free cream alternatives? Any recommendations?
I’ve heard great things about Oatly cream, and I love homemade cashew cream if you have the time to add that step in!
Amazing recipe! I am omdering though if there is a healthier substitution of butte, or if it could do without it altogether 🙂
You could definitely leave it out, no problem!
Simple recipe, extremely quick to make. The little salty halloumi cubes are a perfect addition!
Just wondering if this recipe would be freezer friendly.. thanks!
It can be, yes! Halloumi isn’t the best thing to freeze, the texture will come out a little different, but it’s basically fine. You may be better off just freezing some of the sauce and it would then be easy to reheat with fresh halloumi.
Which would you reckon is the best substitute for single cream — coconut cream, coconut milk, or crème fraîche? (Or none of the above?).
Any of those would be fine! Coconut milk will give it a more sweet, coconutty finish – delicious but a bit different. Creme fraiche will keep it closer to the original recipe, though you probably wouldn’t need the lemon juice anymore since creme fraiche is more sour than cream. It is also a lot thicker so you’d want to use less.
Amazing curry ! I was a bit skeptical until I added the cream and then it all came together. Spicing was also exact. Thank you for this.
I use evaporated skim milk instead of cream, delicious!
* single cream is 18%, which is available in British commonwealth countries like Canada. (I’m Canadian : ) creamo is 10% and Whipping cream is 33%. so you could use 1/3 whipping cream and 2/3 creamo and you would be good.
Hi Christine, I made this a couple of days ago and it was really nice. I’m planning on making it again very soon. Next time I’m looking to double the amount of sauce. To do this, would it simply be a case of doubling all of the ingredients, or would you suggest keeping the quantities the same for some of them? Please let me know. Thanks – Jack.
My god this is tasty!! Paired it with butter fried wraps, one very happy GF husband!
Absolutely obsessed with this curry! It’s quickly become a firm family favourite. I like to pimp it with blended onion, carrots and celery simmered down in butter before adding the spices and hand blend it before adding the halloumi so it’s extra smooth. We’ve also tried the sauce with chick peas, wilted spinach, butternut squash and even cashew nuts, which all go well 🙌🏼😍
That is lovely to hear, thanks so much! 🙂
I couldn’t find Halloumi but my cheese shop had bread cheese from Wisconsin. This recipes was delicious and quite simple to make. I will do this again. Maybe with roasted cauliflower instead of the cheese for my vegan friend (and substitute vegan butter too).
Oh wow, I had never heard of bread cheese before but it sounds delicious and very similar! I am so glad you enjoyed this and I agree, roasted cauli would be amazing!