Before I tested this recipe I had not had the privilege of cooking halloumi. I’d eaten it many times, but never felt the urge to give it a go at home. Halloumi is an eccentric-textured-and tasting cheese which is very salty on the palate. It prefers, unlike its cheesy counterparts, to be pan-fried and grilled as it holds itself together very well once cooked.
First make the hummus. Drain and rinse the chick peas, peel the garlic and add both to a blender or food processor. Add the crème fraîche and enough harissa paste to taste (depending how hot you like it). Blitz until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper and add a drizzle of oil if you think it needs it. Then spoon it into a serving bowl and set aside.
Next, prepare the halloumi. Put three big glugs of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Put the flour on a plate, season with a little pepper and set aside. Cut the halloumi into thick sticks. I cut each block into quarter lengthways and then lay each piece on their side and cut them in half again to give eight big chunky chips. Then toss them in the flour so they are well covered. Gently lower them into the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning regularly with tongs, until golden brown all over.
Remove them from the pan and drain on kitchen paper for a minute. Then arrange on a large serving plate and squeeze the lime juice over. Sit the dip bowl on the plate beside the halloumi and pick and scatter the coriander leaves on top and serve. Halloumi really comes to life with these flavours.
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