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Quick Creamy Halloumi Curry

May 3, 2023 | 1 comment

This super easy, 25-minute halloumi curry uses simple, affordable ingredients and turns them into something special. Creamy with coconut milk, beautifully spiced and packed with spinach for extra goodness, this wonderful weeknight curry is also fab for meal prep.

Creamy halloumi curry with spinach on rice on a small plate.

Halloumi is one of my favourite things to cook ever. It’s versatile, a wonderful high-protein alternative to meat and pairs beautifully with so many different flavours. Salty, golden cheese, pan-fried to perfection in a creamy tomato curry, loaded with all the goodness from spinach? A super satisfying weeknight winner.

Paneer is a common ingredient in curries, but it can be tricky to find in regular grocery stores. Halloumi tends to be easily accessible, and honestly? I prefer the flavour anyway. It’s salty and meaty, whereas paneer is creamier and milder.

This curry is a wonderful quick weeknight meal – it takes just 25 minutes and is loaded with delicious flavour. It’s also great if you’re following a low-carb or Keto diet – just skip the rice, or serve it with cauliflower rice (which is more delicious than it’s given credit for). It’s also great as part of a curry night fakeaway spread. Serve with creamy New Zealand-style butter chicken or chicken rogan josh, along with garlic naan or cheese stuffed naan.


Nothing is tricky to find here – but I’ve given some easy substitutions below, just in case.

Ingredients for halloumi curry laid out on a white marble background and labelled.
  • Halloumi. This lovely salty cheese is generally easy to find in the cheese section of regular grocery stores. For 4 servings, use 2 blocks of halloumi (which are generally about 225g/8oz).
  • Tomato passata. These super finely sieved tomatoes provide a lovely smooth base for the sauce (also known as tomato puree in the US). You could also use a tin of crushed tomatoes or whole plum tomatoes. You may need to let the sauce simmer a little longer if you do, just so the tomatoes can break down.
  • Spices. We’re using curry powder, garam masala and Kashmiri chilli powder. Kashmiri chilli powder is pretty mild, and if you can’t find it you can replace it with smoked paprika. If you’re worried about spiciness, make sure you’re using a mild curry powder – some are spicier than others.
  • Coconut milk. This adds a lovely sweet creaminess to the sauce, but you could leave it out. Always check your coconut milk to see how high the concentration of actual coconut is – you’d be surprised at how small a percentage is in some brands. If you open your coconut milk and you see the top has solidified, give it a mix. This can sometimes happen and it’s just the solid coconut separating from the water.

How to make it

Cook your cubed halloumi in a little oil first – we want the lovely flavour and texture of crispy halloumi – this will just take a couple of minutes.

Then melt your butter in the pan you cooked the halloumi in, then add your diced onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for another minute before going in with the passata, then the coconut milk.

Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the crispy halloumi into the sauce, give it a mix and then add all the spinach. Stir the spinach through the curry as it wilts into the sauce, and then you’re done. Serve with rice and garlic naan or cheese naan (or just enjoy it by itself!)

Got a question?

Can I make the curry in advance?

Yes! Like many curries – this one is great to make ahead of time. The flavours have even more chance to develop and seep into everything. Store the curry for 5 days in the fridge, and you can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Can the curry be frozen?

It can – you can freeze it for up to 3 months and then defrost it overnight in the fridge, on the counter, or you can defrost it over a gentle heat on the stovetop.

Can you use halloumi instead of paneer in curry?

Yes, you can – both kinds of cheese have a high melting point, so they can be pan-fried and tossed with a sauce without falling apart. And I find halloumi has a stronger flavour than paneer, so actually prefer it.

Do you have my FREE Fakeaway Favourites e-book?

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It’s filled with my absolute favourite takeaway dishes you can make at home!

From a quick pad thai and saag paneer, to Korean fried chicken, beef rendang and chicken satay, you’ll love exploring the book.

In the UK? Shop your ingredients on the Cherrypick app

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You can easily order all the ingredients you need to make this lovely curry through the all-in-one meal planning app, Cherrypick. Just head to the app, add the ingredients you need to your basket, check out and then your ingredients will be delivered to your door by Sainsbury’s. Easy peasy!

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Creamy halloumi curry with spinach on rice on a small plate.

Quick Creamy Halloumi Curry

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This super easy, 25-minute halloumi curry uses simple, affordable ingredients and turns them into something special. Creamy with coconut milk, beautifully spiced and packed with spinach for extra goodness, this wonderful weeknight curry is also fab for meal prep.


Units Scale

For the rice –

  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the halloumi curry –

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (sunflower, rapeseed, canola, vegetable)
  • 2 packets of halloumi (generally 225g/8oz each)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated (or use 2 teaspoons ginger paste)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder (or use smoked paprika)
  • 500g/1lb tomato passata
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 150g/5oz spinach leaves


  1. Make the rice. Add 1 1/2 cups of rice to a small pot you have a lid for (if you don’t have a lid use a plate or wooden board). Pour in 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt, then place over high heat. Once the water starts to look foamy on top, pop the lid on and turn the heat right down. Leave it there for 12 minutes, then remove it from the heat, with the lid still on, and let it sit until you’re ready to serve.
  2. Pan-fry the halloumi. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large, high-sided skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the cubed halloumi, and cook for 2 -3 minutes on each side, until lovely and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.


INGREDIENT NOTES: Tomato passata is known as tomato puree in the USA – it’s very finely sieved tomatoes and can be found with the tinned tomatoes in your grocery store. It normally comes in either a jar or a carton.

SUBSTITUTIONS: You could use paneer rather than halloumi if you like. Replace the spinach with another leafy green like kale or cavolo nero, and if you can’t find tomato passata, use a tin of crushed or whole plum tomatoes.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Like any curry, this one is wonderful to make ahead of time as the flavours develop even more as they sit. It will last for 5 days, stored in a container in the fridge and you can easily reheat it either in the microwave or on the stovetop. Halloumi actually freezes well too, so you can freeze the curry for 3 months and then defrost it overnight in the fridge, on the counter, or heat it gently on the stovetop as it defrosts. I like to freeze it in ziplock bags for easy storage. 

SHOP YOUR INGREDIENTS ON THE CHERRYPICK APP: If you’re in the UK, you can order all the ingredients you need for this curry on the fab, all-in-one meal-planning app, Cherrypick

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: indian


  • Serving Size: 350g
  • Calories: 802
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 2099mg
  • Fat: 42g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.8g
  • Fiber: 5.3g
  • Protein: 33.8g

Keywords: vegetarian curry, spinach curry


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





This e-book includes my absolute favourite fakeaway recipes (popular takeaway dishes you can make at home!)

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1 Comment

  1. Gwilk

    Tasty and easy


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