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.
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.
- 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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
Like this recipe? Here are more quick ideas
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.Print