Cyprus, Nicosia

What is haloumi and what dishes are made from it

Updated: 4 months ago

Haloumi, halloumi, or hellim is a cheese popular in Eastern Mediterranean countries and very popular in Cyprus - it is a brand of the island.

It is made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, sometimes with the addition of cow's milk, which has reached the state of curd before being placed in brine. It has a white color and a layered texture.

Both local farmers and large enterprises produce halloumi. It is available in stores in loose form and 250-gram packs, stored in brine.

It usually has a lightly salted taste, but you can also find a product with a higher salt content. Sometimes you can find mint leaves in the layers of cheese - it give the cheese a special taste and acts as an antiseptic.

Due to its high melting temperature, it can be grilled or pan-fried. In this form, it is most often used in dishes or as a standalone dish.
Сыр Халуми Кипр


  • with vegetables;
  • in salads;
  • used in baking;
  • added to desserts.

Haloumi with vegetables

Traditionally, haloumi is grilled, but a regular frying pan will do at home. The cheese should be cut into slices about 1 centimeter thick and put on an already heated frying pan, then it will brown faster. You can use vegetables or butter for frying.
Serve the ready haloumi with fresh or grilled vegetables, nuts, or fruits - the variations are almost endless.

Salads with haloumi

Haloumi is ideal as a filler for vegetable salads. Such a salad will be served to you in many establishments in Cyprus, it can also be easily prepared at home. For example, to prepare for two, you will need one pack of lightly salted haloumi cheese 250 grams, one small onion, half a standard can of sweet canned corn, 8-10 large lettuce leaves, one large tomato, or 5-6 cherry tomatoes, cucumber, a pod of bell pepper, black pepper, olive oil for dressing to taste. Cut and fry the haloumi, add the rest of the ingredients, and dress with oil or your favorite salad dressing.

Baking with haloumi

Haloumi, along with fillings of minced meat, eggs, potatoes, and mushrooms, is a popular filler for gözleme - Turkish flatbreads. It is often mixed with spinach and other greens.

Desserts with haloumi

Haloumi is used to prepare the hot Arabic dessert kunefe. Kadaif dough (a dough of thin threads similar to vermicelli) is used for preparation, it can be found in local supermarkets. Layers of dough alternate with cheese and are drizzled with hot syrup.

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