Middle Eastern Inspired Halloumi

I always have a packet of halloumi cheese in my fridge. It is quick to prepare and very versatile. You can easily slide it into a pan, cook it for a couple of minutes and it’s done. You can add it to salads or grilled vegetables or even serve it as a vegetarian burger. It is healthy, has a great flavour and a robust texture.

This summer I have also grilled it on the barbecue and added it to an array of barbecued vegetables. It really complemented the sweet seasonal vegetables well, adding a wonderful touch of umami. I wish I had taken a photo of that wonderful veggie platter! 🤷‍♀️

I was recently looking for some inspiration for a middle eastern dish, and after a lot of research and going through multiple recipes, both online and through physical cookbooks, I came out with the following recipe. It may not be a truly traditional middle eastern recipe, but it definitely is inspired by their intense and rich flavours.

This dish is mainly enhanced by the fragrant ras el hanout spice blend, which adds heat and a rich flavour, and beautifully complements the sweetness from the dried cranberries and the carob syrup, and the umami from the halloumi cheese.

This recipe can be prepared in so little time. It is great for a week night dinner or when you are short on time for cooking. It is a healthy and filling meal which I am sure you will absolutely enjoy. 😀

Middle Eastern Inspired Halloumi

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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An intense and rich dish inspired by Middle Eastern flavours


  • 250g halloumi cheese
  • 120g bulgur wheat
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 40g dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp carob syrup
  • Bunch of lemon balm mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout spice
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Cook the bulgur wheat according to packet instructions.
  2. Place the cranberries in a small bowl and just cover with hot water.
  3. Cut the halloumi into 1cm slices and pour the lemon juice over it.
  4. Coat the halloumi with 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout spice.
  5. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft and caramelised. Set aside.
  6. Add the cranberries together with the water to the bulgur wheat. Add the chopped lemon mint, lemon zest, remaining 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout, carob syrup and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. In the same pan you used for the onions, add another tablespoon of olive and cook the halloumi cheese slices for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  8. Serve the bulgur wheat with the onion and halloumi slices on top.

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