I had noted down ideas for this recipe a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t until Friday that I thought of it, after buying some halloumi ready for the bank holiday weekend. The idea of combining cheese with cumin seeds came from my first raclette whilst on a skiing holiday in France. Raclette cheese is melted in a raclette and then served with cold meats, salads, and potatoes. My friend suggested sprinkling cumin seeds on top of the melted cheese, which I did, and it was so delicious. The intense, and warmly bitter flavour of the cumin seeds combined with the creamy, melted cheese was memorable. I chose to use halloumi for my recipe, as it cooks so well on a bbq or griddle pan, which adds an extra toasty nutty flavour to the cumin.
The spiced pepper and tomato chutney is the perfect accompaniment to the halloumi. The sharp, sweet and spicy chutney cuts through the intense saltiness of the cheese and works well with the distinctive spice of the cumin. The quantities here for the chutney will give you enough to have plenty left over. Try it with fish, roasted cauliflower or other cheeses.
We combined the halloumi and chutney with toasted wholemeal pitta bread and salad. The perfect dish for a sunny bank holiday. Well, the Sunday was nice at least.
For the halloumi:
- 250g halloumi
- 1 1/2 tbs whole cumin seeds
- 3 tsp olive oil
For the chutney:
- 400g chopped tinned tomatoes
- 1 large red pepper
- 1/2 orange pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp coconut nectar
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
Chop the garlic and peppers into small pieces. Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large saucepan, soften the garlic for 3-4 minutes, then add the peppers and cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until softened.
Add the chopped tinned tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, coconut nectar, chilli flakes and coriander powder. Cook on a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.
Slice the halloumi into 1cm thick slices and coat in 3 tsp of olive oil. Lightly crush the cumin seeds so that they are slightly broken, make sure you do not crush them into a powder. Spread the crushed cumin seeds onto a large plate and coat the slices of halloumi on both sides.
On a high heat, using either a griddle pan or bbq, cook the slices of halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side. You want it to be golden, not black.
Serve the halloumi warm with the cooled chutney.