Spiced halloumi & hummus pockets

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This modest offering ranks as one of my favourite meat-free dishes: packed with flavour and made in moments, it is very much one of my go-to snacks.

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These halloumi pockets epitomise real fast food and when I do these at BBQs (BBQd halloumi is particuarly fabulous!) it is one of the first things to go.

The hallomi gets fried in a harissa-flavoured oil, which adds a gorgeous level of spice. I usually use the inexpensive dried harissa spices, but you can use harissa paste that comes in jars: the rose harissa is particularly excellent!

I usually make these with homemade wraps but to be honest, I am not at all ashamed to use bought pittas and the like.

As soon as the hot halloumi touches the hummus, it enhances the wonderful garlicky flavour in the hummus, giving pure pleasure in the mouth!

A good quality hummus makes all the difference and these are even better using a homemade hummus: my recipe from smoked hummus is here, although it can be made unsmoked (guidelines are in the recipe).

Harissa halloumi & hummus pockets- serves 2 generously

  • 1 halloumi, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons harissa spices
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a few mint leaves, finely chopped

To serve:

  • flatbreads or pitta breads (mini, large: whatever you want!)
  • a few lettuce leaves
  • hummus (see recipe)
  • pomegranate molasses to drizzle over

(1) Mix the flour with the remaining harissa powder and pat the halloumi into the flour, turning it to get a light spiced flour coating

(2) Pour the oil into a large frying pan and 2 teaspoons of the harissa spices. Heat gently until just sizzling.

(3)  Add the halloumi and fry for 2 minutes on each side before squeezing over the lemon juice and scattering over the mint.

(4) Serve in flatbreads or mini pitta breads along with a lettuce leaf, a generous dollop of hummus and a drizzling of the pomegranate molasses. I like to drizzle a little of the oil inside, too.

Pomegranate molasses

The pomegranate molasses adds a wonderful sharp-sweetness, and can be bought in many supermarkets: a little goes a long way!

It can be replaced with a good quality balsamic syrup or even just a little balsamic vinegar brushed over the halloumi as it comes out of the pan, although a few fresh pomegranate seeds popped inside the flatbreads works very well.

A Christmas left-overs version

I often make a meat version of this using left-over turkey. I simply fry it lightly in the harissa-flavoured oil, and pop these into flatbreads along with some crispy bacon (there’s always some left after Christmas!) and perhaps some Brie and redcurrant jelly. Perfect!

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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