Halloumi Saganaki
Halloumi Saganaki

Halloumi cheese is coated with a light layer of semolina, deep fried, then drizzled with thyme honey and garnished with pomegranate seeds and black pepper. It’s the perfect party appetizer.

In my opinion, this is the perfect appetizer: sweet, salty, crispy and deep-fried.

This recipe is inspired by a dish I kept coming back to at Loxandra Restaurant in Nicosia, Cyprus, and it’s one of the most popular mezze dishes I make for my friends at home.

Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with fried cheese. Enjoy!

About “Ripe Figs”

Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus is the third cookbook by Yasmin Khan, a London-based author and activist.

Her book focuses on the eastern Mediterranean, where recipes traveled with people from one great voyage to the next. It documents the recipes, ingredients and journeys of people from the Ottoman Empire to today’s refugee population.

She dedicates the book to the migrants.

More recipes from Yasmin Khan

  • Dakos Salad
  • Turkish Braised Green Beans
  • Lemon Chicken Soup

What is halloumi?

Halloumi cheese is a semi-hard, unripened cheese made in the Republic of Cyprus, a Mediterranean island south of Turkey. In May 2021, the European Union granted it special recognition as a Protected Designation of Origin, meaning that in order for the cheese to be called halloumi, it must be produced in certain areas of Cyprus.

It is made from goat’s, sheep’s or sometimes cow’s milk. It’s firm and will hold its shape when cooked either in a pan or on a grill.

swaps and subs

This recipe calls for pomegranate seeds (seeds), which are hard to find in the United States outside of the fall.

If you can’t find fresh pomegranates, look for frozen seeds in the frozen section, sometimes you can find them there, or in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle, where they are sometimes sold as individual snack portions.

If you’ve been lucky enough to find a fresh pomegranate but aren’t sure how to work with it, we’ve written a pomegranate guide to help you pick the freshest fruit, store it, and use the extra seeds .

When it comes to opening a pomegranate, it can be difficult for a beginner. If you’re looking for a handy guide to walk you through slicing and seeding a pomegranate, we’ve got all that information in our step-by-step guide to slicing and pitting a pomegranate.

Don’t worry if you can’t find pomegranate in any form. You can just omit the seeds and the recipe will still taste delicious, or you can experiment and try adding other tart fruits like fresh raspberries. The texture won’t be the same, but you’ll get some juicy, tart notes to balance out the richness of the halloumi.

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Halloumi Saganaki

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
15 minutes

total time
30 minutes

4 servings as part of a mezze

Reprinted with permission from Yasmin Khan’s “Ripe Figs”. Copyright © 2021. Published by WW Norton & Company, Inc.


  • 10 1/2 ounces (300G) Halloumi cheese

  • 1 big egg

  • 1/4 cup (40G) fine semolina or meal with cereals

  • 3 tablespoon sunflower oil

  • 2 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon thyme leavesfinely chopped

  • Few hands full arugula leaves

  • 4 to 5 fresh figsquartered (optional)

  • 3 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

  • Black pepper


  1. Cut halloumi:

    Cut the halloumi into 8 thick slices.

  2. Prepare the excavator station and coat the halloumi in semolina:

    Whisk the egg in a small bowl and spread the semolina or cornmeal on a plate. Dip the halloumi slices in the beaten egg, then roll them in semolina or cornmeal to give them a crust.

  3. Roast halloumi:

    In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until hot, then fry the halloumi pieces for a few minutes on each side until golden. Place on some paper towels to soak up excess oil.

  4. Heat honey:

    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the honey and thyme. Heat only until warmed through and easy to drizzle over.

  5. Compose dish:

    Now assemble the bowl. Place the arugula on a serving platter and arrange the halloumi on top, nestling with the figs if using.

    Drizzle a little of the hot honey over each slice of halloumi. Finish off with a few pomegranate seeds and grind some black pepper on top.

nutritional information (per serving)
339 calories
22g Fat
17g carbohydrates
20g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!