Halloumi Fries with a Harrisa-Yogurt Dip

These Halloumi Fries were so easy to make and, even though I wouldn’t have thought so, all the prep can be done in advance! I wouldn’t have thought this but I had loads of visitors staying in my house during Christmas and because I prefer working in the kitchen when no one else is around, I did all the prep, including dredging the cheese in flour, when I had the place to myself. I had always thought that battering fish or chicken a while before frying would make them really heavy and stodgy but it worked here. Maybe because this was more of a light flour coating as opposed to a wetter batter.

Once the oil has reached 180 degrees celsius then it is ready for the halloumi fries. If you don’t have a thermometer then drop a cube of bread into the oil when you think it’s ready. If it goes golden-brown within 30 seconds then it’s hot enough. I’d use a small pot for this. That will mean you will have to do more batches of the fries but when each batch takes 2 minutes it doesn’t matter.

If you a struggling to find the za’atar, I’d use some dried thyme and sesame seeds.

Halloumi Fries with a Harrisa-Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 170g natural yogurt
  • 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 3 tsp harrisa paste
  • 2 250g blocks of Halloumi
  • 75g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp za'atar plus a pinch for sprinkling
  • A few fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Zest a lemon and add the zest to a bowl with the yogurt, salt and harrisa, mix and set aside.
  2. Cut the halloumi into chunky chips. Combine the flour and za'atar in a bowl and add the halloumi. Stir and toss to coat the cheese in flour.
  3. Fill a heavy-based pot with vegetable oil or sunflower oil so it is about 3 cm deep. Heat the oil to 180 degrees and carefully lower a small batch of fries into the hot oil to fry for 2 minutes. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on some kitchen paper while you fry the next batch.
  4. To serve, sprinkle another pinch of za'atar over the fries, tear the mint leaves and scatter over and serve with the dip and the remaining zested lemon that has been cut into wedges.
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