How to make Halloumi Cheese (Video Included)

Halloumi cheese has its origin in Cyprus, my country. My grandmother used to make halloumi when I was a little kid and I remember myself watching every little detail of the process. I was so fascinated with the whole halloumi idea that I always wanted to learn and make it at home.

On the 29th of April my grandmother asked me whether I was interested in making halloumi. I gladly accepted and she came to my house with all the necessary equipment to show me all the steps of the preparation.

In the meantime the Royal Wedding was broadcasted on TV so we decided to dedicate this halloumi treat to the newly weds :-).


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Below you will be able to find the full recipe along with a small video showing all steps of the recipe.


How to make Halloumi Cheese (Traditional Cypriot Cheese)

It makes 4 halloumi cheeses

Ingredients
3ltr unpasteurized sheep milk
1/8 teaspoon of rennet (pitia/πυτιά)
Salt
Dried Peppermint
Water at room temperature

Preparation Method
1) Pure the milk in a deep aluminum or stainless steel casserole and set on low heat (mark 1) for 5 minutes, increase the heat to 3 for another 5 minutes, then increase again the heat to 5 for 7 minutes and then again to 7 for another 5 minutes until the milk reaches the temperature of 38.9ºC. During this process keep steering the milk continuously with a wooden spoon.

2) Dissolve rennet with a bit of the warm milk and then add it to the milk. Stir it well with a wooden spoon and set aside for one hour. Then, shake gently the casserole, if you see that the milk in the casserole is still, then it means that you are ready to continue the halloumi procedure. If not, allow some more minutes.

3) Brake the milk curd gently with your hands. Do not over do it. Then push it to the bottom of the casserole until you see a yellowish liquid coming on top of the pan.

4) Take the milk curd and place it in plastic cups with small wholes on them. Place those cups in a deep pan because the liquid which will be released from the milk curdles will be used again during this process. There are special cups were anari cheese is usually kept in. You can use one of those plastic cups. (see video)

5) Allow to rest for 5’ minutes; then take the formed curd mass and with gentle moves turn it the other way down and place it again in the plastic cups and allow to rest of another 10’ minutes. Then, when the milk curd is well shaped into cheese, take it out of the plastic cup and place it on a clean pan for 15’ minutes. Any liquid left must be returned to the first casserole and will be used later on to cook halloumi.

6) In the meantime set the casserole on a medium heat with the liquid that was left from this process and add to it a cup of water. With a spoon remove any curd excesses that come to the surface of the casserole.

7) Press the halloumi cheese gently with your hands, wash them with water and put them one by one back to the pan in the hot liquid, on a medium to high heat (mark 6-7). With a spoon move the cheese gently while cooking in order to prevent any possibility of burning them. The cheese should not stick to the bottom of the casserole.

8) While cooking you will see curd coming to the surface of the casserole. Collect it with a spoon and put it in one of those plastic cups. This curd is what we call “anari cheese”, and you can eat it plain, salty or with sugar and honey. This anari cheese is ideal for people who are on a diet.

9) Halloumi cheese is cooked when the whole piece of the cheese comes to the surface of the casserole. This process takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from the casserole and set aside to a plate or a bigger pan.

10) Season well with salt and dried peppermint. Keep them in a deep Pyrex covered with the liquid that you used to cook them.

11) Always wash halloumi cheese with water before serving, otherwise the cheese will be very salty.

Comments

  1. There aren't many recipes out there that explain how to make this cheese at home, thanks for posting.

    I don't know if we'll make it, but it's definitely interesting to see how :)

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  2. I love making cheese at home! Thanks for a great recipe!

    ~Sarah@TheJoyOfCleanEating.com

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  3. i like to make my own cheese. usually i make paneer (indian cheese) or ricotta cheese. i would love to try making this halloumi cheese too. the video really helps and it was so sweet of your grandmother to come by and make this...

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  4. Eftychia, I wish you had shown your grandmother in the video, I surely would like to have seen her. Was it yiayia Eftychou? I wonder if she remembers me? I am glad that you learned to make halloumi, thus keeping our tranditions alive. I made halloumi a few years ago but living in Athens was not easy to get ewe's milk and rennet. When we move to Nafplion, the area has a lot of sheep and plan to make some again with real rennet. When I come to Cyprus I must remember to get some of those cups. Where do you get them from? Here is my post for halloumi: http://kopiaste.org/2008/04/say-cheese-say-halloumi/

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  5. The plastic cups are sold in supermarkets with anari cheese, so everytime I buy anari cheese I keep them. This yiayia is called Katerina. Yiayia Eftychou died in 1994 :-(... I wanted to show her face as well but she did not want publicity so...

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  6. This is new to me. Never heard of hallaoumi before. Thanks for sharing Eftychia :))

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  7. Wow, what an interesting cheese...new to me, too, but that's the fun of visiting wonderful food blogs like yours! I hope I get a chance to try halloumi sometime :)

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  8. I've never attempted to make a cheese before - but this sounds delicious. I love that your grandmother came over to teach you. Passing down the tradition! So wonderful.

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  9. While we love halloumi cheese, sheep milk isn't easy to find where we are. So I guess we'll just have to keep buying our halloumi. We love it grilled!

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  10. Very interesting. Now I need a day off and I have to find somewhere to purchase sheep's milk. I have a feeling it is not going to be easy in my neck of the woods.

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  11. Hi Efychia, Just a quick note to let you know that there is an award waiting for you on my Parmesan Wrap post: http://www.gourmetfashion.net/2011/05/parmesan-wraps-gourmet-appetizer.html

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  12. I love love love halloumi but never thought to make my own! Thanks for sharing your grandmother's recipe!

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  13. you have quite a creative talent here just beautiful!

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  14. Love your blog! I am so making halloumi cheese (it's hard to find here in Portland, OR)

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  15. Would so love to make this ..buuut dont think I can get any sheeps milk round here. But i think it may be worth the search. Great recipe

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  16. I've always wondered how the salty squeakiness gets into haloumi, and now I know. Thanks for the recipe and informative video!

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  17. I love Halloumi Cheese but it is so expensive in NZ. Thanks for sharing the recipe

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  18. Tanks!
    This recipe and video is a world heritage site, to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage to be passed down to future generations!
    Giulia

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  19. What a great post! I have made paneer - this will be my next cheese making endeavour. Thanks!

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  20. Have enjoyed reading your recipe,there is a place in Limmassol that sells the hoops that makes it easier to form the halloumi,and also I find that the Danish rennet that you can get in Cyprus is the best for cheese making,unfortunately we cannot get it here in Australia,so I have to settle for a vegi rennet,not as good but it has to do.

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  21. When I make the haloumi cheese at home how long will take to go bad? Thanks

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  22. Hi Eli, if you keep halloumi covered in the salty water (and in the fridge) it will go bad in two or three months, probably more.

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  23. WOW..I love this..Thanks for posting it Dear..

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