Nadiya Hussain's Halloumi Curry with Coconut Sambal

A brilliant quick midweek vegetarian curry, this recipe from Nadiya Hussain's new cookbook, Nadiya's Family Favourites is served with a flavour-packed homemade coconut sambal.

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I love a bit of fusion cooking, and this is fusion at its best. I first ate this at my beautiful friend Ani’s house, and it was so delicious I had to recreate it. A simple curry, minus traditional paneer – because I don’t always have paneer in the fridge at home and many supermarkets only sell halloumi. (The need to improvise is how the best recipes are often created!). The bonus here is the spicy coconutty sambal, which gets sprinkled on top at the end. This one’s for my girl Ani.

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 55 min


For the curry:
4 tsbp olive oil
2 x 250g blocks of halloumi cheese, cut into 1cm cubes
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 red onions, diced
2 red peppers, diced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 lemon, zest and juice
300ml water
a large bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
cooked basmati rice, to serve
For the sambal:
150g desiccated coconut
1 clove of garlic
1 lime, zest and juice

Essential kit

You will need: a stick blender and a food processor.


To make the curry, put a large non-stick saucepan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cubes of cheese and fry them, making sure to toss them around so they get a good browning all over. You may need to do this in 2 batches.

Spoon out the cheese and set aside on a plate. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, then add the garlic and let it brown for a few minutes. Add the onions, red peppers and salt and cook until they are soft – this will take about 10 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin seeds, lemon zest and juice. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then pour in the water and cook for 10 minutes.

Take off the heat and use a stick blender to purée the mixture to a smooth paste.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the fried halloumi. Heat the cheese through and add the chopped coriander.

To make the sambal, put the coconut, garlic, lime juice and zest and coriander into a food processor and blitz until the mixture is an even texture.

Serve the curry with hot basmati rice, and sprinkle generously with the coconut sambal.

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