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    Friday, 13 April 2018

    MY FAVOURITE EXOTIC CUISINE + A RECIPE FOR HALLOUMI FRIES

    I don't know about you but whenever I travel anywhere, the most important aspect of my trip is always the food! I spend days and even weeks planning out the restaurants I want to visit and plotting exactly which dishes I need to track down to try.

    I absolutely loved the food in Rome...and all the incredible tapas in Spain...and the tacos in Mexico. But of all the food from across the globe, Middle Eastern cuisine has to be my absolute favourite - which I've been lucky enough to try on visits to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
    bowl of helium fries with pomegranate seeds
    The food is so bold and colourful and takes influences from all across the Middle Eastern and Levant regions. Think big bowls of fresh and fragrant tabbouleh and fattoush salads. Platters of perfectly griddled meats and cheeses. Plump juicy olives. Bowls of creamy hummus and warm delicious baked falafels. It's literally my dream. 

    What I also love is the fact that there's so many fantastic Middle Eastern restaurants popping up across London. Think Honey & Co, Yalla Yalla, The Palomar and the infamous Halloumi fries at Oli Baba's. Oh, how I dream of the Halloumi fries at Oli Baba's...

    If you haven't heard about them before, you have to change that ASAP. They're deep-fried slices of cheesy dreaminess. Crisp on the outside and warm and salty on the inner. I was addicted as soon as I tried them so I decided to try and re-create my own version so you can enjoy them for yourself at home!
    Halloumi fries in a bowl topped with pomegranate
    What you'll need:
    1 block of Halloumi cheese
    1 tbsp Plain Flour
    1 tsp Sumac
    1 tsp Paprika
    Pomegranate Seeds

    For the dressing
    1 tbsp mayonnaise
    1 tbsp paprika

    What you'll need to do:
    1. First, cut your halloumi into thick chip sized strips (about 1-2cm wide) and set to the side while you prep the flour mix 
    2. To do this, spoon the flour, paprika and sumac onto a plate and stir until evenly mixed
    3. Next take your halloumi, blot it dry with a piece of kitchen towel and then roll each strip in the flour until coated on both sides. Make sure you brush off any clumps. 
    4. Now it's time to prepare the oil. You need to be super careful with this next step as the oil you're working with will be blistering hot! Fill a shallow pan with oil (make sure the pan has a heavy base) and heat. You can test it's at the right temperature by dropping a piece of bread in and when it browns in 20 seconds, it's ready!
    5. Once the oil is heated to the right temperature, drop the halloumi strips into the oil in small batches and fry for around 2 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Make sure you stand back as it's going to bubble and spit!
    6. Once cooked, remove and transfer onto a piece of kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil. Leave to cool while you make up your dressing.
    7. In a bowl, stir together the mayo and paprika with a splash of cold water until it's at a runny but still creamy consistency.
    8. Transfer the fries to a bowl. Top with your pomegranate and sauce and they're ready to serve! 
    What are your favourite exotic cuisines? Let me know in the comments below!

    * This post was sponsored by Destination 2 Luxury Holidays