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Test Kitchen Approved

Halloumi Tikka Masala

Recipe By Michael Kimball, Savory Spice Test Kitchen

Prep Time

20 Minutes

Cooking Time

1 Hours

Recipe By Michael Kimball, Savory Spice Test Kitchen

Unlock layers of flavor by toasting whole spices in this rich, silky, vegetarian curry.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with rice and naan bread.


4 Tbsp. ghee or unsalted butter, divided

1 yellow onion, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled and minced

2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

¼ cup honey

¼ cup lemon juice

1 (12 oz.) can tomato paste

1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 lb. halloumi cheese, sliced into thin planks

1 cup heavy cream

Fresh basil, to garnish

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Coriander Seeds

    Coriander is the dried seed or fruit of the Coriandrum sativum plant, which belongs to the parsley family. Cilantro is the leaf of this same plant ...

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  • Cumin Seeds (Organically Sourced)

    Cumin, also known as Comino, is native to the Nile valley in Egypt. It is now cultivated in other hot regions of India, the Mediterranean, and Nort...

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  • Inner Cardamom Seeds

    In the Cardamom Hills of southern India, wild cardamom bushes have grown for some 2000 years. They flourish in rainforests and in some cases can gr...

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  • Garam Masala Blend

    The most popular spice blend in India, this is as essential to Punjabi cuisine as salt and pepper are in American kitchens. Though intricate marina...

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  • Guajillo Chile Powder

    In Mexico, this chile is second only to the ancho in common use. This guajillo chile powder has a tangy, pleasantly sharp taste with hints of berry...

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  • Ground Turmeric Powder (Organically Sourced)

    Savory Spice Shop is one of the few spice vendors that sell turmeric that has been ground fresh in small batches. Turmeric root is a member of the...

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  • Mayan Sea Salt

    Mayan Sea Salt has a clean appearance and flavor but is also an interesting tie to the ancient Mayan way of life. This sea salt was harvested off t...

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Step 1: Toast

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp. ghee over medium heat. Add onion and stir frequently for 7 to 9 min. until soft and lightly caramelized. Add garlic, ginger, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, and Inner Cardamom Seeds. Sauté until toasted and fragrant, about 2 to 3 min. Remove from heat and add 1 Tbsp. Garam Masala, Guajillo Chile Powder, and Ground Turmeric. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds and transfer mixture to a blender.

Step 2: Blend

To the blender, also add 1 can tomatoes, honey, lemon juice, and Mayan Sea Salt. Blend for 60 seconds until smooth. 

Step 3: Simmer

Return Dutch oven to medium-high heat with remaining 2 Tbsp. ghee. Add tomato paste and remaining 1 can tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 min. Add chickpeas, bell pepper, and onion mixture from blender and stir until combined. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 min. to allow flavors to meld. 

Step 4: Grill

Preheat grill pan over high heat. Pat halloumi dry with a paper towel. Grill halloumi planks for 1 to 2 min. per side until they are slightly melty with defined grill marks. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares.

Step 5: Finish

Add heavy cream, remaining 1 Tbsp. Garam Masala, and grilled halloumi to Dutch oven. Stir until combined. Add additional Mayan Sea Salt to taste. If needed, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, to reach a flowing consistency. Garnish with fresh basil.