How To

How to make haloumi from scratch

What did the cheese say when it saw itself in the mirror? Haloumi!
Five pieces of golden fried haloumi sprinkled with rosemary sprigs.
6 slices (480g each)

Deliciously briny with an interestingly squeaky texture, haloumi can be eaten on its own with a squeeze of lemon, grated into sausage rolls or a zucchini slice, or incorporated into a salad. If you’re a haloumi lover: welcome. You’re in just the right place, because we’ve put together a fool proof, step-by-step guide on how to make haloumi in your own kitchen.

To measure the rennet, you’ll need a small (1ml or 5l) syringe available from pharmacies. You can also use the syringe to measure the boiled water.

You can pan-fry the haloumi immediately or keep it refrigerated in the brine for up to a month. The longer you keep the haloumi, the firmer the texture will be and the saltier it becomes. Pat the haloumi dry before pan-frying.





Sterilise all utensils by boiling them for 15 minutes before using, then allow them to air dry. Any items that can’t be boiled can be sprayed with white vinegar, which will kill any wild mould spores that could potentially contaminate the cheese.


Place milk in a large saucepan fitted with the cooking thermometer over low heat; slowly heat the milk to 38°C. Meanwhile, combine rennet and the boiled, cooled water in sterilised jug. When the milk reaches 38°C, remove the thermometer and turn off the heat. Stir in the rennet mixture with a sterilised metal spoon for 2 minutes or until well combined.

A thermometer in a big saucepan of milk, showing 38 degrees Celsius.

Cover pan with a lid; stand for 1 hour or until the milk has coagulated and curds form. during this time, keep the temperature at 38°C; to do this, turn the heat on to medium for 30 seconds every 15 minutes.


When curds have set, use a large sterilised sharp knife to cut a cross-hatch pattern into the curds to create 3cm pieces. Maintaining the temperature at 38°C, stand for 5 minutes, then stir the curds every 5 minutes for 30 minutes to release the whey.

A person using a knife to slice 3cm square cubes of curd inside the large saucepan.

Line a colander with muslin, leaving plenty of excess cloth overhanging the sides; place over a bowl. Using a sterilised mesh spoon; spoon curds into colander, reserving why in pan. Stir in rosemary. Cover top with overhanging muslin; weigh down with a heavy weight for 2 hours at room temperature.

A person scooping pieces of curd from a large saucepan into a muslin-lined colander to drain the curds.

Transfer haloumi in muslin to a 9½cm (3¼-cup) square cake pan, pressing down firmly to fit. Weigh down with a heavy weight (a square oil bottle works well); refrigerate for 1 hour.

A person using weights to press down the haloumi curds into a small cake tin.

Make a brine solution by combining salt with extra water in a large container with a lid.


Heat the reserved whey to 85°C. Remove haloumi from pan, discard muslin; cut haloumi into 6 pieces. Working in batches, cook haloumi in the why for 10 minutes or until it floats to the surface; remove, place in the brine.

A person slicing the haloumi block with a knife, ready to cook it.

Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of cheese making to guarantee the best shelf life for what you’ve made and for food safety reasons. Ensure that the kitchen is spotlessly clean. Do this by washing it down with hot soapy water then wiping with white vinegar.

Test Kitchen tip

What you’ll need to make haloumi

cooking thermometer
small jug
small syringe (to measure rennet)
metal spoon, plus a mesh or slotted spoon
large sharp knife
30cm piece muslin
9½cm (3¼-cup capacity) square cake pan

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