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Love halloumi? Wait until you taste this traditional Cypriot sesame-crusted fried halloumi with rocket, garnished with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Read on for the recipe, shared with permission of Constantinou Bros Hotels – and for your chance to win a TWO-NIGHT STAY AT CONSTANTINOU BROS ASIMINA SUITES HOTEL!

Picture the scene. Sipping local Xynisteri white wine while savouring the warm embrace of the gleaming sunshine, the salty sea air whistling through your hair as you marvel at the Mediterranean sea, preparing to tuck into a traditional Cypriot feast at one of the gourmet restaurants. I don’t know about you, but this comes pretty close to my idea of paradise right now!

This year, I’d been looking forward to visiting Cyprus for the first time to stay at Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos (or Pafos), one of four luxury beach hotels in the region owned by the Constantinou Bros Hotels.

A lady sitting by a swimming pool next to an ice bucket, champagne bottle and champagne flutes.
Credit: Asimina Suites Hotel

My trip hasn’t taken place yet for obvious reasons, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to make the journey in 2021 and I’ll be keeping an eye on the UK Government’s travel advice for Cyprus so I can arrange my stay as soon as it becomes safe for us to travel more freely again.

In the meantime, I’m ‘travelling by plate’ by recreating one of the hotel’s signature dishes, sesame-crusted fried halloumi served with rocket salad, kindly shared with me by Constantinou Bros Hotels with permission to post on my blog.

Sesame-crusted fried halloumi with rocket salad

Sesame-crusted fried halloumi

If you’re a fan of Greek saganaki (fried feta cheese), you’re going to love this sesame-crusted fried halloumi, served with rocket salad and garnished with pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Traditional Cypriot halloumi is cut lengthways into 1cm-thick slices, then halved to form rough triangles. Each slice is coated in plain flour and dipped in beaten egg, before being coated with sesame seeds. The sesame-crusted halloumi is then fried in around half an inch of oil in a large frying pan for around a minute or so, until the sesame seeds have turned a deep golden brown.

Once cooked, the fried halloumi is removed from the pan and placed onto kitchen towel to allow any excess oil to drain off. The halloumi is then drizzled with honey and served alongside a fresh rocket salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar, honey and chopped shallot. Find the recipe at the end of this blog post, where you’ll also have a chance to win a two-night stay at Asimina Suites Hotel!

Before we move on to talk about food in more detail, let’s take a closer look at what Asimina Suites Hotel has to offer its guests.

Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel

Just one of the five restaurants on-site for guests to enjoy at Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus.
Credit: Asimina Suites Hotel

A swanky five-star all-suite hotel boasting two interconnected freshwater outdoor swimming pools and one indoor heated pool alongside a fully equipped gym and spa, Asimina Suites Hotel sits just a stone’s throw away from Kato Paphos beach, in a peaceful area just a short journey away from from Paphos airport and the city centre.

Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus has its very own spa, Elixir Spa. Here is the room with the massage beds and sparkling mosaic walls.
Credit: Asimina Suites Hotel – Elixir Spa

During your stay, dine on a variety of tempting Mediterranean and international cuisine at five different restaurants (dependent on current pandemic restrictions) offering everything from themed buffets with live cooking, to light lunches with al fresco dining and à la carte dinners. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling thirsty, you can take your pick from one of three bars.

A plate of a la carte food at Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus
Credit: Asimina Suites Hotel

All suites feature balconies, with executive suites also benefiting from their own private pools. Other suite highlights include air conditioning, marble bathrooms, flat-screen TV and DVD player, tea and coffee making facilities and an espresso machine.

What’s being done to keep us safe?

Asimina Suites Hotel has a number of initiatives in place to ensure the safety of all guests and staff during the coronavirus pandemic, in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols. A 2m social distancing rule is observed at all times in addition to hand sanitisation stations, while all staff wear PPE, guest luggage is disinfected upon arrival and left outside the entrance to the room, complimentary face masks are offered at check-in and disposable gloves are available in designated areas of the hotel. For additional comfort and safety, an online pre-registration is available for a quick and easy check-in process.

To further support its guests during the current pandemic, the hotel is offering payment on arrival on all bookings, with no deposit required and free cancellation until 6pm on the expected date of arrival. Visit Asimina Suites Hotel’s website and book your stay.

A hand pulling apart some fried halloumi in sesame seeds.
Sesame-crusted fried halloumi
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4.84 from 48 votes

Sesame-Crusted Fried Halloumi with Rocket Salad

What better way to eat traditional Cypriot halloumi than studded with sesame seeds, fried and served hot, drizzled with honey on a bed of peppery rocket sprinkled with pine nuts and jewelled with pomegranate seeds? Read on for the recipe, shared with kind permission of Constantinou Bros Hotels.
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Cypriot
Keyword halloumi, honey, rocket, sesame seeds
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 540kcal
Author Constantinou Bros Hotels


For the sesame-crusted halloumi

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose or plain flour on a plate
  • 1 egg beaten
  • cup sesame seeds on a plate
  • 200 g Cypriot halloumi cheese sliced to around 1½-2cm thick
  • 3-4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp honey

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shallot chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 5 cups rocket washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts optional


For the sesame-crusted halloumi

  • Take the halloumi slices and dip them into the flour one by one, ensuring they're fully coated before shaking off any excess and placing them onto a clean plate.
  • Dip each flour-coated halloumi slice into the beaten egg, then roll it in the sesame seeds, ensuring each slice is fully coated.
  • Pour the oil into a large non-stick frying pan (aiming for a depth of around half an inch) and heat the pan over a medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the halloumi slices one at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for around 20 seconds to one minute,, turning from time to time until the sesame seeds turn golden brown.
  • Transfer the fried sesame-crusted halloumi slices onto kitchen towel to drain off any excess oil.
  • Before you mix the halloumi with the salad to serve, drizzle a little honey over it.

For the dressing

  • Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking rapidly as you go to emulsify the mixture. Cover and set aside.

For the salad

  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  • Pour a small amount of dressing over the rocket leaves, lightly coating them. Prior to serving, sprinkle a handful of pine nuts and pomegranate seeds over the top. Serve with the dressing on the side.



Calories: 540kcal

WIN a 2-Night Stay for 2 at Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus

So, how would you like to win a two-night stay for two guests in a one-bedroom suite at Asimina Suites Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus?!

I’ve teamed up with Constantinou Bros to give one lucky reader the opportunity to do just that. To enter, please follow the instructions in the Gleam widget below. Entries close on 31st December 2020 at 23:59pm (GMT) and the winner will be announced on the giveaway widget below on 1st January 2021 to celebrate the New Year! Full terms and conditions can be found within the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your thoughts on visiting Cyprus once the pandemic has passed? Do you like the look of this sesame-crusted fried halloumi? Jot down your thoughts in the comment box below.

WAIT! Before you head off, pin my post using one of the images below so you can keep track of this recipe and come back to it once you’re ready to get cooking.

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196 Comments on Cypriot Sesame-Crusted Fried Halloumi

  1. would be amazing to go with my OH as Paphos was our first holiday together and make some new memories together 🙂

  2. It looks beautiful and us, like so many this year, are desperate for a holiday and some family time. Would love to take my partner and 2 children!

  3. The hotel looks amazing and I love Cyprus. I’ll be visiting again as soon as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted and I will be travelling with my husband, Andrew Sloan.

  4. I love cooking with Halloumi and will be trying this recipe soon. It reminds me of holidays in the Mediterranean. The hotel looks amazing and I love Cyprus. I’ll be visiting again as soon as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted and I will be travelling with my husband, Andrew Sloan.

  5. 4 stars
    This looks very interesting, I’d like to win purely because it would be a totally new experience and I’d love to take my sister with me as she too has never been to Cyprus.

  6. What a wonderful opportunity! I’d love to go for many reasons–but mostly because one of my close friends at university was from Cyprus and he used to talk about his home country constantly and painted a picture of a warm, friendly inviting place. The Constantinou Bros’ Asimina Suites Hotel gives off that same feel and the food looks and sounds amazing! And being a vegetarian, the halloumi really appeals.

    As to who I’d take with me, it would be a good friend who has never been to Cyprus. In fact, he hasn’t had a holiday in over 10 years now and could use a break. But then, after this year, couldn’t we all. Thanks for the recipe and a wonderfully uplifting post!

  7. After taking a look I’d love to go, it looks absolutely beautiful, the perfect place to take my family to relax and unwind.

  8. 5 stars
    Wow sounds delicious! Was just looking for ideas of X-mas dinner starters (that my mom wouls fancy)? the prize is lovely too, never thought of visiting Cyprus..

  9. Lovely looking hotel, so luxurious and the recipe has wetted my appetite to revisit Cyprus after such a long time. I would take my boyfriend because it would make for an extra romantic break

  10. I could really do with a beak away. The last time I went abroad was 3 years ago now and I haven’t been on holiday yet with my partner so would definitely be going with her.

  11. I would love to win this giveaway for my partner and my daughter. We’ve been struggling to make ends meet for 2 years now with only him working and me home with the baby. Tried online business but I don’t have the time it requires to actually make money. We’re so stressed and a 2days holiday would make life so much nicer.

  12. I am half Greek Cypriot and my my wife and I got married in Paphos in 2007. It would be wonderful to win this and go back there.

  13. I’d love to take my husband there for a little break. He has worked two jobs for most of the year to support us all and could do with a moment for himself x

  14. What an amazing prize! I would definitely take my husband with me. It’s our 10 year anniversary next week & our original plans have been ever so slightly scuppered by Covid so we’re looking for a new celebration in 2021.

  15. Ooh I’d love to try this recipe and I’d love to go to Cyprus! I have a Cypriot friend and she is the best cook ever, and always telling me I should go!

  16. would love to treat my sister who has been working in nhs this year, and is now trying to create her own business, will be a welcome retreat

  17. Not been travelling this year because what’s the point when most of the world is full of crazy restrictions that stop you enjoying it, but can’t wait to get back to real normal again, which of course includes travel.

  18. I’ve so missed travelling in 2020 with 3 holidays cancelled! I cannot wait to enjoy some sun, rest and relaxation in warmer climes so this would be amazing!

  19. I’d love to stay at the hotel for a much-needed break from the Great British weather.
    My partner Tom deserves the break too – a stack of books next to the lounger and some nice music playing – best Christmas present ever!

  20. 5 stars
    What an amazing recipe and prize! I would love to get away to Cyprus after a looong 2020! Would take my best friend.

  21. Never been to Cyprus and haven’t had a holiday all year so it would be a lovely way to take a break with my daughter

  22. I’d take my husband and it’d be so lovely to have some time alone after being in a house full of kids for months with no break. Heaven x

  23. 5 stars
    This recipe looks perfect for a working from home lunch for a huge halloumi fan! Just popped some halloumi in my online order to try this week!

  24. 4 stars
    After having a really bad year – even before covid, we had a tragedy after our new kitten had to be euthanized because of FIP, so I’d love to treat my son to a break from our normal life!

  25. Cyprus has a very special place in my heart, I used to visit and drop my kids off to their Grannys house years ago, would love to go back with my boo…….

  26. I would take my boyfriend and let him experience all the amazing ways you can eat Halloumi in Cyprus! I loved it so much when I want, ate it until it was coming out of my ears.

  27. 5 stars
    Working on the front line and not seeing my daughter for several months was extremely hard, this would be amazing.

  28. I would love to take my wife. I was meant to sail to Cyprus in 1987 but became ill and was unable to. I’ve always meant to go since but somehow it never happened.

  29. I would bring my husband. Good to know that Asimina Suites are following the WHO protocols. Why would I go? I couldn’t say no!

  30. I would love this as I’ve never been to Cyprus but it looks amazing. It would be a nice break with my husband after a very challenging year.

  31. Me and my partner love to travel and see different parts of the world and we are yet to tick off Cyprus so this would be a wonderful opportunity.

  32. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh the halloumi sounds lush!
    I’d love to go and try it out in Cyprus myself after a busy year working non-stop for the NHS. It would be a lovely break to take my mum with me, who i’ve not seen since February. Dreaming of the day of travel and spending time with family! It’ll soon be here though.

  33. Would take my hard working primary school teacher daughter Sophia Amoroso.
    We both love the island and Sophia is of course full of wisdom!

  34. 5 stars
    The recipe was so fab and lush! A weekend break would be so lovely after such a stressful year, it would be something to look forward too! I would take my boyfriend with me, he 100% deserves a weekend breAk.

  35. I’d love to go to Cyprus- my neighbour is from there and visits every year. Always looks super refreshed and happy on their return ?

  36. I’d love to visit Paphos again and revisit the places I went to with my lovely mum when she was still alive. Lots of happy memories. It would be good to have a coffee with my Cypriot friend too. I’d take my best friend with me.

    On another note, I’ll definitely be trying that Sesame Halloumi – it looks divine.

  37. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe – it would taste so much nicer in Cyprus. Suppose I should take my boyfriend along too, lol!

  38. I would like to go with my friend NINA IVES. She is an infection control nurse at Newham Hospital in London. Nina did contract Covid19 a few months ago and was very, very poorly. She is now fully recovered, all clear and back to nursing her patients.

  39. 5 stars
    Fab idea Kacie! Definitely going to try this! I’ve never been to Greece, but on my bucket list. I do hope you get to go soon!

  40. Wow! What a stunning place to stay. I’d love to go to unwind and perhaps re~set myself as I keep falling asleep constantly, day or night. As for who I’d take….Hmmm, probably my Mum.

  41. I would love to have a family break in Paphos to relax, enjoy the beautiful weather, food and amazing landscapes.

  42. I’d love to take my partner Tom for a much-needed break. As a teacher, Tom is so hardworking and so deserving of a nice holiday!


  43. I’d love to win this! My boyfriend and I are OBSESSED with halloumi and both of us have never been to cyprus, this would be an incredible trip for both of us to make up for a horrible 2020!

  44. I haven’t been to Cyprus for almost 35 years. I’d love to go back and see how much it’s changed and take my daughter as she deserves a treat for everything she has done for me this past year.

  45. Wow. What a fab prize! Would love to share this with my fiancé Paul Clarke, to celebrate our engagement in style!!

  46. I have family in Cyprus that I would love to visit, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve been able to go There. I would take my husband 🙂

  47. 5 stars
    The hotel sounds amazing and the restaurants offer a fabulous choice of cuisine. I would love to go with my husband Ed as he has never been to Cyprus and I have told him do much about his beautiful the island is.

  48. 5 stars
    I would love to win this stay, never been to Cyprus but heard so many great things about it, would love to come and find out for myself 🙂

    I’d bring my partner and it would be an excellent way to celebrate our 15 years together that we couldnt celebrate this year due to covid.

  49. 5 stars
    Would love to take my wife to be here, covid allowing we are hoping to get married in March so we can live together and start some adventures!

  50. 4 stars
    I would love to win this, would be the perfect anniversary and birthday gift for my husband. I would take my husband 😀

  51. 5 stars
    My husband and I both enjoy halloumi so will definitely need to try this tasty recipe out, it looks nice and easy to prepare too. We’d love the chance to stay at The Asimina Suites in Paphos, we’ve stayed at their sister hotel which is lovely but The Asimina Suites look even better x

  52. What a great prize – something to look forward to once things are safe again!

    I would like to take my partner.

  53. I haven’t had such a vacation for several years and Mediterranean cuisine is definitely my favourite! Look forward to getting the results. Have a good day everyone!

  54. Looks absolutely fabulous and something amazing to look forward to after this horrid year. I would take my partner to make some happy memories!

  55. 5 stars
    Me and my now husband went to Paphos, Cyprus in 2007 after only a few months of dating. It was beautiful. We would love the opportunity to go back especially to see how things have changed.

  56. 5 stars
    Wow what a tremendous prize to win, looks like pure paradise this would be an absolute dream holiday for me & the hubby for my 40th without the kiddies, definitely 2nd honeymoon material. Never been to Cyprus, these photos are definitely inspiring & the recepies are mouthwatering certainly going to give them a bash don’t look to hard at all ????

  57. I’ve been to Cyprus but my husband hasn’t so this would be the perfect time to treat him to a stay at your beautiful hotel.

  58. This would be the most amazing prize to look forward to, we had been planning a trip to Cyprus (pre-covid) so it would be a brilliant surprise to give my husband when we can fly again!

  59. Cyprus is on my wish list of places to go, and this hotel sounds great. I will definitely try this recipe for fried halloumi.

  60. Cyprus is on my wish list of places to go, and this hotel sounds great. I will definitely try this recipe for fried halloumi. Would love to win the hotel stay in Paphos.

  61. My grandparents came to England from Cyprus, i haven’t been since i was 7. all i remember it was hot, dust roads and what seemed like “wotsits” crisps that had a little red plastic toy inside the pack. I would love to take my wife.

  62. The hotel looks gorgeous and the food delicious! After the awful 2020 we’ve had, winning this would be an awesome start to to the new year with my fiance!

  63. This would be amazing and it looks stunning.

    I would take my lovely, yes lovely, teenage daughter and have a momma daughter break.
    Yes, we are still not sick of each other after spending every moment together all year!

    I have never been fortunate to visit Cyprus so this would be one off the bucket list for us xx

  64. would love this for me and my husband, our holiday to celebrate out first wedding anniversary got cancelled so this would be lovely to look forward to.

  65. I’d love to stay here as I love Paphos and this hotel looks very lush! I’d take my friend Emma with me if I won as she’s never travelled abroad before.

  66. 4 stars
    I would take my sister with me. My nephew is 2 years old now, he’s fab but hard work. It would nice to give my sister a break and give us the chance to hang out again like we used to.

  67. I would love to stay here because it looks amazing! I would love to go with my husband because we went to Cyprus for our honeymoon 18 years ago!

  68. This looks lovely! I haven’t been to Cyprus in over 20 years so it would be amazing to back with hubby for his first visit.

  69. Wow that looks absolutely delicious. Going to give it a go and make it myself though sure the real deal would taste better!

  70. The hotel looks phenomenal and I’ve never been to Paphos, I’d love to take my mum she’s well overdue a luxury treat.

  71. 5 stars
    My lovely husband is our family ‘chef’ and found this fantastic Halloumi recipe – on line – on your blog – which we all subsequently enjoyed!

    So I’d like to take my ‘ordinary’ Tim to somewhere EXTRAORDINARY – Cyprus – if I win – to say thank you for holding the ‘Fort’ at home whilst I’ve worked full time (and more…) as an NHS Paediatric Community Nurse throughout the pandemic. Thank you.

  72. I’d love to be able to treat my lovely mam as she’s a hard working key worker, running her own business and she deserves something nice thanks. Something we could look forward to. This place looks ideal xx thanks so much and happy new year x

  73. I visited Cyprus with my sister for the first time last year and we fell in love with the island! We visited Larnaca and would love the opportunity to explore Paphos!

  74. 5 stars
    That recipe looks amazing! I mean who doesn’t love halloumi? Nom nom nommm.

    Also I love love love Cyprus, it’s so beautiful and the people are so kind and friendly. Wonderful giveaway thanks so much for the chance. I would take my partner Rob Noble <3 x x x

  75. My interest is always piqued my something new food-wise, pine nuts and sesame are two of my favourite foods (to be fair though, it’s a very long list!), I will have to give that recipe a try!
    I’d love to go to Cyprus, it’s been on my list for a while yet I haven’t been, I’d take my boyfriend

  76. I’d take my wonderful hubby as we love to travel yet neither of us has visited Cyprus yet! We’d both love to try that halloumi and why not try it there with that wonderful view!

  77. 5 stars
    The thought of winning this wonderful competition with my husband will get me through the end of 2020! What a beautiful place and the recipe sounds delicious too.

  78. We have had to endure a very difficult year with the loss of a loved one, during this time my partner has been my pillar. He has a milestone birthday in January and I would love to give him something extra special to show him how much he means to me and my family.

  79. Oh WOW I would love to treat my fiancee Lewis to a stay here! We were meant to go to Cyprus this year but couldn’t for obvious reasons so this would make up for it 🙂

  80. Having had to cancel planned travels for my husband’s 60th, I’d love to be able to take him away to celebrate our silver wedding in 2021. The luxury of this hotel would be perfect

  81. What a wonderful prize, Cyprus looks beautiful. If I was lucky enough to win I’d take my partner, we haven’t been able to have a holiday since 2011 for various reasons which I won’t bore you with, so it would be a much needed break and real treat, especially as it’s somewhere neither of us has ever been before.

  82. I’d love to win to escape this crazy time we are living in. Get some sun and sea and try wonderful cuisine. I’d take my husband Ashley

  83. I would love to go to Cyprus with my partner. I’ve never been before but would love to go. So many places out there to explore and food to try.

  84. Never been to Cyprus but would love to go, with my wife and have wonderful break and time by seeing the sights and tasting the cuisine

  85. I love halloumi and this recipe looks lovely. Hotel looks amazing. I would take my partner Dave as we both love Cyprus ???

  86. 5 stars
    I love Halloumi, and pine nuts, and pomegranite, I really like rocket and sesame seeds, no surprise … I can’t wait to try this recipe. Happy New Year :0)

  87. this is such a fab prize! I would really love to treat my mum as she has been stuck indoors shielding since March and it would be amazing to have something to look forward to when it is safe again

  88. 5 stars
    I’ve never been to Cyprus but have heard how magical it is from friends who have, with wonderful people and fantastic cuisine. The hotel looks beautiful and I would love to take my husband with me.

  89. Before we knew each other, my husband was stationed over there with the RAF and we would love to visit the island together and he can show me how beautiful it is, the amazing food and how friendly the Cypriots are, I’d love to see for myself the beauty he has been telling me for many years. I’d of course take my husband 🙂

  90. 5 stars
    Would love to go as we’ve had 3 breaks cancelled this year and desperately looking forward to being able to get away for some sunshine with my husband of 21 years – long overdue for a break together somewhere nice and this sounds so perfect.

  91. 5 stars
    One of the best ingredients to work with on our meat-free nights is halloumi – we love it! Can’t wait to try the recipe. This prize would be fabulous

  92. 5 stars
    Oooh this looks so delicious! I love halloumi but always end up just grilling it. I will have to try this.

    • I adore halloumi too! This is the first time I’ve tried it like this but it certainly won’t be the last! 🙂

  93. LOVE Halloumi and especially when it is fried!
    In another life, I used to own and run a restaurant in Cyprus, but over the other side near Larnaca!
    Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare this week,

    • Me too! It tastes so good with sesame seeds, I’ll definitely be trying it out again! I bet it was a popular restaurant!

      Thank you for the opportunity to link up! 🙂


  94. 5 stars
    I love the idea of halloumi and sesame. I love Greek food and a Greek holiday and this post makes me wish myself very far away.

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