Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been out for a few weeks now, but that movie, and Star Wars as a whole, are still at the front of my mind. I think there is an essay (not a review) coming in the next couple weeks concerning the line of questioning it stimulated for me. But right now I really can’t get enough of Star Wars anuthing. After the Force Awakens came out at the end of 2015 I learned everything I could about Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver. I find this group of actors absolutely delightful and on my deep dive I ran across a great interview that Daisy Ridley gave to StarWars.com. In this interview she reveals some behind the scene details about the instant rising bread that she prepares and eats at her repurposed AT-AT. This link will take you to the interview at the time when she begins talking about that scene, but the detail that I specifically enjoy is in regards to the green stuff she takes off her little grill. She says that the green food was halloumi, and that she had to time its frying with the rising of the bread. I love this detail because it lets me feel connected in one tiny way to the Star Wars universe, and I drop it whenever I can.
Previously I have only cut halloumi into thick pieces and then fried it (like Rey does), but I tried a new recipe the other day that incorporated fried halloumi as an interesting textural element to a vegetable dish where it added some creaminess but also soaked up a lot of flavor. The recipe is Halloumi Vegetable Jalfrezi and came from the cookbook Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals. I do not follow the keto diet and am not trying to endorse it, but someone gave me this recipe a bit ago, and I made it recently and just loved it. It’s warm and spicy with big pieces of vegetables and the creamy flavorful halloumi that really puts it over the top.
I’ve include the ingredient list and recipe below for anyone who wants to stretch their love of Star Wars into cooking/ dinner. Give the video a watch (it is both delightful and informative) and then if you make this dish for friends or family you can drop some sweet Star Wars and halloumi related knowledge on them. Enjoy!
-Butter, Ghee, Olive Oil, or other cooking fat
-1 lb diced halloumi cheese
-1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
-1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
-1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
-1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-1 medium diced onion
-1 small green chili diced
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1 inch finely chopped ginger
-1 can drained + diced tomatoes (3 medium diced tomatoes)
-1/2 cup veggie stock
-3 medium bell peppers sliced into strips
-1 medium zucchini diced
-juice from one lemon/lime
-salt and pepper to taste
Grease a skillet with the cooking fat and fry all diced halloumi until mostly browned. Set the halloumi aside when finished
Add more cooking fat to the pan and toast the cumin seeds for a couple minutes. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for another couple minutes. Add the green chili to the pan and fry for another couple minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic and continue to stir the veggie mixture. After a minutes or two add in the rest of the spice mixture and stir thoroughly to coat all vegetables, and try not to let spices stick to bottom of the pan.
Add the stock and drained tomatoes to the pan and stir into the mixture to incorporate into the veggies and remove all spices stuck to the bottom/sides of the pan. Cook for a few minutes until mixtures begins to thicken.
Add in the bell peppers and zucchinis and mix in and let cook for a few minutes. Cover the pan to let the veggies cook/steam as they incorporate into the dish.
Stir some more to mix evenly and after about 10 minutes (veggies are soft but still slightly crisp) add in the cooked halloumi and mix into the dish. Keep covered on very low heat or just on the still warm burner until ready to eat, stirring occasional to mix halloumi into the dish.
Before eating add salt, pepper, lemon/lime juice to taste.