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Helim Börek Recipe, Traditional Cyprus Recipes

Hellimli is a traditional Cypriot savory bread made by kneading chunks of halloumi cheese, onions, and mint into a bread dough. The dough is then sprinkled with sesame seeds and nigella seeds, before being baked in a traditional clay oven. This is one of our favorite recipes and we are so happy to share it with you! 


We recorded the recipe from the lovely Süley Ozgen, who invited us into her home to learn her traditional Cypriot Recipes. To learn more about Süley and her recipes click here.


Prep time: 30 min + 1 hr of baking


Add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, milk, and the water to a large mixing bowl. Coat your hands with olive oil or vegetable oil and begin to mix the ingredients together. Every so often add a little more oil to your hands so that the dough does not stick. Knead the dough until it is sticky enough that it sticks to the side of the bowl but comes off when you pull on it. In general, it should be more dry than wet (look at pictures for a good idea of the consistency). If the dough is too sticky add a little flour and if it is too dry add water, a tsp at a time. Cover the bread dough with a thin layer of flour, and then a damp cloth. Leave the dough in a warm dry place to rise for about 1 hour. 

Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat your oven to 200°C (390 F). Line a pan with a layer of olive oil (2.5 shots of olive oil) and add the dough into the pan. Cube the halloumi into thick chunks and throw them onto of the bread dough. Next dice up the mint and onions and add them to the cheese. Lather your hands in olive oil and fold the dough over the cheese, mint and onions and continue to knead the dough by folding it in half and pressing down on it. Keep kneading the dough until the cheese, onion, and mint leaves are spread evenly throughout. Flatten out the dough so that it takes the shape of the round pan it sits in. Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp of the nigella seeds and 1 Tbsp of the sesame seeds so that they evenly cover the surface of the dough. Place the hellimli in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 175°C. Bake for 1 hr or until the bread is golden brown. If you are using a traditional cyprus oven, cook for 20 minutes.

Enjoy your Hellimli, Made with Love!


  • 2.75 cups White Flour

  • .25 cup Milk

  • .75 cup Water

  • 2 tsp Salt

  • 1/4 packet of Active Dry Yeast

  • 1 Tbsp Sugar

  • 1 lb of halloumi cheese

  • 1 handful of fresh mint

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 Tbsp of nigella seeds

  • 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds 

  • Olive Oil


  • large cake pan


Helim Börek Recipe (Cheese, Mint, & Onion Bread)

Captured by The Recipe Hunters: Leila Elamine & Anthony Morano

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