Do you want to cook some halal-certified dishes at home? If so, here is a guide that can help you understand halal cooking and give you some halal recipe ideas.
What is halal cooking?
This is the process of cooking food without the use of impermissible ingredients or haram (unlawful). Halal cooking adheres to the Islamic laws that forbid the use of pork, alcohol, or other ingredients that contain the by-products of these items.
Other ingredients that you need to abstain from in halal cooking include predatory animals with fangs and blood. However, these two items aren’t mentioned in halal cuisine because Islamic people rarely eat them.
Although Islam is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, many people aren’t familiar with halal cooking. The word “halal” is an Arabic word that translates to “permitted” or “lawful.”
So, halal cooking refers to any food preparation that is in accordance with the laws of the Quran and is acceptable within Islam. Food restrictions in Islam are vital in ensuring individuals eat healthily and can serve their society, improving their quality of life.
What foods are halal?
Haram or unlawful ingredients, according to the Quran, include:
- Most gelatins, enzymes, and rennet
- Anything from pigs, e.g., lard
- Poisonous or toxic plants
- Any animal Islam prohibits you from killing such as woodpeckers, ants, and bees
- Carnivorous animals such as dogs, alligators, and crocodiles
- Poisonous or toxic aquatic plants
- Intoxicants, e.g., alcohol
- Any animal Islam permits you to kill outside of food purposes
Since this isn’t an exclusive list, it’s wise to check every ingredient you use when cooking halal. Some of the food ingredients that are halal include:
- All vegetables and fruits
- Fish and shellfish
- Venison and bison
As long as the halal products mentioned above aren’t mixed with haram ingredients, they’re okay for halal cooking. Remember, when using processed products for halal cooking, you need to take extra caution. This is because most processed foods use animal fat and lard, which are haram.
However, in some situations, it’s acceptable to consume haram foods because the Quran values human life. For instance, if your only option is to eat pork or die, eat the pork.
Halal certified dishes
When it comes to halal cooking, there are no specific cooking methods or equipment you need to use. For example, you can simply clean a pot that has previously prepared haram foods before starting your halal cooking. The goal is to adhere to the Quran’s laws.
Here are some great halal-certified dishes you can try.
- Chicken and Zucchini soup
When it’s cold, you can make a hearty soup with zucchini and chicken. You can also add potatoes to this soup to thicken your soup and for a starchy taste. First, boil your chicken separately, and debone and shred it with a fork.
Second, add in your zucchini and chicken to the chicken broth and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Other ingredients you can add to your soup to taste are garlic, parsley, and spinach.
- Thai beef curry
This is a creamy beef sauce eaten with Thai rice noodles and boiled eggs. All you need is some beef curry paste, coconut milk, cubed beef, broth, firm tofu, and Thai rice noodles. Additionally, you can garnish this dish with crushed peanuts, fried onions, and beansprouts.
- Italian lamb stew
During Eid celebrations, lamb dishes are a must. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with an Italian lamb stew when cooking halal foods. To make this dish, you’ll need lamb chunks, green peppers, water, tomato sauce, and garlic cloves. You can add more ingredients as long as they aren’t haram.
Serve your Italian lamb stew with some risotto or large noodle pasta.
Other halal-certified dishes include omelets, gyros, and hummus. You can shop for halal ingredients at a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern market.