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Zaffron, also known as azafran or osfer, are actually the threads of the safflower plant and serve as a common alternative to the expensive threads of the crocus flower, saffron. It does not have the same flavor as saffron, but it will color foods in a similar way. You can typically find these threads in Mexican stores as well as Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets in the ...

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Steaming Basics | My Halal Kitchen

Steaming Basics

Steaming is universally known as a healthy method of cooking because little fat, if any, is needed in the process. One of the oldest known methods of cooking, water vapor produced during steaming is even hotter than oven heat because steaming transfers heat so efficiently. It’s also one of the quickest cooking methods at our disposal. Two Types of Steaming ...

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Oven Roasting to Perfection | My Halal Kitchen

Oven Roasting to Perfection

Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, defines roasting as “cooking meat, poultry, game or fish by exposing it to the heat of a naked flame or grill (spit-roasting) or to the radiant heat of an oven (oven-roasting).”  Sounds like something we all love to enjoy. There’s no doubt that roasting meats and vegetables brings them to a new taste ...

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Braising: The Art of Embracing Slow Food | My Halal Kitchen

Braising: The Art of Embracing Slow Food, Good Fat, and a Healthy Cooking Method

Despite the popularity of fast food, the concept of slow food has recently made a comeback.  Thanks to those in the culinary world who encouraged folks to come back to the kitchen and the table to enjoy real food given the respect of time needed to cook, we’re seeing a resurgence of good-old fashioned cooking techniques like braising. Braising is ...

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Quail Eggs | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Quail Eggs

Quail eggs are tiny eggs that can be cooked just like your average egg, although some chefs like to add it raw to many dishes. If you decide to eat it raw, make sure you have purchased it from an absolutely reliable and clean source. Quail eggs are commonly found in Asian markets and may also be purchased through your ...

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Preserved Lemons | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Preserved Lemons

If there’s one ingredient that says “Moroccan cooking” it’s preserved lemons. They’re smaller than most lemons found in the U.S. and also sweeter. Traditionally preserved in salt and lemon juice, they are used in tagines, stews and other dishes after the lemons have had time to sit in a tightly sealed jar for several weeks. Once the jar is opened ...

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Ostrich Eggs | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Ostrich Eggs

Ostrich eggs might not even be on your radar as anything other than what you might see at a zoo, but kid you not they are available if you seek them out. I found these at Chicago’s Green City Indoor Market in the winter (2011) and was amazed at the size and the seriousness of the vendor selling them- apparently, ...

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Pot Roast | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Pot Roast

To make a pot roast, you will need a boneless cut of beef that’s commonly referred to as chuck roast, pot roast (top blade) or rump roast. Approximately 5 pounds will make a nice roast and serve 6-8 people (thinly sliced). I like to cook it slowly with vegetables like carrots, onions and potatoes in a Dutch oven, as this ...

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Lamb Steaks | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Lamb Steaks

Gorgeous lamb steaks are all I need to see to start thinking about what to do with them next- roast in the oven or lightly pan saute for an incredibly quick and easy weeknight meal or make it a little more special on the weekend and round them out with an elegant soup, salad and side of oven-roasted potatoes. The ...

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Hen Eggs | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Hen Eggs

Hen eggs, a.k.a. chicken eggs, are the most commonly consumed eggs in America, but not all eggs are the same. Depending on the type chickens and the way they are raised, quality can vary greatly.  Choose free range eggs whenever possible, as hens who are able to roam freely and forage in a natural habitat with exposure to natural sunshine ...

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Ghee | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Ghee, or clarified butter, is a wonderful healthy source of cooking fat. Commonly used in Indian and often in Middle Eastern cuisine, too, it’s making waves in American cooking, too, due to its high tolerance for heat and positive health benefits. Just be sure to purchase the best quality organic variety you can find. Resources Pure Indian Ghee Ziyad Brand ...

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Cardamom | My Halal Kitchen Pantry


Cardamom is one of the most fragrant spices in the world and it’s popular in North African, Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It’s used to spice rice, tea, and even salads. Break open the pod to release the fragrant seeds much like you would smash garlic- place a wide knife flat on top of the seed and smash down with ...

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Pita Bread | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Pita Bread

The ubiquitous bread of the Middle East and North Africa, pita bread has found a new home in America and the Middle East due to the introduction of it by the many immigrants who opened restaurants, groceries and ethnic markets, offering the freshly homemade bread that wraps mouth-watering shawarma and kebob sandwiches and selling the bread by the dozen in ...

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Zaffron | Halal Pantry Item | My Halal Kitchen


Zaffron, also known as azafran or osfer, are actually the threads of the safflower plant and serve as a common alternative to the expensive threads of the crocus flower, saffron. It does not have the same flavor as saffron, but it will color foods in a similar way. You can typically find these threads in Mexican stores as well as Middle Eastern or ...

Read More »
agar agar flakes on plate

Agar-Agar: The Halal Alternative to Gelatin

Agar Agar is a combination of sea-derived flakes that gels when combined with liquids, making it perfect for vegetarians and those concerned with eating halal since it’s an all-natural substitute for pork-derived gelatin and any other non-halal, non-dhabiha meat source of gelatin (which can also come from beef). Find each kind in health food stores, Asian stores, Indo-Pak stores and ...

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Sauteed Bananas Over Pound Cake | My Halal Kitchen

Sauteed Bananas Over Pound Cake: A Winning Recipe!

A couple of weeks ago, I was part of a Culinary Challenge at the Muslim Women’s Alliance Annual Celebration Luncheon where three Muslim women were honored for their service to humanity. Each gave heartfelt speeches about their work and really touched everyone who listened- there were lots of tears in the crowd, to say the least. One of the women receiving an ...

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Giveaway of Modern Spice by Monica Bhide | My Halal Kitchen

A Conversation with Monica Bhide + a Giveaway of Her Modern Spice Cookbook

If you don’t know who Monica Bhide is, perhaps you’re not reading enough books, magazines or essays about food because this woman is everywhere. She’s a Virginia-based food writer who writes beautifully about how our lives, cultures and emotions are influenced by food.  She has written books, has an iSpice app every cook can use and recently launched a line of spiced chocolates ...

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MHK Recipes and a Q & A Column in SISTERS Magazine

For several years now I’ve been working with the fabulous women of Sisters, a U.K.-based magazine for Muslim women.  I began contributing recipes at first, then articles on cooking basics (i.e. a cooking school on the monthly pages of the magazine). Now I’m contributing quick weeknight meal recipes, as well as offering answers to some of your most pressing cooking questions ...

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15 Ways to Avoid the Flu | My Halal Kitchen

15 Smart Things You Can Do to Avoid the Flu

Everyone knows the flu is absolutely no fun. In fact, from what I’ve heard it’s absolutely horrible this year. Actually, there are several types of flu going around that are quite scary- one was more respiratory while the other was gastrointestinal. What’s really bad is that both came earlier than the normal flu season this year, indicating that there’s likely ...

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Holy Land Olives

Recently, my husband re-connected with an old college friend he hadn’t seen in years. As it turns out, when they reconnected many of their mutual friends wanted to have a small reunion.  That led to a dinner invitation extended to not just the guys but their growing families, as well- and a very special take-home gift for me: olives from ...

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My Halal Kitchen Recipes App for iPhone

Ramadan Recipes App is Now the My Halal Kitchen App!

It’s hard to believe it’s  almost been a year since we started working on the Ramadan Recipes app for iPhone and iPad. Batoul Apps, the super talented developers and technological brain behind the app, have done an amazing job to lay out the recipes I developed, tested and photographed. In the past year, we’ve been working on some updates, including the ...

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Amara Halal Cosmetics Giveaway | My Halal Kitchen

CLOSED: Amara Halal Cosmetics: A Glossy Giveaway!

A few years ago I got rid of all my makeup that had any sort of dangerous or questionable ingredients (i.e. chemicals like parabens and petrochemicals that are allegedly linked to cancers, ones I couldn’t understand or that contained pork by-products).  That didn’t leave me with but a few brands I found at Whole Foods Market, The Vitamin Shoppe, or the plant-based makeup by Origins. Thankfully, ...

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How to Remove Seeds From a Pomegranate + Make Pomegranate Punch

It seems as though pomegranate juice has been all the rage for several years, although it may now be surpassed by the marketing of the benefits of the acai berry.  I hope these unique fruits aren’t forgotten any time soon because they’re absolutely delicious and so beneficial to health, as they are full antioxidants and excellent for heart health. They ...

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Two Winter Recipes | My Halal Kitchen

Video: Two New Quick & Easy Recipes to Delight Your Guests + a Giveaway!

I love to entertain guests in the late fall and winter seasons. Everyone is indoors, gathered around the table or hovering in the kitchen instead of dispersed outdoors like in the summer. It’s a great time to catch up with loved ones about how their lives are going and re-connecting with them over great food. That’s another reason I don’t ...

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Pin it to Win it with Crescent | My Halal Kitchen

Pin It to Win It with Crescent Chicken and My Halal Kitchen Recipes!

I’m thrilled to announce the first Pinterest contest that My Halal Kitchen has ever participated in! Crescent Foods (producers of top quality truly halal poultry products) is giving away a $50 gift card to the person who gets the most re-pins of their recipes using Crescent chicken, one of which must be a My Halal Kitchen recipe. You can find ...

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Acorn Squash Hummus | My Halal Kitchen

Acorn Squash Hummus

Years ago I would have never openly served a hummus dish other than one made strictly from chickpeas and tahini (sesame seed paste). I thought I might offend a guest or anyone who thought it would be impossible to enjoy alternatives, although I’ve been playing around with recipes that used red pepper and different types of squash for years and ...

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Kitchen Updates | My Halal Kitchen

Updating Your Kitchen with Style: Simple & Easy Kitchen Improvements That Make a Huge Impact

In a tough world economy not everyone can afford a complete kitchen makeover, but is it necessary to make such major changes? Some kitchens can get a few small changes that’ll go a very long way. In this article by native New Yorker and Interior Designer, Saudah Saleem tells us exactly how you can make that happen. Today’s kitchens are ...

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Above and Beyond Halal: Saffron Road Raises American Consumer Expectations, Too

Over the past couple of years you may have noticed that I’ve really grown fond of certain products for one reason or another. I have criteria when determining which products to purchase for my family’s consumption and those I would serve to guests; those are the same criteria I set in deciding which to include in my presentations on healthy ...

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20 Must-Have Items to Stock at Home for Disaster Preparedness

Like much of the country recently, I’ve been glued to the television to find out every detail possible about Hurricane Sandy’s devastating effects on the East Coast and how everyone has been faring throughout. I’ve been reaching out to family, friends and colleagues in order to keep abreast of the situation we might not be seeing in the media. So ...

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Kids of the Ummah Giveaway | My Halal Kitchen

Kids of the Ummah Book Giveaway and Free Fun Pack Download!

I’ve been admiring the work of popular Australian graphic designer, Peter Gould, for a long time now.  Actually, there are so many companies whose design work I’ve been admiring and didn’t even realize that Peter was behind their logos, website and brochure designs, masha’allah.  What really prompted me to finally reach out to him was the free Kids of the Ummah Party Pack download ...

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Slow-Roasted Moroccan Mechoui

I’m really thrilled to bring you the next ‘Eid ul Adha recipe from Christine (Amina) Benlafquih, a journalist, wife and mother living in Morocco since 2000 who writes everything you want to know about Moroccan food at She has so many wonderful recipes, tips, and insights about Moroccan cuisine and culinary traditions that if you’re interested in this part of the ...

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CBS Food Faith and Culture | My Halal Kitchen

“Food, Faith & Culture” on CBS is Now Online- and Take a Look At Our Day Spent Filming

Many of you have already heard about the recent airing of the CBS program, “Food, Faith & Culture” of which I was honored to be included in as it highlighted the influence of faith and culture on food. The program, produced by Liz Kineke of CBS Religion & Culture, covered a kosher restaurant in Brooklyn that’s setting the standards for ...

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Stuffed Figs with Creme Fraiche, Honey & Almonds | My Halal Kitchen

Stuffed Figs with Yogurt Cheese & Topped with Honey, Almonds and Walnuts

I never used to proclaim a favorite season, mainly because  to me, all seasons without extreme temperatures are beautiful in and of themselves. Each one has something special about it and something I attach to it, whether it’s food, activity or travel-related. I’ve noticed, however, that year after year the one time I have come to appreciate most is the ...

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It’s a wonder I haven’t posted this recipe earlier. I’ve been making it for many years and it’s considered on of our favorite healthy go-to soups, but I wasn’t sure how many others would be interested to know how make it.  After numerous requests, I had my answer. I really hope you’ll make it at home, too… Molokhia (soup with ...

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Pickling Dill | My Halal Kitchen Pantry

Pickling Dill

When it’s pickling season you’ll see this in many grocery stores and farmers markets. It’s meant to add to vegetables, typically after you’ve boiled the produce with vinegar and sugar and any other spices during the canning process. Just wash, dry and add a small amount of dill to each jar before sealing tight. Have you ever tried this type ...

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Healthy Snacking Ideas | My Halal Kitchen

Healthy Snacking

With kids back to school and everyone seeming to be on more of a straightforward schedule, it also seems to make mealtime more structured, though perhaps there’s less time to get full meals on the table in between homework and sports schedules. I don’t have kids, but juggle a hectic work schedule and I’m the only one cooking {most of ...

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flickr photos of algerian pastries by Rachel Finn

The Culinary History of Algerian Pastries {and Algerian Food in Chicago}

Have you ever planned to spend a theme-filled day out?  We seem to do it a lot of this in Chicago since there are so many great neighborhoods to explore. For example, there are some great Swedish places to visit in Andersonville (delis, clothing stores, museum and cafes); the Pilsen neighborhood for some Latin flavor; Greektown for the cafes & ...

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Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin | My Halal Kitchen

CLOSED: Michael Natkin and the Herbivoracious Cookbook Giveaway

Several months ago I attended the Eat Write Retreat event for food writers and bloggers, which took place in Washington, D.C. It was a weekend filled with discussions and a chance to meet some very interesting people in the food industry.  Cookbook author Michael Natkin was one of those people. He talked about the process of writing Herbivoracious, an incredibly ...

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Patchi’s Final Ramadan Giveaway

If you’ve  been paying attention to the many giveaways we’ve brought to you this season, you know that Patchi has been spoiling us with some incredible chocolate offerings that showcase their delicious varieties catering to our Ramadan and ‘Eid season celebrations. In this fourth and  last giveaway one person will receive 1/2 pound of chocolate in the amber vase pictured ...

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Moroccan Crêpes

As you might be able to see from this blog, I’m a bit entranced by Moroccan things- style, geography, and the delicious, healthy and traditional food. Amanda Mouttaki is the author of Maroc Mama, a blog about her experience with and love of Moroccan culture and cuisine {and a whole lot more}. In this post she gladly shares her recipe ...

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Violet Rice Pudding Recipe & a Chance to Learn How to Make Chocolate From a Professional Chocolatier

Uzma Sharif is a Chicago-based chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Uzma, both an online shop and a brick and mortar one  in Chicago. I just love supporting women in business, and those running a specialty food business at that. Her chocolates are infused with the exotic aromas of South Asia and made so beautiful you need some time to enjoy them ...

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Pistachios and Walnuts: A Deeper Look at the Most Widely Used Nuts in Syrian and Middle Eastern Desserts

Nadia Hubbi of Sweet Pillar & Co. gives us her take on how two of the healthiest and most traditional nuts of the Middle East stack up in food history, health benefits and culinary use. It’s an interesting look at both walnuts and pistachios, some of the most widely-used nuts in traditional Middle Eastern cooking that are making big waves ...

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Yvonne photo on Noor Kids-175x300

Sponsored Video: Make Iftar Easier With Healthy Appetizers by Saffron Road

Iftar doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming to prepare, even if you’re expecting guests. With the right products and quick and healthy recipes, you can get food on the table that everyone will savor. Please enjoy the video and let me know, what’s your go-to quick Iftar dish or dishes? *This video was sponsored by Saffron Road. Please check ...

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Creamy Date Shake

If you live anywhere in California or nearby, you’ve probably heard of date milkshakes and the pretty well-known stands at farms and orchards who sell them. I have lived in California, driven through it many times from all different angles and have never tried one, but I’ve heard plenty about them. A date shake perfect for iftar, and a great ...

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7-Quart Calphalon Digital Slow Cooker Giveaway

My recipe for Slow Cooker Haleem is a favorite in our house during Ramadan as an Iftar meal and many Muslim households have a similar version they hold dear. What helps me make the best haleem and many other dishes like perfectly braised meats, stews, and even soups that require slow cooking is the Calphalon Electrics 7-Quart Slow Cooker, one kitchen appliance I use over and over ...

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Slow Cooker Haleem

I’ve been told for years that haleem, the puréed meat and grains dish with South Asian flavors,  is a favorite Iftar dish for so many Muslims observing the Ramadan fast.  Though not a common way of eating meat American-style, (cooked down for hours and combined with grains all puréed together) if you pre-judge it and dismiss it, you may never ...

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Tell Your Neighbors About Ramadan and ‘Eid With Homemade Goodie Bags

Nearly ten years ago when I began speaking at local libraries, churches and schools about Islam, Muslims, Ramadan, and/or ‘Eid, I would carry a bag of educational materials like handouts, brochures, power point presentations and more instructional things of that nature. It wasn’t until I started going to public schools with my friends who have children that I realized how ...

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Ricotta Lemon Dip | My Halal Kitchen

Lemon Ricotta Dip

For some reason, during Ramadan I tend to see, make, eat and enjoy appetizers the most. It’s nice to have something light but substantial at the initial breaking of the fast, but it’s more than that for me. Maybe it’s because when the fast-breaking time comes every evening, it’s one of the sweetest moments I experience (whether the appetizer is ...

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Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World [Giveaway]

I love documentaries of all kind, particularly those about health, food, the economy and, of course,  Islamic history.  It’s so much more interesting to me to watch something that is fact-based because I feel as though I’ve spent some of my precious down time actually learning something important, something that I can carry with me like a treasure and pass on to others during ...

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Marrakesh By Design: A Book Review

All things Moroccan are re-captivating me like never before. I went through a time when I was younger where I was absolutely taken by the food, the traditions, the exotic nature of it all. I even visited Tangiers for a few short days while I was living in Spain, and that just intensified my love of the vibrant colors, vintage cookware, clay pottery, amazing food and textiles ...

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Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Mint | My Halal Kitchen

Ground Turkey with Potatoes, Tomatoes, Mint & Parsley

This is a quick weeknight meal if there ever was one. If you can’t find halal ground turkey you can substitute with ground beef or chicken instead; alternatively- and if you’re feeling adventurous- you can purchase the whole turkey (typically found in the freezer at most halal meat markets) and grind the meat yourself with attachments that can be used ...

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Icelandic Haddock in Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce

Unless you have an amazing Asian store nearby that sells fresh ingredients from the East, it’s pretty hard to find things like lemongrass, real coconut and interesting chili peppers to cook with, unfortunate because when combined they make for such an exotic and flavorful combination like what’s been prepared for us in one of the latest simmer sauces by Saffron Road ...

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Sauteed Spinach and Zucchini | My Halal Kitchen

Sautéed Spinach, Baby Zucchini and Mushrooms

The season in between spring and summer is the time to make the best use of delicious veggies- spinach, baby zucchini, fingerling potatoes, and white button mushrooms. Fortunately for us, they all go so well together in flavor profiles, too. Try this saute recipe over rice or pasta. We even had the leftovers stuffed in pita halves with melted cheese. Ah-mazing… ...

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Pearl Couscous with Ground Veal, Almonds and Raisins

Pearl couscous is a wonderful salad couscous and quite different from what is normally found in restaurant dishes or alongside North African tagine dishes with meat. When cooked, t is more plump and chewy  than it’s smaller semolina-derived counterpart. The word couscous is actually a Berber one that means well-rounded or rolled which is exactly what I think of what I ...

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Oven-Baked French Fries

Have you heard about our Ramadan Shape-Up program with Fit Muslimah, Azizah Magazine and My Halal Kitchen where Mubarakah Ibrahim will share tips on getting physically in shape while Tayyiba Taylor shares spiritual food for thought?  As part of the online program, we’ll be providing tips on easing into eating healthier in preparationf or the holy month of fasting, all in the hopes that ...

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Heading to the Eat, Write, Retreat Conference

Next weekend, insha’allah, I’ll be attending a really interesting weekend conference called Eat Write Retreat in Washington, D.C.  I’m so excited about it because I’ll get to meet other food bloggers, participate in a cooking competition and learn more about the craft of food writing and photography in order to bring you the best content possible. One of my favorite food writers, Monica ...

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5 Tips to Create Your Very Own Moroccan Escape at Home

Lately I’ve been quite reminisce about my trip to Tangiers, Morocco in the mid-90’s. It was my first time in Africa and I’d never been to a place as exotic and strikingly different from the U.S. or Europe. The flavors, colors and scents were ones I felt instantly comfortable with and the intricate designs and deep-colored decor using uniquely Moroccan textiles ...

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Saffron Road’s Example of Sustainable Business in the Halal Industry

In my quest to seek out ethically-sound businesses that also put out a quality halal product, I have come across a small handful I would recommend, mainly because the owners behind them are forthcoming about the origins of their ingredients and how they ensure what we’re buying is not mingled with any inhumane treatment of people, animal, or environment. Eco-halal, ...

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Traveling Spices | My Halal Pantry

Traveling Spices

Travel. It’s one of my absolute favorite words.  It’s a word of action that implies adventure, change and the addition of spice to an otherwise mundane everyday life. Who doesn’t love the thrill of going to new places, not to mention trying new foods? Yes, that usually is the case for travel abroad, though things are changing dramatically on the American food ...

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Blueberry Muffins in Tin

Blueberry Muffins

Everyone loves a good blueberry muffin, and quite honestly it’s pretty hard to find great quality muffins for a decent price, especially those made without a lot of questionable or unhealthy ingredients. That’s why I make my own and freeze them for those times when we really need a quick bite in the morning rush out the door.  

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Moroccan food, cuisine, amlou, North African, Paula Wolfert

The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert: Cookbook Review and Recipe

I’ve been following Paula Wolfert, food writer and expert of Moroccan cuisine for many years. She has written numerous books on clay pot cooking and Moroccan cuisine, both of which have intrigued me immensly since my first trip there in 1995. Her latest book, The Food of Morocco, is a real treasure of collected recipes, photos capturing the Moroccan landscape, and antectodes of ...

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Fresh Turmeric | Halal Pantry | My Halal Kitchen

Fresh Turmeric: What it Looks Like and How to Use It

Most of us who venture into the world of Indian cooking (outside of India) are introduced to the spice turmeric in its bright yellow ground form as opposed to the fresh form which looks so similar to fresh ginger.  Turmeric gives a beautiful color to rice and meats and is a popular ingredient in curry dishes, different types of biryani and even American mustard. For this reason, it’s often ...

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SR Manchurian Dumplings

Saffron Road’s New Line of Vegeterian Entrees

You may have already heard about Saffron Road’s new vegetarian entrees, which are making quite a buzz on places like Facebook and Twitter. Vegetarians, vegans and those who are gluten-free are raving about the flavors and quality of these products, and I couldn’t agree more. These Manchurian Dumplings photographed above were soft, saucy and had a nice kick of spice to ...

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variety of citrus presses

Citrus Presses

Most of us don’t think about having citrus fruits in the winter as eating seasonally, but the fact is that somewhere from November to February (late fall thru the winter) juicy lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges are in season–in warm places throughout the world such as Florida, California and even some parts of Arizona. To extract the juices there are a variety ...

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Halal and Nutrition Workshop_P1

Halal Nutrition Workshops with IFANCA

I’m really excited to announce my collaboration with IFANCA to bring the local Chicago community a series of hour-long workshops  in 2012 on eating halal and healthy. We’re teaming up to take some important information on the road: sourcing halal ingredients, what foods are most nutritious, how to read product labels and a quick and healthy recipe demonstrated live. Find out more ...

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chocolate gifts february 2012

Chocolate 101

Last year I had the great pleasure of meeting Chicago-based chocolatier, Uzma Sharif, and tasting her truly exotic and unique chocolates.  She describes herself as “carrying on a tradition that began with her grandfather’s career as a renowned pastry chef in Pakistan. Uzma has handcrafted a distinct collection of ‘East meets West’ chocolates, personally choosing every spice, flower and chocolate used at ...

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Nudo-Italia Pompeii

Nudo Italian Products Giveaway

Nudo brand Italian olive oils and products are close to my heart because of the interesting concept the company has created. They have something called an Adopt-an-Olive-Tree program where you can get olive oil from your very own tree and even visit the tree in Italy. They support local farmers and sustainable practices for growing their products. I stumbled upon this company well over ...

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Mina Harissa Giveaway | My Halal Kitchen

CLOSED: Spice Up Your Life with this Harissa Giveaway!

Have you ever had harissa, that hot and spicy condiment made red by combining chili peppers, garlic and perhaps some dry-roasted spices, then thrown into North African soups and stews for added flavor? I liken harissa to the French pistou of North African cusine because, much like pistou, it is typically added to finished dishes for the fresh and pungent flavor it provides, to top ...

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ghareeb nawaz biryani

What if You Were Accidentally Served Pork?

I recently read a story on The Daily Meal that summarized a situation where the guests at a Muslim wedding were served pork by accident, though the family arranging the wedding said they specifically requested pork not be anywhere in the food served. Ghareeb Nawaz in Chicago only serves halal food- it’s a favorite of cabbies and it’s open 24 hours The catering company ...

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oven roasted eggplants, olives, onions 610

Oven-Roasted Vegetables

I can’t think of a more perfect fast food dish that’s homemade and healthy. Roasted vegetables warm up the house in the winter while warming up our plates, too. They add such great color, nutrition and taste to other dishes served alongside main courses. Additionally, roasted vegetables can be puréed and blended into soups or used an incredible flavor base for soups, stews and braised meat ...

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quali eggs horizontal

3 Simple Steps to Eating Quality Food on a Budget

While a health movement has swept the nation, inspiring people to eat organic products and cook with “pure” ingredients, high quality food is still extremely expensive. Even cooking easy meals with organic ingredients is costly and going to a restaurant with all natural ingredients may simply out of the question. Whether you’re concerned about nutrition or you simply enjoy the ...

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kale and onion from door to door organics

Fresh Organic Produce Straight to Your Door– Enter the Giveaway!

After recent holidays like ‘Eid ul Adha and Thanksgiving, everyone is tired- tired of shopping, cooking, and maybe even tired of eating! It is, however, a great time to get healthy and commit to eating more fresh produce to detoxify the body and rejuvenate health. My sauteed organic kale and onions that came fresh from Door to Door Organics You might ...

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lamb stew with plantains pumpkin chickpeas

Lamb Stew with Pumpkin, Plantain, Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

When we look through recipes online or in magazines, what really prompts us to go out of our way to make a list and head out to the store with the intention of buying all the ingredients specifically for that recipe we enjoyed looking at so much?                                                                                      I look at food for a living, literally, and am incredibly delighted by ...

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Two Easy Eid Appetizers | My Halal Kitchen

2 Easy Dips for ‘Eid Appetizers: Chipotle Dipping Sauce and Yogurt Dip with Fresh Greens

Whether you’re planning an ‘Eid celebration at home or bringing a dish to your host, you’ll want some recipe ideas for appetizers that are easy to make while healthy for everyone you serve. Chipotle Sauce and Yogurt & Cream Sauce are two variations on dipping sauces that go great with chicken bites In this post are two quick and easy ...

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patchi nougat and square

CLOSED: Patchi Chocolate Giveaway for ‘Eid ul Adha

Chocolate is among the world’s favorite foods. We are inundated with a variety of brands and flavors added to chocolate bars and other chocolate products. The popularity of dark chocolate or chocolates with a high percentage of cacao (ranging from 70-90%) is increasing, as the health benefits are being touted as a great excuse to eat them. Soft Nougat with ...

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How to Join a CSA | My Halal Kitchen

How to Find and Join a CSA

I just published a post about where raw milk comes from and what I went throug to get myself to the point of actually joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in order to feel assured about the safety (insha’allah) of consuming raw milk products and local organic produce in .  You can read that here. Variety of pumpkin, squash and raw milk from Family Farms Co-op CSA  ...

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eid cupcakes in a box 600

‘Eid Cupcakes with Vanilla Orange Mascarpone Frosting

It’s hard to believe that Ramadan is over and we’re now celebrating ‘Eid-ul-Fitr, the three-day long holiday that Muslims all over the world will be celebrating. After 30 days of fasting from dawn to sunset, it seems appropriate to enjoy family and friends–and some great food, including healthy sweets. I made these cupcakes just before ‘Eid to test on family members- ...

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Ricotta Pie

The last ten days of Ramadan are upon us and it’s a special time for Muslims to really try as hard as possible to dedicate a good amount of time (especially in the night hours) to prayer, spiritual reflection, repentance and worship of the Creator. Most people aren’t thinking so much of food and gatherings as much as earlier in ...

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Date & Walnut Tart | My Halal Kitchen

Date and Walnut Tart

Dates are also the perfect baking fruit- they freeze well, they don’t make your baking products soggy and they add just the right about of sweetness to a dessert. Below is a deliciously simple tart recipe adapted from one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks, Mediterranean: A Taste of the Sun in Over 150 Recipes by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna ...

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chappati beautiful over flame 600

Homemade Chappati

I’ve been really blessed to meet so many amazing people since I started this blog. People are happy to share their cooking ideas and recipes all the time and more often than ever does the topic of conversation with complete strangers, new and old friends and my family turn to healthy food, ethnic cuisine and just getting back to basics when it comes to ...

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not so caprese 600

Caprese Salad with Parsley

Caprese Salad is a somewhat Italian-American dish since it has increased so much in popularity in recent years. More and more people know what fresh mozzarella looks like and even prefer the boccancini, or the small fresh mozzarella balls, to processed and tasteless shredded ‘mozzarella’ cheese. I grew up on variations of Insalata Caprese. Caprese means of the isle of Capri, which is ...

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Making Chilaquiles


I love to use leftovers at any meal, and suhoor (the pre-dawn meal eaten before a day of fasting) is no different. I also like a simple, uncomplicated yet versatile meal that will fill us up with good nutrition to get us through the day ahead. This recipe for chilaquiles, often called ‘Migas’ was introduced to me by my husband who ...

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chocolate truffles from Alladin

Welcome, Ramadan!

Ramadan Mubarak!  Yesterday was the first full day of fasting for us here in Chicago. We had a great suhoor (pre-dawn meal) of eggs with spinach, ground beef with Italian herbs and a side of black beans. For iftar (breaking of the fast) we had skirt steak with only four ingredients: olive oil, salt, black pepper and balsamic vinegar. Both were simple and ...

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4 Steps to Quick Apricot Jam

Quick Apricot Jam

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a sort of lazy cook recently. With a super busy schedule of writing, cooking classes, publishing my Clean Your Kitchen Green book and spending quality time with family, there isn’t much energy left over to stand over a stove and sterilize dozens of jars to preserve jam. And, because I have ...

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5 Things to Know Before Opening a Halal Restaurant | My Halal Kitchen

5 Important Things to Do Before Opening a Halal Restaurant

I’ve recently seen friends of mine open up {halal} restaurants and for many years considered opening up one of my own. Running any business is a challenge and the restaurant business is one of the most unforgiving and most rewarding at the same time. Through their experience and consulting with others on how to follow steps to open up a restaurant ...

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes | My Halal Kitchen

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes may not be summer-ready here in the Midwest, but there’s no shortage of beautiful ones in the grocery store, perhaps coming in from California. I picked up some beautiful Roma variety, ripening them on the counter for several days before roasting. After roasting, I really wasn’t sure what exactly I waould even use them for, but I knew they would be ...

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Nourishing Traditional Diets ppt

Sally Fallon Morell and Nourishing Traditions (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of my previous post about Sally Fallon and her work with the Weston A. Price Foundation, whose mission is to inform the public of some rather politically ‘incorrect’ dietary suggestions… Sounds intriguing, right? About Weston A. Price Weston A. Price, a dentist who studied people living in more primitive societies on a diet that did ...

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Sally Fallon Morell at the Family Farmed Expo in Chicago

Sally Fallon Morell and Nourishing Traditions

If you haven’t heard about the work of Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, you’re about to meet someone extraordinary. She’s a revolutionary in the food world and has been around long enough to know exactly what she’s talking about. A close friend first introduced me to Ms. Fallon’s classic book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that ...

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Green Deen Book Giveaway!

If you haven’t heard of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet or the book’s author, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, you may want to pay close attention. He’s one of the first Muslims in recent history to call people to live a more eco-friendly existence, all within the practical and sensible teachings of Islam. His book also serves as an incredibly great teaching tool ...

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Snow in Arizona

Snow in Arizona

Everyone around here is more than ready for spring– tired of seeing snow and of the cold. It may make you feel a teeny bit better to know that even the places like sunny Arizona get their fair share of real wintery weather. The only difference is that most people there make the conscious decision to go towards that kind of weather- for fun. We don’t ...

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Cuisinart Cast Iron Pizza Pan

Homemade Pizza

  Homemade Pizza. It’s by far my #1 favorite food. Anything with cheese. Anything with bread. When you combine the two, you have my undivided attention. I grew up on my Sicilian grandmother’s homemade pizza. With homemade sauce. She would make pizza on the days she was making her homemade bread. The whole family would gather in the evening just to ...

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Window Box Seeds

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Gardening Groove On

Here in the Midwest, much like other parts of the country we’re experiencing a complete and utter freeze. It’s incredibly hard to imagine colorful flowers, edible gardens, or even water that doesn’t freeze when poured right now, but this is the best time to think about your spring garden. The Butchart Gardens Seeds- Vancouver, Canada Yes, your spring garden. And summer ...

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Inside Chile Relleno Taco | Las Asadas Mexican Restaurant

Chile Relleno Tacos at Las Asadas

I absolutely love Mexican food.  Having lived and studied in Mexico during my college days and since traveled to both the Yucatan Peninsula and the Jalisco area since those times, I’ve really experienced a great variety of Mexican cuisine. Each region has such a diverse culinary culture- the coastal areas are naturally endowed with the freshest fish; inland there are more meat, cheese and ...

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homemade labneh

Homemade Yogurt Cheese

When I began this blog, one of the first recipes I shared with everyone was for homemade yogurt. If you have a yogurt maker, the recipe is ideal for going beyond yogurt to making yogurt cheese, commonly known as labneh in the Middle East. If you don’t want to make it yourself,  just start out with a good quality store-bought yogurt. Labneh is wonderful as a spread or dip any ...

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Chayote | Caribbean Squash

Stuffed Chayote with Carne Molida | Caribbean Squash with Ground Beef

How do you decide which recipes to make daily or on special occasions? What sparks your interest? A good photo? A mouth-watering description in a cookbook? The smell of a particular food coming from a neighbor’s house? A memory of someone? For me, it’s usually a little bit of each, but this time tidbits of stories about my abuelita {grandmother} motivated me to hunt down chayote {a Caribbean ...

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vintage jars 400 vertical

Vintage Kitchen Finds

I’m just crazy over vintage kitchen things. Though I’m not too fond of gadgets that clutter up the kitchen, I love anything that’s useful and sturdy. I love a good thrift store, garage sale, estate sale or flea market. I love the weight of old things. Ever notice how things made long ago are {still} sturdier than the things we have now?  Of course ...

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Fish Tacos at Roberto

Good Eats in San Diego

We recently had a wonderful five day trip to one of my favorite places- San Diego, California. My sister in law decided on a destination vacation in the nearby coastal gem town of La Jolla, so…twist my arm. In between preparing for the at-home pre-wedding dinner the evening before and all the wedding-related shopping and errands, we did manage to get in ...

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egg salad 600

Egg Salad

Once you’ve got a great recipe for egg salad, there’s so much you can do with it: serve it up in a sandwich or parcel it out for appetizers. Either way, I really love the versatility of this dish and the fact that it’s nutritious and always a crowd pleaser. Start out with the freshest, cage-free, organic eggs, if possible. ...

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French Toast

Multigrain French Toast

Weekend mornings may be the default, albeit traditional time to make griddled things like pancakes and waffles, but this recipe is so quick and easy you can really make them any day of the week. I like to use multi-grain bread to make French toast (my favorite comes from Trader Joe’s). The honey in this recipe is optional, but I think it adds some welcome sweetness ...

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Hummus Cups Your Guests Will Love

Hummus Cups

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks around here. I’ve been visiting farmers’ markets everywhere I can here in Chicago and back home in Ohio. Did you see all the lovely produce I was able to capture? Needless to say, I’ve been busy with travel, family and my work here in and on My Halal Kitchen. I’ve met some wonderful people and gotten to know about the work they’re doing on ...

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Halal in Cleveland- Sahara Supermarket

Halal in Cleveland

For a city not ranked as one of the largest in the U.S., Cleveland has a lot to offer in the way of halal foods. There’s an area on Cleveland’s west side that is home to a large Arab-American population, many of whom are of Palestinian descent and Muslims who seek out halal foods. Within just a few blocks of ...

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