In this episode of the islamwich Podcast, Kaighla interviews the founder of My Halal Kitchen, sister Yvonne Maffei.
We discuss her journey to Islam, how MHK was conceived, the state of halal food marketing among American consumers, how MHK is a dawah effort, and some tips she has for healthy, delicious eating in Ramadan.
My Halal Kitchen
…is a website dedicated to spreading love and understanding of the beauty of halal food. MHK aims “to provide home cooks with the tools to prepare completely halal meals, including those with the necessary substitutions to make every dish halal and without having to filter a recipe for non-halal ingredients. It aims to make the lives of readers better by expanding the list of available recipes that are wholesome, healthy, delicious, economical and halal.”
Without further ado, we present to you our interview with Yvonne.
- We talk about a few popular halal restaurants, the huge one among them being The Halal Guys, a food cart in NYC that’s insanely popular among all New Yorkers, regardless of religion.
- Yvonne’s two cookbooks are My Halal Kitchen and Summer Ramadan Cooking. Her cleaning book is called Clean Your Kitchen Green.
- Check out Yvonne’s favorite halal food companies, Saffron Road and Crescent Foods.
- Yvonne mentions some “halal food myths” she works to debunk.
- Yvonne uses some Arabic words, like halal, tayyib, & zabiha. Check out our extensive glossary.
- It happens that Yvonne was one of the people who helped guide me (Kaighla) to Islam back in 2009!
What is halal?
“Muslims who follow the Islamic dietary standard of eating will consume halal (means ‘permissible’ in Arabic) foods and beverages. These are considered pure foods ordained for mankind by Allah (God) in the Holy Qur’an and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).
Commonly recognized items that are not halal are pork and all its by-products as well as any type of intoxicating drink, or even drugs. That said, an observer of Islam (i.e. a Muslim) doesn’t drink alcohol or eat pork or foods with their by-products or derivatives.
For example, boxed jello and marshmallows usually contain gelatin, which is often derived from pork and therefore not halal (but it could be if halal ingredients are used). Additional non-halal things include birds of prey, carrion, carnivores, blood and human body parts (i.e. hair, which is becoming a common ingredient in processed foods like bread).”
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