Few months back I have joined a closed group ‘Muslimah Bloggers’ on facebook. The group promotes Muslim bloggers of any genre across its platform. Through this group I came across to read many stories of revert Muslims….. Their journey, their transformation, their eating challenges, their lifestyle habits, etc.; fascinates me and I thank Allah for blessing me to being born as Muslim. Few days back when I got an e-mail from ‘Papatia Feauxzar’ to review ‘Halal Comfort Food’ by M.K. Johnston…I was overwhelmed as this will be my first book review on ‘Halal Foods’.
‘Halal Comfort Food’ is the new guide to going Halal…..the book is divided into two parts…the first part started with explaining ‘What is Halal?’ Over the years many have asked me this question. In simple terms M.K. Johnston explained ‘Halal’ is permissible or allowed food in the religion of Islam and it is opposite of ‘Haram’ (forbidden). She has explained in-depth about Halal Slaughtering (Zabiha (Dhabihah) ) continued with exceptions, animal products, prohibition of alcohol and simple eating manners like saying ‘Bismillah’ before eating or drinking etc.,
The next chapter ‘How can I make sure I’m eating Halal’? answers the common fear we face when we are travelling to a new country or for that matter when we are eating out in our own local, where the Muslim population is less. When eating out check out or ask for the ingredients which go in making of the recipe before ordering it. Search for halal butchers, stores and supermarkets online. These days many sites and apps have come up which give information on this. M.K. Johnston has shared some halal packing symbols which will be of great use in finding out if the product is Halal or not.
The next chapter deals with halal food substitutes and where to find them, in this the author talks about substitute for alcohol, bacon, sausages, etc.,
The second part of the book deals with array of ‘The Recipes’ starting form Breakfasts, Beverages, Appetizers & Starters, Breads, Entrees and Desserts with at least 6-8 recipes under each category by giving halal substitutes for the ingredients needed. Some of the recipes which I have bookmarked to try later are Pasta Puttanessa, Atole (a traditional Mexican Drink), Monkey Bread, Tuna Casserole, Irish Fifteens and Sour Cream Raisin Pie.
The book ‘Halal Comfort Food’ ends with Afterward by the author M.K. Johnston, who is an American born revert to Islam. M.K. Johnston lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. She holds a B.A and she has worked in many directions before settling down to pen her passion for cooking and writing.
Book ends with an interview with Papatia for Hayati Magazine and with few scrumptious recipes for Suhoor and Iftaar during Ramdan.
MY VERDICT: Readable font, soft pages and clear print makes the book more comfortable to read. I recommend this book to all who wants to know more about Halal Eating or Halal Foods. Allhumdulliah being in India, I face very less problem in finding halal products and in eating halal outside….but if you live in a place where Muslim population is less, then this book will help you in guiding and in making easy yet delicious halal recipes.
My hearty wishes to you M.K. Johnston for coming up with this Halal Comfort Food and thank you Papatia for sending me copy overseas.