One of the trending buzzwords in the world of food today is “halal”. The term simply means “lawful,” and when it comes to food it means any kind of dish that is allowed to be eaten under the Muslim tradition. It is a common misconception that halal only refers to non-pork dishes; in actuality though, the food should first comply with religious ritual and practice of Sharia law before it is considered halal.
This is what makes Halal food totally different from other types of cuisines. While not a cuisine itself, halal offers a unique way of cooking: you can taste not just the oozing flavours from the herbs and spices used by its cooks, but also the burning passion of the Muslim tradition.
If ever you intend to visit halal restaurants in Singapore, then below are some of the things you should expect:
- No any form of pork is involved in the dish.
Pork is considered to be the most forbidden type of meat in the Islamic tradition, thus you should not look forward to having any type of pork dish in halal restaurants. You will not see any bit of pork meat mixed with vegetables or beef, or have your soup mixed with pork broth.
Halal cooks strictly observe the exclusion of pork in all their dishes, and this begins with the marketing. When they shop for ingredients in the market, they make sure that the meat they purchase is not only halal, but also have not touched any type of haram (forbidden) meat.
- There is also no alcohol in any halal dish.
A lot of restaurants these days incorporate wines in their dishes. Well, it has been a Western tradition to enhance the flavour of the meat when it is laced or soaked in wine. While it is true that the alcohol helps bring out the flavour of the meat, it is also considered haram under Islamic law.
Halal cooks do have their own alternatives to wine when making stunning dishes. They use juices from fresh grapes and apples, depending on the type of meal they are cooking. Halal food also involves a lot of traditions from across the globe, thus cooks are introduced to a wide array of spices that they can use on their dishes.
- All other ingredients need halal certification.
Shopping for ingredients is a very crucial step in halal cooking, and this is strictly observed by halal restaurants in Singapore. All the ingredients should be under the halal list otherwise they cannot be used for cooking. If you may observe closely, halal cooks can be very creative with their dishes despite using only limited ingredients, and this is mainly because they are working under limited choices.
- Halal can extend to different cuisines.
It is also a common misconception that Halal food is restricted to Arabic cooking. Indeed, that’s the first thing anybody would think about when they hear the word. But halal food can extend to different cuisines as well. Hence you may encounter Thai food that’s halal, Balinese food that’s halal, and even European cuisine that’s halal.This is because halal cooking is not targeted to any particular regional or geographic cuisine; it is more about the process of preparing the dish and makes sure that it complies with Islamic laws and traditions.
Trying out halal food can be very exciting, since it offers a different take from the usual meals that you are accustomed to. You may not be as observant as Islamic eaters when it comes to food, but to taste the flavours of Halal cooking is definitely something you shouldn’t miss.