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What is this Halal About?

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS KERI FROM AUSTIN, TX, SUDHA FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MN, MICHELE FROM LOUISVILLE, KY, CHARLOTTE FROM EUCLID, OH AND JESSICA FROM HALETHROPE, MD.  THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS! Have you heard of halal? If so, you can skip ahead to the end and enter to win coupons for some tasty, convenient halal-certified prepared foods from Saffron Road. But if you’re scratching your head and asking, “What is this halal about?” Read on! Halal is Islamic dietary law that applies, among other things, to meat and poultry, specifically prescribing certain slaughtering and processing practices. Like some other religious dietary practice, halal prohibits pork and alcohol consumption. In order to provide more options to people following a halal diet, Saffron Road has created the first line of certified halal frozen entrees and they’re currently only available here at Whole Foods Market. Saffron Road features ethnic foods with Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern flavors, as well as chicken nuggets and tenders. All of their products are made with lamb and chicken raised on vegetarian diets, with no added hormones or antibiotics. Plus, all of their products are certified halal by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA). Whether you eat halal because of your religious dietary guidelines or you simply prefer to choose food that’s made with high-quality, responsibly farmed ingredients, then Saffron Road has some tasty offerings for you. Take a look:

Lemongrass Basil Chicken

Roasted white-meat chicken simmered in a lemongrass and basil green curry with green peppers and onions.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Prepared with tender, boneless, chicken, and baked according to authentic traditions with freshly-ground tandoori spices simmered in a savory yogurt and tomato sauce.

Chicken Biryani

Traditionally prepared by cooking Basmati rice with succulent chunks of chicken, cashews and raisins infused with an unmistakable blend of enticing spices, aromas and flavors, including a pinch of saffron salt.

Moroccan Stew

Tender cubes of lamb slowly simmered with sweet potatoes, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and ginger until every drop is perfection. Since it tops delicious couscous, no drop is wasted.

Lamb Saag

Australian lamb slow-simmered with a blend of Indian spices, ginger and yogurt and served on a thick bed of savory Saag, a traditional spinach dish.

Lamb Vindaloo

A spicy Portuguese-Indian curry dish dating back to the 16th century. Australian lamb marinated in an exotic tamarind-infused curry sauce, cumin, hot Indian spices and yogurt, then slow simmered for hours until tender and tangy and served with Basmati rice.

Chicken Pad Thai

A delightful version of the Thai favorite featuring wide flat rice noodles topped with roasted white-meat chicken and simmered with carrots and scallions in an exotic peanut sauce.

Lamb Koftis

Lamb marinated in a secret recipe of the most classic spices, and then formed into traditional koftis, or meatballs. The finishing touch? It's served on a bed of aromatic long grain white rice.

Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Bites and Tandoori Seasoned Chicken Nuggets

Made from the meat of chickens raised on a vegetarian diet and never given antibiotics, ever!

What a line up! Are you ready to try some Saffron Road? Good, because we're ready to give some away. We’ll pick five winners at random to receive five coupons for free Saffron Road entrees. To enter, leave a comment below by August 11 and tell us which of the entrees you’d try first and why.

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301 comments

Comments

Fatima says …

Yummm! All the flavors look enticing, esp when I'm fasting. I'd go for the lemongrass basil chicken first, just b/c the combination sounds delicious. Then, defn one of the meaty dishes.

Michael Ludwig says …

Excellent. I think I will go to Whole Foods for my grocery stuff. I usually go to Costco for some halal meat too. Thanks WholeFoods!

monica says …

the moroccan stew or lamb

sahar says …

I have tried these and they are pretty good. To me the best were Lamb Vindaloo and Lamb Saag. Chicken tikka masala was good but on the spicier side. The other ones I was not a fan of. It was great to find these Halal at Whole Foods and will remain purchasing from these type of products. Would be even better if they provided Raw Halal meats also. Thumbs up to Whole Foods!

Aziza says …

Pleased to have halal options but disappointing to see the underlying bigotry that Whole Foods has condoned. "We never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs at all. We have 12 different operating regions and one region reacted by sending out directions to promote Halal and not specifically Ramadan after some online negative comments." One region is still a part of Whole Foods the corporation. Whole Foods is still ultimately responsible for the actions of their regional executives. No apology or disciplinary action was reported. Unless some formal statement in the lines of an apology is issued, Whole Foods will be losing a large group of customers.

Abubakr says …

I'd try them all, but if I were forced to pick.. hmmm.. Chicken Pad Thai.

Austin says …

Thank you Whole Foods. This is wonderful. I am an adamant shopper at your store and this gives more reason to shop from there now. I believe that halal meats and poultry are healthier and tastier than regular grocery store meats and poultry. Hopefully we will see more halal items.

Imanejwala says …

Moroccan lamb stew looks banging. Everything else momma can make at home!

Chelsea says …

Today I picked up the Chicken Biryani and had it for dinner. I am in LOVE. Tomorrow I will be going out to pick up some more, plus try out a few new types (I am thinking the Tikka Masala and Pad Thai). I would recommend these dinners to anyone! *a side note: I am not a Muslim but I am very happy to see Halal options at Whole Foods. Their open-mindedness makes me a proud shopper.

Lily Kwan says …

I would like to try the Lamb Vindaloo because I love lamb!

ishy says …

Amazing how I've been looking for halal products like the ones offered by Saffron Road, and voila I came across this through a link posted by Muslimas Oasis on Facebook! I can't wait to try all of them iA! I don't get to eat much red meat at home because of my parents' health issues, but the Moroccan Lamb Stew looks super yummy! Now I have ANOTHER reason to shop at Whole Foods! Thank you Whole Foods! Ramadan Mubarak everyone! =]

Sadia says …

Thanks Whole Foods! I'm totally ready to try Saffron Road foods. I'd love to try the Chicken Biryani (because it's my all-time favorite traditional food) or the Chicken Pad Thai because it's rare that we get to Thai halal food - I think it'd be delicious!

shanet says …

I found out Whole Foods was selling halal certified food on CAIR's website and bought some Lamb Saag to celebrate the first breaking of the fast meal (iftar) of Ramadan- very good choice! I chose it to see how yummy frozen lamb could be and it is very good. I'm very happy to know my Whole Foods has another reason for me to shop there!

SuSu says …

I would try the chicken nuggets- it'd be great to have halal nuggets!

Robin says …

Saucy Indian dishes like the Tikka Masala and Vindaloo are an addiction for me, but I would be most eager to try the Moroccan Lamb Stew. The taste would be newer to me, and the spices sound like a delicious mix. Also, I prefer couscous to rice, and it is a treat that I don't have often enough.

Kristin O' says …

Lamb stew hear I come!

Rezbi says …

I would try the chicken biryani or the chicken tikka masala.. It's one of my favorite dishes to order in an Indian restaurants.. I want to see if the frozen food will come close to having a dish like that!! Can't wait to try!!

Bibi says …

Have never tried this product but would love to try the Moroccan Lamb Stew. Thank you.

Sana Firdaus says …

I tried chicken biryani, yummy...it was real tasty dish. I cant wait to try other varieties. These halal frozen foods are really the reason I am frequently visiting Whole Foods. I live in a place where there is a scarcity of restaurants serving halal food, or even stores selling halal meat or poultry. So from past few months my diet consisted of only veggies. so it is such a relief to find certified halal prepared meals in Whole Foods. Thank You Whole Foods. I hope you continue to carry more such items done in certified halal manner.

Kathrine A. Kohen says …

Rachael Gruver, thank you so much for your welcoming response to my very serious question about Whole Foods rejecting products from Isreal! I'm so relieved that Whole Foods welcomes both products from Israel but Jews as well. You see my great grand parents were dragged out of their homes and lined up against the wall and shot for no other reason than they were Jews and because so many ignored the propaganda in the media that had promoted so much hatred toward Jews during WWII. In this day and age, it seems there are many groups and celebrities using the very same kind of propaganda against Jews. There's " no need " for this world to go through another Holocaust of any kind! This kind of hatred toward any group only brings the evolution of society down. Thank you again Kathrine Aliyah Kohen

farook says …

Last week I purchased four varieties of Saffron Road and it appears that the regular price of $5.69 for 11 oz is excessive. This option is okay for a once in a while convenient frozen food however if you're in a big city (like I'm in Chicago) with decent subcontinent/middle-east restaurants, you can get much better deals. Taste wise, the Saffron Road was no where near homecooked or restaurant cooked food. I'll not buy it again.

Shauna Hayden says …

I want to know the animals did not suffer prior to us killing them for food!! There's no way around harvesting animals for food, there's too many of us. They should be given the respect they deserve for giving us life! We should have compassion for those creatures! I will pay more to know they were treated humanely and I know many who feel the same.

Ellie Memar says …

We tried Saffron Road halal foods we love it Thanks for good quality

Nusrath Unnisa says …

It is really important to eat halal and pasturised chicken to our family We want to try chicken nuggets

JAN says …

EWEEEE.....HOW can you market this awful meat!!! I spend $200.00 to $300.00 per week at Whole Foods and have over well over 10 years; However, I am discussed to learn you are sell this type of meats. Please stop selling this HALAL MEAT! I know you can find a much cleaner and better product to sell. PLEASE! Thank you.

Sarah says …

do you know what is going on in the world today? we're at war with islam, jihad is going crazy and you are going to support this? Who's side are you on? Until you change your stance I will not be able to shop in your store any longer. And I will be telling a lot of people. You just lost a large portion of your consumer base. Many Christians, Messianics, and Jews will have nothing more to do with your store or your brands.

Saba says …

Thank you Whole Foods!!!

Ayesha says …

I would love to try Lamb Koftis and chicken pad thai.... ahhh..why did not i know before that you have such delicious halal stuff...can't wait to try them... how to win a free coupon btw..?? ;-)

says …

@Ayesha: Thanks for your comments! Unfortunately, you had to leave a comment by August 11th, 2011 in order to be eligible to win a coupon.

Mariam says …

Oh my god they've started making CHICKEN TENDERS? Sign me up!!!!

Hasm says …

I never tried Chicken Pad Thai in my life , I would love to try it from such a fantastic company which care about all the citizen of USA. Also, During slaughtering process of halal , It is made sure that all the blood of the animal is out of the body ,since it is not allowed for Muslims to consume blood and Scientifically it contain uric acid and excessive uric acid in body can cause kidney failure. Moreover , Halal certified animal never consume garbage (waste,pork,dust) and It should not be injured animal too with some defect. There are many points to mention , But these are few.

Kari O says …

I have never had lamb. I am too afraid to buy the meat myself and ruin it so the frozen lamb dinners are easy and cheap. It was delicious! So good and now I can say I have had lamb.

Enrique says …

I want Halal food, I tried all of them and they are the boom!!!

ghani says …

Thanks for a very informative article and awesome initiative, keep up the good work.

Joseph Meyer says …

I can't believe that halal slaughtering practices could possibly meet Whole Foods' animal compassion standards.

AnnMarie Baba says …

I don't understand why you would market this when it has nothing to do with humane treatment of animals. It is in fact a very base way of slaughter and has no bearing on whether or not the food is organic. The slaughter is vulgar as is the religions treatment of non muslims.

Diana says …

I just had the Lemongrass Basil Chicken for lunch and it was excellent. You can definitely tell the difference between this and other frozen meals. All my co-workers were extremely jealous. YUM!

Salim abuAdam says …

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart (and stomach) for offering the ~12 Million American Muslims a mainstream option, in a store that is well known for an amazing, well educated staff that knows in amazing detail what foodstuffs fill the shelves. Wise business decision since the majority of Muslims fit well within your target consumer demographic, but weren't really being served elsewhere. Way to corner the market!!! =0) ..........As a proud Military Veteran, Italian-American Muslim (yup), and Whole Foods Customer, I want to compliment the very positive tone of this blog with very few exceptions..........If it helps to share - Halal slaughtering techniques are quite similar to Kosher methods, however let me assure you that an Imam (prayer leader) isn't required, nor is anyone 'cursed' . The words (no 'blessing') roughly, require reflection to show respect for the animal who is sacrificing it's life for the continuation of ours. ..........The process is very clean - I can't think of a time when halal meat was affected by e-coli, salmonella, etc. at all. The process provides a higher quality and better taste...........That being said, I eat vegetarian about 50% of the time as a preference, so I would love to see Saffron Road offer more non-meat options along the same ethnic lines! Especially alcohol-free desserts!!! =0)..........Open a Whole Foods in Fremont, CA. All your SF Bay stores are so far away!!

Salim abuAdam says …

@Jonathan Freed - "Can a product be both Halal & Kashrut (Kosher)? Yes in fact that is possible. When we cannot find Halal meat (which comes up often at Thankgiving Turkey time), Muslims across the US either buy a Halal turkey from small local shops, or Kashrut/Kosher Turkeys from larger stores. So from the Muslim perspective, Kosher meat is Halal meat with very little exception......That being said, if a Rabbi recited Taurah along a Muslim it would in no way 'invalidate' the 'halalness' of the meat. Totally fine since we worship the exact same Lord. The slaughtering techniques and humane treatment of the animal prior to slaughter are the same.....In fact another very large Halal company in North America was founded by a Canadian Jew, with Muslim employees and ran that way for the first 10 years. No Muslims complained at all (to busy chewing!)... =0)

Justine Abdelrahmen says …

My husband and I have relocated to my home town Madison from New York City and have been trying to find halal markets. So far we are not too impressed with the items available. I am so excited that you are offering these new halal items that I am going to go right back to Whole Foods even though I was just there this morning!

Hossein Sharifazadeh says …

Hi I did not know that whole foods provides halal meat. Awesome.

khlood says …

Thank you Whole Foods for making our life easier and help us to find our needs in easy healthy guaranteed ways. hopefully soon we will see fresh Halal meat and chickens along beside your fresh meet :D.

rahima says …

are your organic breads, baguette and bagel halal or kosher?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@RAHIMA - Since our exact options differ between stores, check with your local store to see what they have in stock. Some of our organic packaged breads might be certified Kosher.

Jiten Wadia says …

are they in stock at jericho

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JITEN - Our exact product selections will differ between stores. Check with the Jericho directly at 516.932.1733 to find out what they have in stock!

Nausica says …

I do not understand how Whole Foods can praise itself for providing meat raised with "humane" standards yet sell halal certified products. Nothing in the Quran prescribes that meat eaten by a muslim must be halal, it is simply an ancient custom from the middle ages. I encourage people to research how the animals are slaughtered in order to be certified halal. I would rather not eat meat than have chicken or lambs killed in such a barbaric way. Modern methods require the animals to be stunned before being killed to avoid unecessary suffering, Halal methods require the animal to be conscious while its throat is cut, among other things. I wish the Islamic religion started evolving to meet 2014's technological progress.

Harun Aaron says …

Hi I was taking halal certified Fish Oil capsules (w very high EPA,DHA) I can not find it anymore? Could you help me to find list of products (Halal incl poultery etc) on Whole foods and if you don't mind ; coupons please ! :P

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@HARUN - Since our exact products differ between stores we do not have a company-wide list of Halal options. Check with your local store to see if they can find this product for you.

Lena says …

I LOVE saffron road! I was happy that whole foods starting selling bc it is delicious! I also love their lamb broth, seriously it makes things taste so good!

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