Celebrate Ramadan At Your Local Grocery Store
By Arsalan Iftikhar
For millions of American Muslims like myself, we can still clearly remember the days of celebrating Ramadan growing up in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s when our parents (& grandparents) faced great challenges trying to find zabiha food anywhere. Now with halal food trucks and zabiha restaurants seemingly at every corner, our next generation of young millennial Muslims can now easily find halal food options at their local grocery stores thanks to companies like Saffron Road.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan means many different things to people all over the world. For many of us, we look forward to waking up for the pre-dawn suhoor meal with our families each morning before beginning a long day of fasting abstaining from food and drink. After a long day of fasting, this month of Ramadan also affords us the opportunity to reconnect with our friends during communal evening iftar meals filled with scrumptious meals to break our fast. Finally, this blessed month also gives us the spiritual opportunity to join our local communities during the late-night taraweeh congregational prayers at our local mosques to offer thanks for all of the bounties that God has bestowed upon us- especially food and drink- that we normally take for granted every day.
My wife and I like to consider ourselves to be “halal foodies” who like to find diverse “zabiha” cuisine that represents many different culinary traditions around the world. For the last few years, we have been stocking our freezer with Saffron Road meals which are halal-certified meals containing no hormones, antibiotics or GMO’s while only using grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish and chickens raised with care. By providing ready-made delicious halal-certified meals available at many of your local grocery stores, the wonderful folks at Saffron Road are hoping that their diverse culinary slate of meals can help bring the world together through the common language of food.
Whether you like Thai, South Asian, Mexican or Middle Eastern food, you will find a Saffron Road product that is made for you. This Ramadan season, many families will open their iftar dinners with Saffron Road hors d’ouevres like their Turkish figs & goat cheese (wrapped in a crispy pastry) or even the more traditional crispy samosas which are a staple in many South Asian households today.
Moving to the main course, some of my own favorite Saffron Road entrees include chicken pad thai, enchiladas al chipotle and chicken biryani (depending on which part of the world I want to represent that day). For both children and adults alike, it is easy to warm up some Saffron Road chicken tenders or tandoori-seasoned chicken nuggets if you are in a hurry. If you have more time and want to cook from scratch, my wife likes to use Saffron Road’s wide variety of simmer sauces (from thai red curry to Korean stir-fry to Moroccan simmer sauce) which she uses to add flavorful depth to any meal. If you are looking for a midnight snack, Saffron Road also offers a range of yummy snacks like Baked Lentil Chips (Moroccan Barbecue is my favorite), Crunchy Chickpeas and even crackers that you can munch on anytime of the day or night.
As our Muslim community continues to grow in the United States today, we need to support companies like Saffron Road which accommodate our halal dietary needs while also maintaining the best quality of ethically-produced meals from around the planet. Since our parents and grand-parents spent much of their lives traveling long distances trying to find us halal food during the month of Ramadan, we should be grateful for companies like Saffron Road who provide high-quality halal meals at our local grocery stores right around the corner every single day of the year.
Arsalan Iftikhar is founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, senior fellow for The Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University and author of the book SCAPEGOATS: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies & Threatens Our Freedoms.