Alaska's first Muslim Halal grocery- what to try? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Alaska just got its first Muslim Halal grocery.. I am curious what I ought to try (tasty and nutritionally balanced)? I like trying new things (as long as the recipe is in quantities I can identify with- ie American measurements)..

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/ancho...y/1099238.html

I don't think it is a very big grocery (based on the article) but more of a specialty store.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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Goat is a lot like beef, but needs longer cooking and more spices.

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Old 01-20-2010, 03:38 AM
 
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It would be hard to say. Halal grocers that deal in other than meat products cater to their particular local populations, so the difference between what might be available to, for example, a primarily Moroccan population vs. a primarily Sudanese population vs. a primarily Pakistani population vs. a primarily Indonesian population is huge. All you can pretty much guarantee without looking is that there's a new source of good fresh meat in the neighborhood.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Halal grocers that deal in other than meat products cater to their particular local populations, so the difference between what might be available to, for example, a primarily Moroccan population vs. a primarily Sudanese population vs. a primarily Pakistani population vs. a primarily Indonesian population is huge.
Well the article talks about the diversity within Alaska's Muslim community, so I would think it would cater a little to all those groups you mentioned.

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Alaska's isolation leads to diversity you might not find in other communities, Jobarteh said. The Anchorage masjid, or place of worship, draws people with roots in Albania, Somalia, Gambia, Mali, Pakistan, Palestine, Bangladesh, American converts and others.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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What about looking at cookbooks? Then you can get an idea of what ingredients you should be looking for.

Another thought is, I am sure they would be thrilled for you to come in and talk to them. Ask them, what you should try.

We have a Global Food Market that has a huge assortment of foods (fresh, frozen, canned, refrigerated) from Korea, Japan, Poland, Greece etc. The problem for me is alot of it is in the foreign language so I have no idea what I am looking at. But each department has someone that can come help me figure out what I want.

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Old 01-20-2010, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
What about looking at cookbooks? Then you can get an idea of what ingredients you should be looking for.

Another thought is, I am sure they would be thrilled for you to come in and talk to them. Ask them, what you should try.

We have a Global Food Market that has a huge assortment of foods (fresh, frozen, canned, refrigerated) from Korea, Japan, Poland, Greece etc. The problem for me is alot of it is in the foreign language so I have no idea what I am looking at. But each department has someone that can come help me figure out what I want.
We have a couple of global markets and several Asian markets that we frequent. I have the opposite problem that you do though. When I buy a cookbook, I find that I cannot figure out what I am looking at.. I have a Foods of the Philippines cookbook (or something like that) that has ingredients in it that I do not know.. is it a vegetable or a spice? Who knows? Plus, the heat, and the measurements are litres etc.. really challenging for me.. sometimes Dp will look at it, and say, oh, yeah, I know what that is! But then somehow he forgets to show me the item when we are at the market.. so the plan falls apart somehow.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Well then you are screwed.

I have this cookbook.

http://www.amazon.com/Steamy-Kitchen...4013699&sr=1-1

She talks about different ingredients and equipment that you would want to have on hand in the front of the cookbook. I think that's what I was thinking about.

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Old 01-20-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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If they've got it, look for:

Tahina (tahini) for making the best hummus
fresh cucumber yogurt
fresh tabouleh
falafel
rumi cheese
cheap but yummy spices (especially sumac, which gives a wonderful, deep lemon flavor. I use it on salads all the time)
maashi (stuffed grape leaves)
fresh breads/pitas
fresh babaganoush
ful medames (fava beans)
great deals on different olive oils
middle eastern candies
fresh lebnah cheese (a creamy cheese strained from yogurt)
mango juice
guava juice
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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As the others have mentioned, it would be hard to guess what foods the store will have, since Halal is just a method of preparing food, and the food will differ based on the cultural makeup of the community. We had a halal store in my city for (unfortunately) a very short time, and I went in looking for foods my husband was missing. Unfortunately, the store owner had never even heard of many of them.

Of the Middle Eastern foods I'd be looking for, I'd say:

- (Premade) Kibbeh - You can make kibbeh at home - they are basically a Middle Eastern meatball - but they are so convenient to have frozen.

- Tahini - To make hummus (If you haven't made it before, an easy recipe is to blend 1 can chickpeas, 1 clove garlic, 1 T tahini, 1 T lemon and salt to taste. Add a little water if it is too thick to blend. Garnish with olive oil and a few whole chickpeas.)

- Za'atar and good pita bread - Za-atar is a spice blend you can use to make Manaeesh, which is so very yummy with a cup of tea for breakfast (Take a round of pita, brush it with olive oil, sprinkle with 1 -2 T of Zaatar, and put it under the broiler until the bread just starts to brown)

- Nablusi cheese - This one is far less likely to be there than the others, but is worth looking for. It is a VERY salty cheese that melts nicely when cooked. You'll probably want to 'sweeten' it before using it - this means to soak it in fresh water for several hours or overnight before eating (change the water several times). When we can get it, we eat it next to our manaeesh, fry it in a pan and eat it with bread, or cut it into small chunks and bake it into bread. Yumm!
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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My favorite thing at the halel market is the beef. It just tastes so much better than beef at the grocerystore. I do buy lamb and chicken there also but I haven't noticed a flavor difference in those. My daughter also loves the frozen samosa's they sell. Can't remember the brand now though.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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You can also look for great deals on bulk spices or dry bean/lentils. If you want to make your own tabbouleh then look for cracked wheat or bulgur. You just soak that in water and then mix it with chopped parsley, cucumber, tomatoes and onion. Add in lemon juice, salt and pepper. DH's family adds in olive oil, but I prefer it without. You can also add in some mint.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:30 AM
 
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Oh you lucky ducky!!! I miss the one I used to shop at back in CA.The ground beef was perfect, I never had to drain it and I didn't ever have to worry about the chicken's freshness either.I have a spice fetish and spent a lot of time in the spice section.The one I shopped at also had a large variety of syrups ( rose, tamarind ect) that we used to make our own sodas and punches. We also used the rose one in frostings for cakes and it smelled so good.To have good flat breads and pita breads...
Most "ethnic" store owners are always happy to share advice and recipes if you ask since they get to talk about their hometowns.

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Old 01-23-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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oh yes rose flavor water and orange blossom water
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