Thanks to our friends at Robinsons Supermarket, we received a few Halal products to play with in the Pepper kitchen. Halal is an Arabic word that translates to lawful or permissible. In Islam, it refers to the types of food and drink that the faithful are allowed to eat, as well as being a guide to proper behavior in normal everyday life. Food that is forbidden is called haraam (also spelled haram).

While the concept of halal food has religious roots, even non-Muslims may benefit from adopting some of its tenets. Much haraam fare (like alcohol or liempo) are actually considered bad or fattening by modern health-buffs.

Vegetable Masala with Paratha and Chapati1

Pork is one of the things on the permanently banned list (sorry guys, no bacon for you), but that’s okay because beef, chicken, fish, and lamb are allowed.

One interesting thing to note is that beyond the meat itself, even the preparation that goes into the slaughtering of the animals affects whether it is halal or haraam. In addition to certain religious requirements, a Halal food supplier also has to practice specific steps in order to ensure that the animal doesn’t suffer, and the meat does not get tainted.

Vegetable Masala with Paratha and Chapati2

The proper slaughtering process involves three main parts (if you’re squeamish or a vegetarian, this the part where you skip ahead to the next paragraph). First, prior to anything else, the butcher prays. He says “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah) before even touching the animal and then declares “Allahu Akbar” (God is the greatest) thrice. Only then is he allowed to kill the animal (while it is still conscious) by slitting its throat with a very sharp knife. The butcher must take care to fully sever the throat, windpipe, and the blood vessels in the animal’s neck without cutting the spinal cord. Finally, since the consumption of blood is haraam, the animal is drained fully of all its blood, making sure no blood clots remain, before it is considered halal.

Halal Brands1

For this recipe, we’re making use of Halal Paratha and Chapati. If you’re unfamiliar with these products, they’re similar to the much more common Roti. All three are types of Indian flatbread, differing only in thickness and texture. Chapati is made from very fine whole-wheat flour. It’s made to be very, almost paper, thin. Paratha, on the other hand, is slightly thicker compared to Chapati, with several oiled layers in each. The Roti you’re probably already familiar with. It is the traditional unleavened whole-wheat bread that resembles a Pita.

Vegetable Masala with Paratha and Chapati3

We made a Masala-based Curry Vegetable dip (that’s Halal, too!) to complement the Paratha and Chapati. The spice from the masala is balanced out by the toasted coconut, while the bland zucchini absorbs the flavor, giving each bite a Middle Eastern punch. Add a drizzle of yogurt if you want a bit of creamy tartness.


For more Halal products, you may visit any of the selected Robinsons Supermarket branches below, and check out their new Halal section that carries Halal-approved items.

Robinsons Place (Ermita), Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place Metroeast, Bluewave 2 (Marikina), Mercedes (Pasig), Robinsons Magnolia, Techno Plaza (Eastwood), California Garden Square (Mandaluyong), Centro Pacita, Robinsons Forum (Pioneer), Cybergate (Davao), Abreeza Mall (Davao), Fuente (Cebu), Talisay (Cebu), Banilad (Cebu), Mactan (Cebu), Tacloban, General Santos, Geegee Mall (Ozamiz), Pagadian, Robinsons Place (CDO), Gusa (CDO)

You can also visit the Robinsons Supermarket Facebook Page for more information.

Vegetable Masala with Paratha and Chapati

Total Time: 25 minutes / Yield: 2-3 servings



  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Sauté the garlic and onion for 1 minute, then add the curry powder and the Garam Masala.
  3. Sauté until it becomes fragrant (this will take about 1-2 minutes).
  4. Add the coconut milk and water, then season with chicken powder.
  5. Wait for the mixture to boil.
  6. Add cubed carrots and potatoes.
  7. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked.
  8. Add the zucchini and boil for another minute.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Paratha and Chapati.

7 Responses

  1. If you guys are interested in Indian food, Asian Home Gourmet makes great marinades which fool even my native Indian friends. Their buttered chicken one is particularly good with raita (shredded cucumber and yogurt). 🙂

  2. Speaking of halal, can you guys volt in and hack the famous halal chicken/lamb & rice on 53rd & 6th found in NY? It is life-changing. And nowhere to be found/sold in Asia. I found a recipe in Serious Eats but feel like I don’t have the culinary chops to execute. Crossing my fingers!

  3. The Arabic term for the ritual slaughtering is “dhabīha” (ذَبِيحَة‎).

    BTW, while halāl food is widespread in India, did you know that Sikhs are forbidden from consuming it? They reject dhabīha meat (“kuttha” in the Punjabi language), and have their own method of slaughter: “Jhatka” (ਝਟਕਾ). Which basically means that the animal’s head is severed by one blow of the blade, usually a sword.

  4. Can you also share how to make the chapati? I’ve heard chapati garlic is quite good. By the way, I think your triad (trio) connection is brilliant.

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