My taste in cuisine is just as diverse as my background. Having grown up in São Paulo, probably the most ethnically diverse city in Brazil, I have been exposed to a great variety of food from early in life. And, now, living in Chicago I find that not too far beyond my front door is authentic food from just about any country in the world. My passion for traveling and exploring different cultures have helped fuel what I like to cook and eat.
I am a Muslim, and my diet is restricted to what is allowed by my religion. Keeping it Halal means staying away from food comprised of pork and its by-products as well as anything made with alcohol as Muslims are not allowed to consume these items.
I reverted to Islam as an adult and have fond memories of a lot of special dishes that I can no longer eat in restaurants but that hasn't stopped me from adapting these recipes and making them at home so that they are permissible by Islam. For my Halal Mamas who can't indulge in many exotic dishes at fabulous restaurants I'm hoping I will be able to provide some fantastic recipes you can make at home along with tips on how you can substitute non-halal ingredients for suitable halal ones.
Finally, I am a mama of 4 and most of my cooking is directed to my family. I never say to my kids that I don’t like something, and I am proud to say that at very young age my kids eat things that I don’t dare try. Also you will notice that some of my recipes have been adapted for my kids’ food allergies.
Anyway, in short this is a bit about me and what this blog will be about. I am looking forward to sharing with you some recipes that I like. I also hope to count on contributions from other Halal Mamas regarding their favorite Halal recipes and restaurants. I am also looking forward to hearing from you. Hope you enjoy!
And no, I am not leaving without posting a recipe. My daughter’s second grade class is having an International Potluck and she chose to take Brigadeiros, Brazilian fudge made of condensed milk. Brigadeiros are the most popular sweets in Brazil; rolled out, covered with chocolate sprinkles and served at children’s birthday parties, eaten with a spoon in a rainy afternoon, or served in small cups to be eaten also with a spoon at a grown-up event. I am including here the original version which I am sending to my daughter’s Potluck, and also a grown up version served in a cup with Passion Fruit mousse that I created for the Halal Gourmet Cooking Club Brazilian Dinner (more about the cooking club in future posts).
1 can of condensed milk
1 tablespoon of butter
3 tablespoons of chocolate powder
Put all the ingredients in a pan over low heat, stirring constantly to obtain a smooth, sticky texture. To know if it’s ready you tilt the pan and the mixture has to run from the bottom. Butter a plate, pour the cooked mixture, and let it cool. With buttered hands, roll the candy into balls and cover them with chocolate sprinkles.
Brigadeiro with Passion fruit mousse
Make the brigadeiro as above just cooking less and leaving the candy slightly more fluid. Remove from the heat and mix in ½ can table cream to make the brigadeiro even softer. Pour the mixture into small cups and set aside.
For the passion Fruit Mousse, mix in a blender 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 can of table cream and the same measurement of passion fruit juice concentrate. Pour mixture over the brigadeiro and refrigerate.