You zoom back into your senses and immediately feel the grip of anxiety holding you.

Now the word "next" isn't scary, but the fact that you're NEXT in a Halal Food line and still haven't decided chicken or lamb yet? Terrifying.

Maybe you're too hangry to remember exactly what those animals are, or you just need a quick reminding.

I'm gonna assume its the latter. 

My friend, what lays inside that beautiful styrofoam box is a layer of steamy turmeric rice, topped with tender meat of your choice, few slices of tomatoes and white lettuce, all generously draped with lines of flavorful white sauce and spicy hot sauce. 

But the history behind it is a lot more spicy and rich.

The meaning of Halal food is meat being prepared in the fashion the Muslim law requires. In other words, it's the process of procuring meat through a methodology that is deemed permissible by Allah. This is imperative for Muslims because being careless with the Islamic law can jeopardize their spiritual place in this world and the afterlife. 

Since they first began popping up during the late 1980s in New York City, halal carts have grown to be some of the most ubiquitous and popular food carts in the city. In almost every corner or main street will you be able to find the familiar shape of a halal food stand. In most parts of the city (Manhattan), they are going for $6-$7 a box. but if you swing by some parts of Brooklyn like Bensonhurst, you can get it for only $5. If you don't feel like eating rice, you can always ask to get it on a gyro! Gyros usually go for $5 around the city and $3 in Brooklyn.

A little disclosure, every cart makes their food differently, but one seller that has upheld its popularity and it's loyal customers is called The Halal Guys. They are so popular that they are serving their Halal food around the world!

If you're curious about how it's made so you can try it at home, here's how you can do it better!


First, steam the rice with turmeric and cumin in order for the golden color and taste to enrichen. Marinate the meat for a few hours in a combination of things: lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, salt, and pepper. Then cook it in a pan and chop it up.

Next up is one of the most crucial keys in this delicacy. The white sauce. Here's what you need: Mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 teaspoons black pepper. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together and add 2 teaspoons of black pepper. Then whisk it thoroughly to ensure equal flavoring. Season it with salt and refrigerate. 

If you feel like you need to add some veggies to your diet, you can also cut up slices of tomatoes and throw in some lettuce on the side.

When you are ready to reap the rewards of your hard work, take the white sauce and decorate your delicious dish of classic chicken over rice with it! Add some sriracha hot sauce (my personal favorite) on it to tease your tongue and your appetite!