I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m a carnivore.

There’s nothing better to me than a medium-rare steak, seared just-so on a cast iron pan.

Despite this fact, I’ve spent too many years of my life substituting for vegetarian alternatives (hey, no hate to those who follow vegetarian diets!) out of no reason other than lack of access to halal meat.

Halal has always been important to my family.

I’m sure you’ve been there: searching desperately for any zabiha halal in the grocery stores, hoping you won’t need to drive the hour after your long work day to the halal butcher, only to find that the grocer just ran out and won’t you come again tomorrow?

Halal has always been important to my family.

As newlywed Muslim immigrants living in Japan, my parents would travel once a month to the one halal grocer in the region – a short five-hour drive. Meals would be rationed to preserve the meat throughout the month. When my family moved to the US, our commitment to zabiha halal continued, a reminder of our identity as Muslims and the struggles we all faced as immigrants making our new home.

But access to zabiha halal meat has never been easy – especially in the isolated areas where I grew up. Let’s be real, there’s nothing more draining than coming home after a long week of work, only to have to make another trek in search of groceries.

So, when I heard about Boxed Halal, I was immediately hooked. A service where I would be able to get halal delivered to my door, without any risk of needing to go to another source? It was too good to be true – or so I thought.

It turns out it is that easy.

When I first logged on to the Boxed Halal site, I was immediately drawn to the transparency of the company. The aim of Boxed Halal is a dream to anyone who follows a zabiha halal diet: Zabiha Halal Meat delivered anywhere in the US. On the order page, I was given a list of all available options and pricing. This was a relief in itself – there’s nothing more stressful to me than standing at the halal counter trying to decide within two minutes all that I need for the week.

The Order

For my selections, I chose ground beef (a classic), ground chicken (a luxury at my local halal store!), and chicken breasts (part of a recent obsession).

The Unboxing

I’ve never ordered meat online before, so I was eager to see how the shipping process would be. Just two days after ordering, I received the box in my home of New Hampshire – smoothly and quickly. Boxed Halal packs their products in insulated boxes, with the meat packing in vacuum-sealed bags, ensuring that everything is fresh.

I got cooking right away and started with some of my favorite food, butter chicken. It was the end of the workday, and I was not feeling the intensive process of making it from scratch, so I chopped up and cooked the chicken breast and topped it off with a ready-made butter chicken sauce.

You know, the authentic way. I served the dish with rice pilaf (yes, yes, the wrong type of rice, but cravings always win, okay?).

Butter chicken and rice pilaf sit on a white plate.

The Taste

It was an immediate hit.

The chicken breast was completely tender and juicy, as though it had never been frozen. My mom, who usually is super picky, raved over it and was in shock to learn that it was mail-ordered meat.

The next day was the first day of Ramadan. Since I was at my family’s house and my brother (who has the appetite of five ordinary people) was coming over for Suhoor, I decided to go all out with the two remaining products.

The first dish I made was my family’s trademark dish, maloube. This dish uses rice with fried eggplants and our meat of choice. Typically, we use ground beef, but I decided to be daring and venture forth with the ground chicken. I browned the chicken and layered it carefully in the rice dish, sneaking only a few bites in the meantime. The ground chicken met all my health desires, with limited fat in the meat and a clean but subtle-y chicken taste. It was clear that this would be a winner for the maloube.

Quality of meat makes a huge difference for a dish like kofta, so I wanted to put Boxed Halal to the test.

While the maloube cooked, I started on the ground beef. I’d decided to make kofta (meatballs), a dish I usually refuse to make due to the manual labor aspect (I’m a lazy cook, okay), but the ground beef seemed too good to pass up such a limited spice dish. Quality of meat makes a huge difference for a dish like kofta, so I wanted to put Boxed Halal to the test.

Into the slow cooker it went, with some tomato puree.

Kofta in a pan.
Kofta prepped and ready to go.

When mealtime came around, we were all excited to taste the outcomes of my late night endeavors. The first dish to be devoured was the maloube (no surprise there). The ground chicken was tender and complimented the flavor of the maloube.

However, the real winner, hands down, was the kofta. Boxed Halal’s ground beef is a match unlike that found in the local halal stores, and each bite had the perfect taste that comes only from high-quality meat.

The Verdict

Overall, Boxed Halal was everything I had previously only dreamed of. I used to think that eating halal was synonymous with making compromises – be that sacrificing extra time or quality. Boxed Halal has changed that for me.

As a young professional who hardly has time for sleep, nonetheless grocery shopping, Boxed Halal makes it easy for me to observe my zabiha halal diet from the comfort of my bed. Gone is the constant stress of having to drive to the halal store or being frustrated at the lower quality of meat that I’m provided with.

Gone is the constant stress of having to drive to the halal store.

Instead, I can now sign in quickly online and create an order for my week’s meat groceries, all without leaving my house.

Since my initial order, I’ve been spreading the gospel of Boxed Halal like nothing else.

I can’t seem to look back to the days of searching for halal on my own. If you’re over long trips looking for an alternative, go online to Boxed Halal to learn more about their mission and see what products they have for you to order from.

And let’s be real – there is no better timing for this than the next time you have to eat. What better time is there to try it than now?

Huda Alawa

By Huda Alawa