Mexico is one country where Muslims can appreciate a genuinely halal restaurant. This is mainly because the country is among the top 10 countries with the highest pig population in the world. Moreso, most of their dishes contain pork in one form or another.
The basis of halal food is to avoid swine and any of their products. More importantly, halal food preparation should not happen in the same kitchen where pork, ham, bacon, or other pig products are prepared.
Halal food follows similar rules as kosher food. However, Mexico is not the easiest place to find a spot with your favorite halal meat. Most foods in Mexican restaurants or street vendors use Manteca, a form of pork fat, in their cooking. However, here are the top halal foods you can get in Mexico today.
The Top Halal Foods in Mexico
Mexican food is a little complicated compared to other international cuisines like French or Chinese. However, most people have no idea about the ingredients they put in their food and whether they are halal or not.
Therefore, the best shot you have as a Muslim looking for halal food in Mexico is to visit a halal food restaurant. Most Indian and Pakistani restaurants prepare food per the Islamic Dietary rules, meaning you can order almost anything from the menu without straying.
Here are the top rated halal foods in Mexico:
1. Huevo rancheros con frijoles
To start your visit to Mexico, the best way is to get an authentic yet halal meal for breakfast. That is what huevo rancheros con frijoles is all about. It is a simple meal of egg rancheros with beans.
The dish included tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, garlic, eggs, beans, and salt. You can also see traces of cilantro on the dish served on tortillas. Now, as for the oil, you can ask to confirm that the chef used verdula oil and did not use manteca.
You receive your breakfast with melted cheese sandwiched between the tortillas on a plate. On top, there are the homemade refried beans, topped with salsa and runny eggs.
The meal is halal and kosher, meaning you can say your prayers and take a big bite to kickstart your day.
2. Pan quesillo
As the day goes by, you feel hungry and want to find the best, most authentic halal lunch you can get in Mexico. That is where the pan quesillo comes in. It is a grilled tortilla filled with quesillo ( a type of string cheese)
However, you need to be extra careful here and ask the chef what oil they use during preparation. You do not want to be eating tortillas fried in manteca oil.
3. Beef barbecue
Beef is a common halal food among Muslims. It is okay to eat it, provided the animals were slaughtered per the Sharia’h laws. Now, beef barbecue is an excellent option if you are strolling the streets of Mexico City and want to find dinner before retiring to bed.
You can have the beef in tacos, with a salad, or any accompaniment you like. During preparation, halal beef barbecue uses garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, water salt, oregano, and onions.
If the restaurant offers beans with your barbecue, please request black beans rather than pinto beans. The latter have many preservatives, which are haram per the Islamic dietary rules.
Another authentic Mexican dish you can try is chilaquiles. The meal, which comes as tortillas, green or red salsa sauce, pulled chicken, and refried beans, is one of the best experiences you can have during your tour to Mexico.
Depending on your chef, you could also get the tortilla chips simmered in red enchilada sauce. Usually, you get the serving of your chilaquiles with fresh toppings, which include radish/onion, cilantro crumbled cheese, and sometimes, a fried egg.
Any time you sit in a restaurant (Indian or South Asian) and ask for a curry, you can be sure that the food is halal. You can say your bismillah and proceed to enjoy your meal without worrying about the preparation, seasoning, preservation, or serving of the food.
Curries come in different renditions. You can find a vegetable, mixed vegetables, chicken or beef curries. Most of these foods come with naan (plain or cheese-filled), rice, potatoes, and pasta.
Down in Mexico City, India Town is an excellent place to find halal curry.
Your tour in Mexico cannot be complete without a taste of their authentic Mexican nachos. These starters are customized for every restaurant you walk into. You can expect refried beans, avocado, and radishes in the nachos.
Since Mexicans enjoy making their food, you will likely come across a sauce that will blow your mind away. The most common one is the salsa sauce, which chefs can customize for their restaurants.
Now, if you doubt the contents of the sauce, you can always ask the chef for the ingredients and determine if the sauce is halal or haram. But the nachos are a definite halal snack to munch on as you wait for your food.
Finding halal food may be tricky in Mexico, but if you walk into an authentic Indian or Pakistani restaurant, you can eat without worry. Also, kosher restaurants offer a good variety of food, only that they may not be as spicy as authentic Mexican delicacies. Indian Town, Tandoori, Taj Mahal, and Patra Vali Indian Cuisine are excellent places to start your search for halal food in Mexico.