Where to Find Halal Food in Westchester County, NY: Swagat Halal Indian Cuisine in Tarrytown, NY; Yonkers Halal Fried Chicken in Yonkers, NY; Turkish Meze in Mamaroneck, NY; Samosa Cabana in New Rochelle, Y; Shiraz in Elmsford, NY
Vegan, gluten-free, and Kosher are familiar dietary terms. But how about halal?
Halal, which literally means “permissible” in Arabic, are foods allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. Restricted items include amphibians (e.g., frogs legs and Cajun gator nuggets); birds of prey (no owl for you!); pork; plus meats from animals that have not been slaughtered humanely or have not been drained of all blood. Choices in our county go beyond the tin take-out tray and meat-on-a-stick found at the typical Manhattan food trucks that label themselves halal. And, while there won’t be any alcohol on the menu at the following restaurants (potent potables are haram, or “forbidden”), you will find delicious halal selections.
Swagat Halal Indian Cuisine (19 N Broadway, Tarrytown 914-332-5544; swagatrestaurant.com) offers a wide variety of halal-only food ranging from seafood dishes to braised goat. An AYCE buffet ($9.95) is offered every day. Try the seekh kebab and roasted mashed eggplant with one (or two or three) of the 14 naan varieties made daily.
Yonkers Halal Fried Chicken (801 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers 914-377-4395) is a nondescript, counter-service stop across from the Empire City Casino that rivals the halal cart at 53rd and 6th in Manhattan. You could go for the namesake fried chicken, but don’t miss the freshly shaven lamb with extra pita.
Turkish Meze (409 Mount Pleasant Ave, Mamaroneck 914-777-3042; turkishmeze.com) is the place to go for traditional Turkish eats, all halal. Try its crispy, light falafel or the stuffed chicken with currants and pistachios. Desserts include almond pudding and baked apricot, pumpkin, and pear.
Samosa Cabana (560 North Ave, New Rochelle 914-637-8560; samosacabana.com/story.html) is a counter-service Indian-fusion dining spot near New Rochelle City Hall. There are multiple goat dishes, eclectic wraps featuring combos of lamb and chicken tucked away in naan, and thick-cut Indian-spiced French fries. Vegetarian samosas, biryani, wraps, and platters like dal makhani (black lentils and kidney beans in a creamy sauce with basmati rice and a salad) also are offered.
Shiraz (83 E Main St, Elmsford 914-345-6111) is a Persian restaurant with lots of excellent menu choices. If it’s street food that interests you, try one of eight kebabs, including Cornish hen with grilled tomatoes, or their kebab sampler for two. For traditional Persian, there’s a beef stew with yellow peas, fried eggplant, and potatoes served with saffron rice; and maust-o-kheiar, an appetizer of yogurt with cucumber and mint, topped with rose petals.