This is some blog description about this site

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Events

Our first event was a complete sell out and we cannot thank all of you that came and helped organise it enough!

We were slightly apprehensive about planning an event of this scale at the moment considering we are a fairly new organisation but it went off without a hitch and the several months of stressful planning and organising were totally worth it.

The event 'HFF Family Fiesta' took place on Saturday 20th September 2014 at St.Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, W5; the venue was chosen due to its centrality, parking facilities and space! We were hoping to attract between 150-200 people but at last count and following plenty of ticket sales on the door, we welcomed over 350 of you throughout the day!!!


Though food is undoubtedly important at an event like this, we wanted to keep the brains of those who visited us ticking and throughout the day had talks from Action on Salt and Sugar, Willowbrook Organic Farm, and a Food Technologist from the Halal Food Authority discussing various issues from excessive salt consumption to organic farming methods to alternatives to gelatine. We also had an interactive workshop from Jyoti at the Veggie Kitchen who gave a live demonstration on how to make homemade mango sorbet and a spicy bean salad as well as a story telling session by Shade 7 Publishing (creators of the world's first Quranic pop up book!).

Children's activities also ran throughout the day to keep the little ones busy:


And after arts-and-crafting themselves out they were able to go into the main hall and grab a snack from one of the variety of food stalls we had on offer, including award-winning Snowflake Gelato:


and the taste of Pakistan, Gola Ganda:


Also on offer were the necessary samosas, chaats, biryanis - but we also had free Kashmiri tea, a variety of Persian and Moroccan culinary delights, cakes (cupcakes, fruit cakes, sponge cakes, cake pops - you name a cake, we had it!), cheese and olive tasting, chicken pasties, halal Pick'n'Mix and were delighted to have hosted Ieat Foods at their first ever public tasting outside of Tesco / Sainsburys! 


We would also like to extend a huge thank you to Sweet Apple Publishers, Compassion in World Farming, Halal Eat, Attar Mist and all of the other stallholders and volunteers that helped us on the day. The HFF Family Fiesta was a joint effort and we are so glad that it went off with a bang! We are hoping to make this an annual event and perhaps even take it to different parts of the country. Our ultimate goal is to educate the community on leading a healthy, balanced and halal lifestyle - but we want to do this through a fun, enigmatic and interactive way.Help us make this a reality!

For more information contact us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To see the full image gallery of the event (hi-res) click here

Hits: 3517


If you’re from up North you will most definitely have been to, or at the very least, heard of Royal Nawaab; their new and highly anticipated second restaurant opened in London a few months ago and has had a fantastic response.

The Nawaab brand was formed in the mid-80s by Mehboob Hussein and partners. The three Nawaab pioneers came up with the name of the brand when they first bought their first restaurant property; having converted an old East-India bank to begin their restaurateur dreams, they came across old photographs of Mughal architecture and artefacts as well as pictures of the Nawaab people – it seemed apt to name the restaurant ‘Nawaab’ as they are a people who notoriously love their food. At first an a-la-carte restaurant in Bradford with a capacity of 40, the authentic tastes of the subcontinent and the memories evoked from taking a bite out of their gourmet curries and homemade breads increased popularity by a mammoth amount. A few years later, it was time for Mehboob et al to expand.

Following a trip to Chicago and gaining inspiration from a variety of eateries across the pond, it was decided that Royal Nawaab Mancester would be a buffet style restaurant what with the space being so large. Without exaggeration, Manchester’s most coveted Pakistani restaurant, the need to expand was inevitable. I sat down with Waqas, son of Mehboob Hussein who now runs Royal Nawaab alongside his father and brother-in-law to find out more about their story and their expansion to London.

Waqas tells me that the need for another branch had been at the forefront of the family’s mind for a long time – “with people travelling up to Manchester from London, Birmingham, Leicester etc. just to eat at our place, we HAD to create a new branch”; I am told that the second branch was originally planned for Birmingham but London proved to be a better fit. Royal Nawaab (as it is now known due to the imitations of competitors) in London is situated in the iconic art-deco Hoover Building – and as the property is a listed building the planning permission took 8-9 months to complete.


With such a huge following across the UK, Waqas is proud of the fact that they have not had to do any advertising whatsoever to get people through the door – even on opening day. In essence, Royal Nawaab diners do the advertising for the restaurant itself – search ‘Nawaab’ on facebook, instagram or twitter and you will be inundated with photos of people enjoying the 80 or so dishes on offer at Royal Nawaab at any one time.

This leads us onto the next topic of discussion – with 80 dishes, how are they all decided / checked for the high quality taste that is synonymous with the Nawaab brand? Waqas informs me that there is a rotational menu at Nawaab's – no drastic changes though as customers are very passionate about their favourites. Every single dish available at Nawaab's follows Mehboob Hussein’s own recipe and he – and his son – are very particular about the way things are cooked, what ingredients are used and how the food tastes. Once a week Waqas samples every single dish that has been cooked (and this is not an easy feat!), this is done at random so that the chef’s do not know when to expect a taste-test. Living and breathing Pakistani cuisine since he was born, Waqas takes a moment or two when I ask him what his favourite dish is, “paneer tikka” he smiles. I would have to disagree with him and say that their Butter Chicken, Tawa Chicken and Dum Aloo are more exceptional (if possible!) than the Paneer!


So what is it about Royal Nawaab that has people so excited? I’ve been three times now and each time the restaurant floor is packed and people’s plates are piled high. The staff are attentive and the decor very regal, but ultimately, what makes Royal Nawaab so great is the exceptional taste of the food. I have never tasted Saag or Curree that is as good as my Dadi’s until sampling both at Nawaab's.

Some say that the price per head is too expensive, but Waqas mentions the fact that following his market research, their prices are average, if not affordable, for London. In an environment where we pay up to £12 for a single pizza, “would you not rather pay a little bit more and have 80 high-quality dishes at your disposal?” Waqas asks me – he has a point.

Royal Nawaab is a brand that should not be underestimated; their food speaks for itself...and ask yourself this, in the highly digitalised day and age that we now live in, how important would you class effective advertising? The world and his wife have a need for it – not Nawaab.


Visit Royal Nawaab, London:

Hoover Building 7. Western Avenue Perivale Greenford UB6 8DW

Contact Phone: 020 8998 6151



Hits: 9845

Posted by on in Uncategorized


We attended the first annual Willowbrook Festival the Saturday just gone - a lovely day out for the entire family! A farm run by the Radwan family, all of the land is farmed 100% organically. Willowbrook self-sustainability is a passion that each member of the family shares. In fact, the house that you see in the picture above is built out of material the Radwan's dug from their own farm. Didn't that leave a big, gaping hole I hear you cry?! Well it did. But the Radwan's turned it into this:


A pond that houses numerous species of aquatic and plant life. 

The Radwan's say:

Since we started the farm in 2002 we have diversified from producing organic eggs, to providing our customers with chicken, lamb, beef, and vegetables and other quality produce such as cheeses and honey from local producers. We have gone from two empty fields to two fields absolutely full of hundreds of varieties of trees. We dredged out pond in 2002 to create a sustainable welcoming environment for waterfowl and other riverside wildlife. We use solar panels and wind energy and we are currently building natural, sustainable cob buildings (adobe or mud brick), and there will be many more conservation and eco-projects in the future! Our products are free range, healthy animals, they're fed on quality Non-GM feed.


Our day began with a tour of the farm where we were taken around by Khalil Radwan, son of Lutfi and Ruby (the farm owners). He took us around the whole 22 acre site and explained what it's really like to farm 100% organically and how easy self-sustainability is. It was refreshing visiting Willowbrook, a farm unlike the majority - the sheep field was so large it felt as though they were in the wild!


Under no circumstance are the fields in Willowbrook tended to with pesticides and growth-enhancers. Unlike the more aesthetically pleasing fields in the area, Willowbrook do not use unnatural sources to tend to their land; their produce is 100% organic - and this means that everything the animals eat is 100% organic also.


The Willowbrook Festival also included workshops on songwriting by the incredibly talented Dawud Whamsby, African drumming workshops, Tai Chi, pony lunging, live bees talk, petting zoo and delicious food stalls using the farm's own produce (trust me - we could taste the difference!).


 One of our highlights of the day included getting lost in the Willowbrook woodland (planted by the Radwan's themselves...they even have a treehouse! Doesn't the farm just sound like the embodiment of all your childhood fantasies!?

b2ap3_thumbnail_msg-2.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_photo-4.JPG

There won't be another festival at Willowbrook until next year, but the farm are always running open days or you can contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a visit!

We'd like to thank the Radwan's for their great hospitality - we hope to welcome them as warmly to our Family Fiesta in September (they are confirmed speakers!!) and we leave you with two things: 1. did you know that if you have bug bites / an external wound, applying tea tree oil mixed with fresh garlic makes the perfect ointment?! (just one of the many things we learnt - it even works on animals! and 2. this thought, placed lovingly in the heart of Willowbrook:


Hits: 3352

Posted by on in HFF

The following press release has been issued due to some negative feedback we received from the 2014 Living Islam Festival. We would like to clear up some completely untrue and negative rumours that are being circulated regarding our commercial wing - the Halal Food Authority (HFA). Please see below for more information.



Hits: 3456

Day two at the Living Islam Festival found us in a flurry activity as the crowds picked up at the bazaar. As lunchtime approached, we were all invited onto the fields for Jummah salat; a beautiful experience, with hundreds of Muslims congregating for universal worship.

Continually impressing us with the large variety of wonderful talks, Living Islam secured an exclusive lecture from Shazia Saleem of Ieat Foods. Entitled How to be an Entrepreneur, Shazia offered her expert tips on venturing into the, sometimes daunting but often rewarding, world of business.

You may have seen or at the very least heard of Shazia’s business venture. Her halal ready meals are available nationally in major retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Ieat Foods encompasses a vast range of delicious classics from both British and Italian cuisines. So if you wanted to introduce your mum, dad or even grandma to the yummy world of Shepherd’s Pie, Shazia has made it simple and easy!

It seems that Shazia was born with business in her blood. The business mogul began trading since her schooldays. Starting with Gameboys and toys on the playground, she left primary school with £2,000 profit. By the first year of university, Shazia had four businesses under her belt.

So where did the inspiration for Ieat come from? Well, as Shazia explains, it stemmed from a “generational hunger.” The average British Muslim is well aware of the craving for dishes with non-halal meat. We’re sure that at some point, we’ve all spent some time salivating over a healthy dose of traditional Italian lasagne or a spaghetti Bolognese in the school dinner queue. And who can deny that they haven’t been tempted by the tantalizing aroma of a mouth-wateringly hot chicken pizza, fresh out of the oven?

Well Shazia, like the majority of British Muslims, experienced exactly this. So what do you do when you see a problem like this? For a natural entrepreneur, you fix it. Which brings us nicely onto Shazia’s top ten business tips for the budding entrepreneur:

Observe and ponder

“Entrepreneurs are like comedians,” Shazia says. Both have the natural ability to take a basic and obvious observation and turn it into a big idea – be it a comedy sketch or a multi-million pound business. Observation is key and one of the large factors of the success of Ieat. Shazia observed a problem and from there her idea was born.

Build Solutions

So what do you do once you’ve seen the problem? Well, you fix it. “But don’t just solve it on a basic level,” encourages Shazia, “always think one step ahead and annihilate your competition before they even start” (a piece of advice which we particularly loved). Shazia tells us to think about how you can make your business ethical, philanthropic and different, before you even take it to market.

Build your jigsaw

Treat your business like a jigsaw. Find the four corner pieces, then build the outline, and once you have the main structure, fill in the rest. An interesting but incredibly useful analogy to say the least. It’s easy to go in all guns blazing, but without a stable foundation, your business is likely to fail. Take your time to build your assets and build your jigsaw. Shazia is a big fan of sabr – “have patience,” she says, “it took eight years for iEat to move from idea stage to production!”

Be prepared for a setback

Shazia has been a businesswoman since she was 11 years old. Her stories are inspiring: “one month at university, I had £4,000 in my bank account. The next month I had £1.30. But the month after that I had £60,000.” Again, Shazia teaches us to have sabr and trust that Allah (swt) will always provide. A setback is a set up for a comeback.

Train hard

Entreprenuers are like athletes. An athlete’s routine is to eat, train, sleep and repeat. This is exactly what entrepreneurs do – live their businesses, make them their lives. “Be prepared to have no social life” Shazia warns.

Build a genuine brand story

A simple yet effective piece of advice. People connect with individuals, not large corporate companies. Be genuine in your business and let people be aware of who you, the individual, are – it wins loyalty.

Social Media

So you might not be social media savvy – you can’t condense your thoughts into 140 characters or less and you barely ‘like’ anything on Facebook because, who has the time? Well I’m afraid you have to make the time – for your business pages at least.

Social media is a great tool to start interacting with existing and potential customers. Much of your customer relations can build from simple things like responding to a tweet or a Facebook message. Build your online presence so people can find you and know what you’re about.

Be pitch perfect

“I have about 12 different pitches for iEat which cater for different audiences,” Shazia explains. When pitching, spend time on your presentation. Practise it. Memorise it. Deliver it with confidence. Include market research but use the data – analyse it and use it to your advantage. Shazia advises that you should be able to sum up your business in thirty seconds, and then in one minute, and then in five minutes and so on.

Get into the minds of your consumers

Understanding who your consumers are leads to a better understanding of what their needs are. “Once you get into your consumers’ minds, you get into their hearts” says Shazia. This links back to Shazia’s first tip about observation – always be curious and recognise where people are complaining, and solve that issue.

Stay true to your values

Shazia ended her presentation with a beautiful story about Khadija (RAS). Khadija was known for being a formidable businesswoman. Her riches were so extensive that on her wedding night to the Prophet (SAW), she gifted him a bag of gold equal to his weight. Khadija (RAS) could have been a billionaire however, she gave away the majority of her wealth to support the ummah.

In the final ten days of Ramadan Ieat Foods donated all their profits to Gaza. Shazia reminds us to ensure we maintain halal values because in the long run, that’s what will make the business healthy.

In a world where ruthlessness and callousness is encouraged in business, Shazia’s talk was refreshing. Her perfect amalgamation of Islamic ideals and good business sense was incredibly encouraging for Muslim entrepreneurs. She is a perfect reminder that it is possible to be British, Muslim and a halal businessperson.

For more info on Ieat see here.


Hits: 4721

Posted by on in Events

The Living Islam Festival sees thousands of Muslims across Britain congregate to celebrate the varied aspects of the religion. In between the tents and the various stalls selling Islamic-themed goods, the Festival also hosts talks covering a myriad of topics.

The Halal Food Foundation are very proud and excited to have a stall at the 2014 festival – if you’re attending this year, come and visit us!!!


We attended Lubaaba Al Azami’s Shakespeare and Islam: Early Modern Literature and the courtship of Islam seminar.

Undoubtedly an excellent speaker and unrivalled in her knowledge of Early Modern England, Lubaaba did not disappoint in providing a rich historical backdrop for some of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Beginning her lecture with a discussion the arrival of Islam and Muslims in Europe, Lubaaba discussed and corrected common historical misconceptions about the Muslim arrival in Europe. Muslims arrived in Spain in 711AD, not as is most commonly and incorrectly circulated, during the period of the Crusades. In fact, what was most interesting was the idea that Islam how large the Islamic influence was in Europe, to the extent that, in Lubaaba’s own words, “no other religion was a threat to Europe in the medieval times – Islam was the largest.”

Lubaaba’s historical setting was excellently executed, however we were quite keen to discuss the subject at hand – the presence of Islam in Shakespeare’s works. Perhaps we misinterpreted the title of the lecture before attending, as we expected a lengthy and detailed discussions on how largely Islamic themes are underlying but prevalent in Shakespeare’s works.

However, Lubaaba took us down a different course. Instead she uses Shakespeare’s work to prove the existence of Muslims in Europe in the Early Modern Period – an unexpected angle to say the least. Beginning with Othello, it can be inferred from character interactions that lead character Othello actually has Muslim origins. He is frequently referred to as “moore”  - a word used to describe a Muslim from Spain or Morocco. Furthermore, Othello’s death speech sees him exclaiming “I took a Turk” before turning the knife on himself. Lubaaba interprets this as Othello’s way of “killing his Muslim identity.”

Moving on to Macbeth, Lubaaba highlights Shakespeare’s reference to European-Islamic trade. When Lady Macbeth frantically and repeatedly washes her hands of murderous blood, she says: “All the perfumes of Arabia couldn’t make my hands smell better.” This prominent moment in the play illustrates the Islamic world’s role in Early Modern Britain.

“But why is this important?” Lubaaba finishes her presentation with the unasked question on everybody’s minds. Yes, what is the purpose of highlighting these obvious references to Islam in Early Europe?

Well, Lubaaba argues that it important to remember that Islam has a deep, vested history in Britain. Coming back to modern day Britain, this is a good argument to have at hand, considering all the negative media Islam is suffering. We only need to look at the national papers to see daunting words like ‘halal food row’ and ‘Trojan horse’ dominating our news.

It is important to remember that Islam has been interacting with Europe since the medieval times. In fact the Quran was translated into English and became available in England for any English speaker to read. And 25% of England’s commercial activity was with the Ottoman empire, who were of course, Muslims.

So as Lubaaba states, the next time a Muslim is asked “where have you come from?” we can happily and confidently answer with a long and rich history lesson about Islam’s presence in Europe from the early modern period. Islam has been here for a very long time. Its relevance and importance in European lands can be proven – and what better way than to prove our heritage with the Bard? 


Hits: 4386

Newsletter Subscription

Twitter Feed

HFF_UK RT @HFA_UK: Today marks the 1st year anniversary of the #GrenfellTower fire and one year on there are families still with no permanent resi…
Jun 14replyretweet
HFF_UK Try nap during the day so that you can worship Allah more actively at night. Intend to sleep for His sake so that y… https://t.co/p0bbPGZG15
Jun 13replyretweet
Our website is protected by DMC Firewall!