Do you ever have those days when the offerings at DDS just aren’t enough to satiate the sophisticated palate you surely possess? We all complain about the slim-pickin’s at DDS every now and then, but imagine how limited your options are if you dine with certain dietary restrictions. For students with religious dietary restrictions the challenge can be much greater.
Now meet the man who is trying to change things for Muslim students at Dartmouth: Dawood Yasin, the Muslim advisor and program coordinator for service trips at the Tucker Foundation. After having conversations with ’16 Muslim students – many of which ended in “I miss my mom’s cooking!” – Yasin began looking into how Dartmouth can expand its current halal menu to accommodate students who may share similar sentiments.
For those unfamiliar with the Arabic term ‘halal’ it means ‘lawful’ or ‘permissible’ as designated by Islamic law and the Qur’an. It pertains not only to food and drink but also matters of daily life. Muslim followers maintain a diet that strictly forbids the consumption of pork and pork products, animals not slaughtered by the Islamic method or in the name of a god besides Allah, and alcohol.
At Dartmouth, the only facility that currently serves halal menu items is the ’53 Commons. In his effort to expand the menu, Yasin has been working with Al-Nur, the Muslim student organization at Dartmouth, to set up bi-weekly meetings with Robert Lester, the DDS culinary operations manager, to discuss recipe options and to assess whether certain dishes “have motivated 16s to write home about it!” Yasin also recently reached out to DDS to bring back many of the halal dishes that were available at the Pavilion prior to construction and has encouraged students to share their favorite recipes with him. The response from students has been great and he’s “confident that in a short period of time you will begin to see amazing tagine dishes, chicken tikka masalas, and other ‘traditional foods’ from culturally competent culinary contributors!”
For more information on Dartmouth’s halal menu, visit the DDS website. Click “Full Menus” for an interactive menu with specific meal information. Halal dishes are denoted with a (H). Students are also encouraged to blitz Robert Lester for more information on this project.
Tags: food, Go to Town On, halal, Jamie Li