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Monday, 24 December, 2001, 21:34 GMT
Demand grows for Halal turkeys
Turkey dinner
More Muslim families are tucking into turkey
Asian businesses in Manchester have reported a growing demand for Halal Christmas turkeys from the Muslim community.

It comes as more and more Muslims are sitting down to a Christmas dinner.

Twenty years ago it was almost impossible to find a turkey in the region that had been slaughtered according to Islamic tradition.

Now that the meat is available on the market, its popularity has soared.

Ours is more of a Tandori turkey

Maimunah Maqbool

Nasir Ahmed ordered extra deliveries of turkeys this year to his cash and carry shop in Longsight, Manchester.

He said: "I think the demand has been created by a lot of mixed marriages in this country.

"Also, people want to try different foods."

This month, turkeys have by far outsold the chickens at Tariq Amin's business, Amin Poultry, based in Oldham.

He supplies meat to customers across the North West.

When his firm opened, 25 years ago, about 20 turkeys were sold compared to the 700 bought this season.

"I think it's an opportunity for people to try a different type of meat, apart from chicken and lamb.

Maimunah Maqbool
Maimunah Maqbool cooks turkey tandori style
"A turkey dinner seems to have become a special thing to look forward to by Muslims."

Maimunah Maqbool, who grew up in Malaysia, now lives in Prestwich, Manchester.

"It's nice to teach the children how to celebrate Christmas after we've just celebrated Eid," she said.

"I used to live in Maylaysia - a multi-cultural country.

"We celebrated Divali, Eid, the Chinese New Year, and Christmas with the Christians.

"I still remember it - it was fun. I'd like my children to have the same memories."

But Muslims recognise that the traditionally dry turkey does not have to be served with sage and onion stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Mrs Maqbool said: "We roast our turkey but we spice it up.

"Ours is more of a Tandoori turkey. The stuffing is made from spiced potatoes.

Fast-food turkey

"The turkey is marinated overnight with all the Tandoori spices.

"I don't think any of us, even the children, would eat it just plain. It wouldn't suit our taste buds."

Manchester's famous Rusholme curry houses and take-away restaurants are cashing in on the growing appeal of the British bird.

Turkey tikkas and masalas have crept onto the winter menus.

Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

07 Nov 01 | England
Students seek perfect turkey
09 Dec 99 | Middle East
Muslims prepare for Ramadan
25 Dec 98 | Christmas and New Year
Christmas dinner: the healthy option?
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