Dana and his sister Daria were visiting a small town called Uromi in Nigeria during the Ramadan month. They were excited to celebrate Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer. Every day, they woke up early to have their pre-dawn meal and went to the mosque to pray.
One day, while they were walking back from the mosque, they heard a faint cry for help. They followed the sound and found a boy lying unconscious by the side of the road. They recognized him as Musa, a boy from their school who was known for his mischievous behavior.
Without a second thought, Dana and Daria carried Musa to their house and gave him water and dates to break his fast. They then called his parents, who were grateful for their kindness.
As the days passed, Dana and Daria continued to visit Musa and help him recover. Musa was amazed at their kindness and started to rethink his ways. He apologized for his past behavior and promised to change.
On the last day of Ramadan, Dana and Daria invited Musa to their house for iftar, the evening meal that breaks the fast. Musa’s parents also joined them, and they all sat together and enjoyed a delicious meal.
Musa’s mother had brought as a gift, a plate of jollof rice, Nigeria’s favorite dish. “This is my specialty,” she said, as she served everyone a generous helping.
Laughter fills the air,
New friendships and jollof rice,
Dana and Daria had never tasted jollof rice before, and they were blown away by the flavors. “This is amazing!” exclaimed Daria, while Dana nodded in agreement.
Musa’s mother smiled and said, “I’m glad you like it. Jollof rice is a staple dish in Nigeria, and it’s often served during Ramadan and other special occasions.”
Daria eagerly asked for the recipe, and Musa’s mother promised to teach her how to make it the next time they visited.
As they were eating their meal, Musa’s father asked Dana and Daria about their favorite Ramadan memories.
Daria immediately replied, “Last year, we had a big family iftar, and I got to help my grandmother cook all the delicious food. We made samosas, biryani, and my favorite, baklava.”
Dana chimed in, “I remember when we were younger, we used to compete with each other to see who could memorize more Quran verses during Ramadan. I always won, of course!”
Musa, who had been quietly eating, suddenly looked up and said, “I don’t have any good Ramadan memories. I always found it so boring, and I never understood why we had to fast.”
Daria looked at him and said, “Ramadan is not just about fasting. It’s about feeling empathy for those less fortunate and being grateful for what we have. It’s about being kind and helping others, just like we helped you.”
Musa smiled and said, “You know what? You’re right. This Ramadan has been the best one yet, thanks to you two.”
They all laughed and continued to talk and share stories late into the night. Dana and Daria were happy to have made a new friend and to have shown him the true meaning of Ramadan.
As they finished their meal, Musa’s father gave a surprise announcement. He said that he was so impressed by the Dana and Daria’ kindness and generosity that he had decided to donate a portion of his wealth to their school to build a library. Dana and Daria were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.
Dana and Daria had no idea that their act of kindness would lead to such a wonderful surprise.
As they said their goodbyes, Dana and Daria felt happy and content. They had made a new friend and also discovered a delicious new dish. They knew that they would always remember this Ramadan as a special one, filled with kindness, generosity, and new experiences.
Dana and Daria loved to cook and they were especially happy to discover new delicious recipes of Nigerian food from their friends.
Trying Nigerian Food For My First Time!
A Simple Recipe for Jollof Rice
Ingredients for Jollof Rice
2 cups of long-grain white rice
3 1/2 cups of water or chicken stock
1 can of tomato paste (6 ounces)
1 onion, diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, diced (optional for heat)
2 teaspoons of curry powder
2 teaspoons of dried thyme
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
Instructions for Jollof Rice:
Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Add the diced onions and bell pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they are softened.
Add the minced garlic and diced scotch bonnet pepper (if using) and sauté for another minute.
Add the can of tomato paste, curry powder, dried thyme, dried parsley, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir until the tomato paste is well incorporated with the vegetables and spices.
Add the water or chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add the rinsed rice and stir to combine.
Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and the liquid has been absorbed.
Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and serve hot.
Enjoy your delicious jollof rice!
As kids, Dana and Daria were practically raised on their grandfather’s farm, where they learned the value of hard work and fell in love with nature. But it wasn’t just chores and outdoor adventures that made those days so memorable. No, what truly stuck with them were the captivating stories their grandfather told them from Islamic culture and the lives of Sufi saints.
Their grandpa’s tales left a lasting impression, instilling in the siblings a deep respect for moral values like truthfulness. To this day, they still cherish those memories and the wisdom imparted by their beloved grandpa.
Grandpa’s cherished stories are curated in the book series “Grandpa’s Farm Stories,” which offers an insightful glimpse into the Islamic culture and its rich tradition of storytelling.