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Ramadan Mubarak! How Baobab Fare is celebrating in Detroit

Mamba Hamissi
Nisa Khan
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Michigan Radio
Mamba Hamissi of Baobab Fare holds up an Iftar go-to, made up of coconut milk, mango puree and mango, and topped with coconut flakes. It is delicious.

Ramadan Mubarak! As the second week of Ramadan ends, we’re back with another recipe to break fast for Iftar.

This week’s post comes from Baobab Fare, a restaurant serving East African dishes in Detroit. Co-founder and CEO Mamba Hamissi and his wife Nadia Nijimbre shared their recipe for Pottage, which you can find below.

Hamissi also spoke about the importance of having restaurants offering Iftar in Detroit, and what Ramadan means to him.

Our first post — with recipes for South Asian staples like Pakoray, Fruit Chaat, and Dahi Bara — can be found here. If you end up making a recipe we’ve shared, let us know! Share at @michiganradio on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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Featherstone Agency
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Ingredients: 

  • 3 pounds of spinach
  • 650 grams of potatoes
  • 500 grams of carrot
  • 150 grams of green onions
  • 300 grams of green pepper
  • 400 grams of tomato 
  • 50 grams of garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon curry 
  • 12 cups of water 
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt 
  • 1/2 cup of oil 

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. In a sauce pot, boil the spinach with half of the water for about 30 minutes. 
  2. Then, add the carrot and potatoes and let them boil. 
  3. After 15 minutes, add all other ingredients and let them cook until they get too soft .
  4. Blend and serve.
  5. In the picture above, with chapati.

Hamissi said he often enjoys pottage for Iftar, after breaking his fast with water and dates. Though fasting and working in the restaurant industry can be tiring, Hamissi emphasized Ramadan was one of his favorite times of the year.

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Courtesy of Mamba Hamissi
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Baobab Fare, a new restaurant launched amid pandemic-related capacity restrictions this year, has quickly caught Detroiters’ attention. The business…

“It's tough, but again, you're building your spirits,” he said. “So, inside you're very strong. Even if you're tired, you have something which keeps pushing you. You have that energy, something behind you, pushing you. And it's a time of reflecting on who you are, your purpose of being where we are right now.”

Hamissi added that, after coming from Burundi as refugees, he and Nijimbre feel a sense of belonging in the city.

“...(W)e got everything from Detroit. This is our family. So we are giving back. We are here to make our contribution.”

After seeing how they are able to serve others, especially African-American Muslims in the city, Hamissi wanted people to know they don’t have to travel outside Detroit to celebrate Ramadan.

“Some people don’t even know that, in Detroit, you can have this kind of Iftar,” Hamissi said. “In people's minds, it's only Dearborn where you can get this food…(But) there (are) Muslim people here in Detroit, and its chefs who can do these things here in Detroit. We want to tell people that we are here.”

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