Originally brought from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Kano, today, Gurasa bread has put millions of naira into Kano petty traders’ account. ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI (Kano) writes on how the local delicacy is putting smiles on faces in Kano.
Gurasa is a delicacy that was introduced to Kano by settlers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who settled around the ancient Dala hills.
The production and sales of Gurasa are best described as a multi million naira baking industry, in Kano State, providing employment opportunities for thousands of residents. The bakers, employ helping hands-distributors and retail sellers, who hawk around the streets amongst others creating a chain of trade.
Bashir Ammai Maizare, who is the heir apparent to the traditional leadership of Sanka Quarters, an area dominated by settlers, who migrated to Kano from Saudi Arabia, spoke to our correspondent about Gurasa bread.
He gave a narration of Gurasa as a delicacy and its history. Maizare said, Gurasa is an Arabian food prominently produced in quarters located within the confines of the wall of the ancient city of Kano, he said these quarters are synonymous with the baking of Gurasa. According to him, the quarters are Dandalin Turawa, Sanka, Kulkul and environs.
Our checks reveal that the trade in Gurasa expands beyond Kano, a sect of traders solely visit the ancient city to purchase Gurasa and ferry their wares to other parts of the country.
Investigations further disclose that, in Rimin Gado local government area in Kano North senatorial district, a particular settlement, on the road while approaching Garo town, is now known as Gurasa village, the residents bake this exceptional delicacy in commercial quantity.
Maizare note that, Gurasa can be consumed, in contrast to regular consumption pattern. He said, “You can eat Gurasa with tea, if you like with vegetable soup, it can also be eaten with pepper soup, even with suya meat, you will realise that every Suya seller sells Gurasa. Some Gurasa can be eaten with fried egg.
Hadiza, a 28-year-old single lady, is a household name in the production and wholesale of Gurasa, operating a medium production Gurasa factory located within Dukurawa quarters in the ancient part of Kano city.
Hadiza narrated that she inherited the business from her step grandmother, she also disclosed the level of success attained, since she commenced operation of her own bakery.
Speaking on how Gurasa is baked, she said, “I wake up as early as 4am to start my day, I observe my spiritual obligations and then work begins. Work stops at 11 am, when my employees and customers normally troop in to buy in bulk for onward sales to consumers in various parts of the state.
Speaking further, she said, “We mix flour or wheat dust and water, add yeast, salt or sugar depending on whether you are producing the salty or sugary type, leave it for two hours. You dump dry cornstalks into the clay pots called Tanderu in Hausa language, then you light fire, on it, the stalk get burnt and the clay pot is heated. After this, you return to the mixed flour, and begin to cut them into sizes and paste them all around, on the sides inside the clay pot, they get stuck and only until it is baked that you begin to remove them.
“It is as simple as that but difficult, because you deep your bear hands into the hot clay pot, it is quite tasking, particularly when you are new to the job.”Hadiza stated.
Asked to comment on how lucrative the trade is, she said “I thank Allah, from baking, I am a proud owner of a personal house and several plots of land. I sponsored myself to Saudi Arabia to observe the Holy Hajj, I am successful and proud to be involved in Gurasa baking.”
A Gurasa trader, who identified himself as Kamal Musa, told LEADERSHIP Friday that he has been in Gurasa trading for five years now and it has impacted on him positively.
“I have been selling Gurasa for over five years now. From this Gurasa trade, I married my wife, my children are in school, I have a house of my own.”
Kamal said, he has about 10 young men on his payroll, he noted that, he provides the capital for the purchase of the delicacy on daily basis, after sales, his apprentices return to account their daily sales back to him.
Isa Sarkin Pawa, a suya seller at Galadima road disclosed that, a dominant number among his customers prefer eating suya (roasted meat) accompanied with Gurasa.
He said, “Majority of my customers are ‘love birds’, the ladies are fond of roasted meat and Gurasa.”
Our reporter gathered that, Gurasa serves as their daily delicacy for lunch, others would prefer it for past time munch, some use it for spiritual purposes, as these set of people opt to give out the delicacy as charity to beggars, neighbours and charity homes.
Our correspondent reports that, non indigenous residents of Kano, when travelling back to other parts of Nigeria, do arm themselves with Gurasa in bulk, which are shared to friends and relatives.
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