Changing the World Through Random Acts of Kindness

The “Cooking from Home” program has evolved into so much more than was originally planned when SBU Eats launched this initiative. As students share their family recipes at the dining locations and work closely with the SBU Eats chefs, their family’s story unfolds and brings the campus community together for a hearty meal.

Samiha khan
Samiha Khan at West Side Dining

First-year student Samiha Khan’s kind heart and relentless determination to make the world a better place by creating a comforting home-cooked meal for others was evident at West Side Dining. Khan spent time cooking with SBU Eats Executive Chef Adrian Carillo to prepare her great-grandfather’s cherished recipe. This diverse and delicious meal transformed the lives of those around her just as it did for her village back home in Bangladesh.

“My recipe came from my great-grandfather Sirajuddin Khan who would prepare it every year to feed our entire village during Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, feast/festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide. My grandfather and father both continued this tradition. My great-grandfather was a kind landlord who believed in equality and giving to those less fortunate and would eat the same meal with everyone in the village. The village of Sirajpur was named after him because of his generosity,” explained Samiha Khan ‘27, biochemistry major.

The village in the Manikganj district in the Dhaka division became a community of people who looked out for each other and helped one another without hesitation. Khan hopes for a ripple effect here at Stony Brook where students can show that they truly care for one another, where compassion and empathy are the guiding principles in their lives. “I believe that the power of kindness can transform the world, one small act at a time and that social status does not make you any different because we are all humans,” affirms Khan.

Khan made khichuri and beef bhuna, a traditional Bangladeshi dish made with rice and lentils and flavored with a mixture of spices, herbs and vegetables. This hearty and comforting dish is often made for special occasions and family gatherings and comes from a 130-year-old tradition in her family to feed the village twice a year during the feast days. Khan’s recipe will be featured again in the spring.

“I am happy to be a part of the Cooking from Home program to help foster connections and spread happiness by cooking and sharing a meal to make everyone’s day a little brighter,” stated Khan. 

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