Ah, Jollof rice! Just the name is enough to make my mouth water. Jollof rice is one of the common West African dishes, popularly known even outside the continent. It is served at almost every occasion in Nigeria. Some have even gone so far as to say ‘a party without jollof rice is just a meeting’. It’s so popular that there is a world jollof day which is celebrated on the 22nd of August and it has sparked debates between countries about who cooks it better (#jollofwars). Even the Nigerian minister of culture Lai Mohammed has been asked the question of which country makes the best jollof rice, although he said Senegal (we need to explain patriotism to him..smh). Also, Vice President of Nigeria – Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in an interview said Nigerian jollof rice is the best (correct guy) to show you just how popular it is here.
Did you also know the first ever Jollof Hackathon was held in Washington DC , US on the 2nd of July this year with countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, competing for the title of best Jollof rice. Nigeria emerged the winner.
I bet you didn’t know that Jollof rice originated from the kingdom of Jolof which was a west African state located in what is now known as Senegal. The name Jollof is derived from the name of the Wolof, which is an ethnic group in Senegal. Jollof rice is called Benachin in Wolof language.
Jollof rice is basically rice cooked with tomato sauce. It is a west african dish made with rice, tomato/tomato paste, cooking oil, pepper, salt, onion and other spices. There are several variations of the dish as its recipe varies from one region to another. For example, in Nigeria long grain rice is used. We also have the typical ‘party jollof’ which is made with firewood giving the dish a smokey burnt flavour. Ghanians use basmati rice and tend to use more spices. It is a dish that can be cooked easily and is economical which is one of the reasons for its popularity. It is also quite nutritious as the tomatoes provide vitamins and minerals, with rice as a source of carbohydrates and it can be eaten with moi-moi, fried plantain, salad e.t.c.
Well, I have eaten only nigerian jollof rice so I can’t say which is better. All I know is that jollof rice is an amazing dish and I’m sure you would all agree with me.
So tell me, before you read this post, who did you think invented jollof rice? The Nigerians, Ghanians, Senegalese? I look forward to reading your comments below.
Have a blessed week…. 😉