Today, I will be sharing with you my secret recipe on how to prepare Jollof rice, but before I go on, I will like to invite you to see my previous recipe on how to to cook fried rice. All hail the king of rice dishes in Nigeria or even West Africa.
Jollof rice is the most popular rice dish of all time in West Africa. The red coloured dish is very popular among countries like Nigeria, Sierra leone, Senegal, Gambia, Togo, Ivory coast, Liberia, Mali and Cameroon.
A ceremony, be it weddings, birthdays or even naming cannot be complete without it being served on the menu. Though, there is variation in the ingredients, and the name in different countries.
The people of Mali call it zaame, The Senegalese and Gambians refer to it in Wolof as ceebu jen or benachin, the French speaking countries call it riz au gras.
Despite the variations in the countries, the dish is “mutually comprehensible” across the region, and it has spread wide in the African continent and even overseas, it is known has the best dish in the whole Africa continent.
The main ingredients of Jollof rice are: rice, tomato paste tomatoes , vegetable oil, tomatoes, scotch bonnet, red bell pepper, onions, salt, chicken/beef stock, spices (such as ginger, garlic and nutmeg); there are optional ingredients which can be added such as vegetables, sausages, corned beef etc.
In the West Africa region, the dish has sprouted a lot of arguments online especially between countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal on who owns the dish or which of the country has the best Jollof rice. But before any conclusion can be made about which country owns jollof rice, we have to run down through the history.
It is believed that Jollof rice originated from the Senegal and Gambia region (Senegambia) of West Africa among the people of Wolof. The delicious meal has travelled through the sub-region due to the recurrent cultural exchange that goes on in Wolof.
Through this, it has evolved into quite a lot of regional diversities, fastened with the heritage of the place where it originated from. However, it still maintains its delight and magic all over West Africa.
There are numerous regions in Africa who debate a lot over origins of jollof rice. Nevertheless, one of the most dynamic jollof rivalries and fights has been between Nigerians and Ghanaians.
The main reason of the argument has always been on which country’s jollof rice version tastes better. This debate is based on the huge acceptance of jollof rice in the West African cuisine.
Both Nigerians and Ghanaians refused to give up on the debate and has been relentless on the competition on who has the best Jollof rice.
The debate has gone as far as coming up with contest shows like the Jollof rice Festival in Washington DC so that the popular critics from around the world can taste, examine the slight differences and give their general and final judgements on which country has the best dish.
Even on social media, people share pictures, views on which of the country have the best dish.
Jollof rice is treated with great pride and anyone who misrepresent it is greatly frowned at, particularly because of the recognition it is been given internationally.
However, the recurrent conflicts between Nigerians and Ghanaians about where the dish originated from and which one of them prepares the best dish should not even be in existence because according to history.
The Senegalese invented the beautiful dish. But, the Jollof wars still continues and has resulted into many viral songs, music videos, articles and even cook-offs. However, this great conflict has brought a lot of awareness about the dish which is a good thing.
Jollof rice basic nutrient is carbohydrate which gives us energy; though some people weight watchers stay away from it because of the high content of carbohydrate in it. However, to eat very nutritious Jollof rice, all you need to do it add your salad to it, preferably coleslaw.
Since am a Nigerian, I will be taking you on how to prepare Jollof rice.
4 Cups Parboiled long grain Rice
5 large-sized tomatoes
3 Scotch bonnet (Rodo)
3 medium –sized red bell pepper (Tatashe)
120g of Tomato paste
2 cups of chicken or beef stock
100ml of vegetable oil
3 Tbsps. of butter
1 Tbsp. of minced ginger
1 Tbsp. of minced garlic
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 seasoning cubes
Salt to taste
- Blend the tomatoes, red pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and one onion in a blender until you get a very smooth
- Then boil the pepper mix till most of the water is dried up (This takes about 30-45mins).Set aside after boiling and take the second onion, slice it and set aside.
- Place a medium sized pot on your burner and turn on the heat, pour in your vegetable oil and heat up for few seconds. Add the onions when the oil is heated up and stir fry, then add in your minced garlic and ginger and continue to stir fry.
- When the onions and spices ( ginger and garlic) are turning brown then add in your tomato paste (add little water to your tomato paste before frying) add your tomato paste and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the boiled pepper mix and fry the mixture for about 20 minutes. Continue to stir in order to prevent the tomato paste from burning.
- After 20 minutes, reduce the heat down to medium heat, and add the chicken/beef stock. Stir and add your seasonings (curry powder, thyme, chicken seasoning cubes and salt). Let the stew boil for about 15 minutes.
- Add your parboiled rice after the stew has boiled. Mix the rice well with a wooden spoon after pouring it into the boiling stew. Add more water to mixture if need be, just ensure that the water covers the rice.You can now add in your bay leaves, cover the pot and cook it on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
- When you notice that your liquid is almost dried up and your rice is soft enough, slice the third onions and add it into the rice. Cover it and let it cook for about 5 minutes until the liquid has totally dried up.
- Once the liquid is dry, stir your rice till all the grain becomes reddish in color. Turn off your heat; your delicious jollof rice is ready.
How to prepare Jollof Rice Video
We hope you find this recipe on how to Jollof rice useful, you can as well check out our secret recipe on how to make banga rice.