Jollof is a rice dish whose popularity echoes around West and Central Africa. Made with long-grain rice, it features a blend of vegetables, meat, and spices. Some Jollof rice variants are not complete without the addition of different fish varieties. However, that is not to say that it is a standard. The ingredients and preparation methods vary from one region to another.
Jollof is so named because of the Wolof people who inhabit Senegal. Jollof is mainly popular in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Liberia, Cameroon, and The Gambia. The popularity of this dish in Ghana and Nigeria has led to Jollof wars which seek to show which region has superior culinary skills. For many years, the two countries have been locked in a competitive duel over whose Jollof tastes better. The dish is highly nutritious because it’s made with all–natural and organic ingredients.
Who invented Jollof?
Jollof traces its origin to the Senegal–Gambia region where it was enjoyed among the Wolof people. They call it Benachin. The dish (or its variations) traveled through the West African region and sub-Saharan Africa. However, the recipe has evolved as people continue to experiment with recipes. This makes it challenging for any ethnic group to say that they really own or invented Jollof.
Is Jollof rice healthy?
Jollof is the healthiest rice to eat because it is cooked with a very healthy sauce and has the lowest calorie count of all rice meals. Jollof rice has 284 calories in total which is a healthy number of calories to take in from a meal. Whole grain rice is also a good source of Folate (vitamin B) which ensures that the body cells are working properly.
Who has better Jollof rice?
Nigerians use long–grain rice, which is sturdier, to make their Jollof. Long grain rice also provides a pleasing flavor to the palate. Ghanaians, on the other hand, use a more aromatic Basmati rice which also has its unique flavor. Your pick of the best Jollof will depend on your taste preference. This is because there are almost endless varieties of Jollof rice from different countries cooked with slightly different recipes. Obviously, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison“, and you never know what’s going to tickle your taste buds and win over your little food heart.
Which Jollof rice is better—Ghanaian or Nigerian?
Nigeria and Ghana both make phenomenal Jollof. However, the main difference is the type of rice used. Nigerians, as mentioned above, use long–grain rice while Ghanaians use aromatic Basmati rice. The Jollof war has caused a sensational fuss on social media, but the real judge of the best Jollof is you.
How do you fix mushy Jollof rice?
If your jollof rice is soggy, you should place it in a cool place like an open fridge or an oven to completely dry it off. However, if the rice is only a little bit sticky, rinse it under cool water and separate the grains with your fingers. If your jollof rice is overly mushy, the best move to take is to start over. Make another bunch and use the mushy rice for a different purpose.
Six Jollof Rice Variations From 6 West African Nations
#1: Ghanaian Jollof rice by Rice Today
Jollof rice is a popular dish generally served on special occasions in many West African countries, especially in Ghana and Nigeria. It is a favorite meal of children in particular, and is often the main dish on the menu of children’s parties.
Jollof rice dish, as prepared in Ghana, has lots of vegetables as well as meat, according to Dr. John Manful, grain quality scientist at Africa Rice Center, making it a complete meal in itself.
#2: Best Nigerian party Jollof you can’t resist by Eleanor’s dish
Jollof rice is a very common dish prepared in many African countries and each recipe differs depending on the nation. I specifically prepare the Nigerian party jollof rice which I still feel is one of the best recipes out there
Party jollof rice is commonly the most sort after type of rice, because of its very unique taste. Most people feel the unique taste comes from preparation using firewood, but that isn’t always necessarily the case.
#3: The Best Cameroonian Jollof rice by Kewan Blogs
Jollof rice is a staple in most West African countries, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, and Gambia. Well, Jollof rice clearly originated from Senegal but spread across Africa with each country having its unique touch to the dish. If you ask me, after eating the different variations, Cameroonian jollof rice stands out! One thing unites the different recipes, no matter the ingredients you use, the end product should be red.
So this is the key ingredient that gave me the best Cameroonian jollof rice "smoked paprika!" I wanted a spice that will give me the effect of rice cooked on a local firewood kitchen like my mom’s and this little red spice did a great job.
Now that said, let’s get to the cooking:
#4: Thieboudienne Senegalese Jollof and fish by Yummy medley
As a Nigerian myself, I thought that nothing could rival Nigerian food in this spot, but after I tasted the National dish of Senegal, Thieboudienne (also ceebu jen or thiebou dieune), there was a mini war for my food heart. Thieboudienne is a mouth watering rice and fish dish that is like nothing I had before.
In this thieboudienne recipe, I used broken jasmine which is what is called for traditionally, but you could use regular jasmine rice. If you have access to an Asian market, you can find broken jasmine rice labeled as jasmine rice bits. Also, feel free to use any type of fish that you can easily find. I used blue snapper fish. You may use any vegetable of your preference, I used sweet potatoes, eggplants, carrots, bell peppers and cabbage. As a final note, preparing thieboudienne is quite the labor of love, so I will save it for special occasions.
Enjoy my recipe!
#5: Benachin: Gambian Jollof rice by global food book
Benachin rice "jollof rice" is also a very healthy meal and makes a perfect lunch. I know that there are millions of benachin rice "jollof rice" recipes out there but this particular recipe is just okay for me as well as very easy to adopt.
Benachin also known as Jollof rice is a popular West African rice dish notable for it's characteristic colourful reddish colour with super delicious taste. History has it that benachin rice 'jollof rice', originated from the Wolof region of the Senegambia region before spreading to the entire West Africa and beyond.
#6: Jollof rice recipe from Liberia by relief Inc.
Jollof rice is a delicious West African dish composed of fluffy red orange rice that is often cooked with vegetables and meat.
Those of us at Relief, Inc. would like to share Liberian culture and food recipes with our supporters. We enjoy the unique flavors that can be found in the Liberian tradition, which is influenced by the American culture, due to the special bond that these two countries share. Our staff hopes that you and your family will enjoy preparing and eating these delicious African dishes.
You can serve Jollof with fried plantain or any other additional stew of your choice. Feel free to try out your own different combination of ingredients and come up with an incredibly different Jollof recipe. Maybe we’ll feature it in our article next time. We hope you have a blast enjoying these fresh and out-of-this-world recipes made by our very own Africans within Africa and in the diaspora. Enjoy experimenting with the different recipes. We sure will. So, let’s settle this once and for all, which country makes the tastiest Jollof rice? Ghana or Nigeria? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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