When was the last time you had Jollof rice, have you ever wondered about its origin?
Some of us believe the famous, most amazing meal that could happen to a party (move aside small chops!), originated in Nigeria. We take so much pride in this culinary wonder and have been battling it fiercely with Ghana. We will not bow! We can beat our chests and say that we have the best jollof rice on the continent – END OF DISCUSSION!
Jollof is believed to have originated in the Senegambia region of West Africa among the Wolof people, where it is known as “theibou dienne” or “benachin.”
Since then, it has spread throughout the entire western region. Fast forward to today, jollof rice is consumed in Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo, Cameroon, Mali and of course our very own Nigeria.
You can have your Jollof alone or with any of the favourite accompaniment – plantain, moin moin, salad or coleslaw or all of the combined. (Wehdon Sir, wehdon Ma!).
The rich reddish orange colour, texture, it’s signature smoky firewood aroma together with any of the side dishes listed above, makes our amazing jollof rice oh so irresistible! But guess what, neither Nigeria nor Ghana owns the bragging rights as the originators of jollof rice.
Jollof comes in a number of varieties. However, the main ingredients are constant; rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, salt, chili peppers, spices, (bay leaves, turmeric, thyme nutmeg, ginger, cumin and more). Everyone claims to have a secret ingredient or process that makes theirs extra special. What’s yours?
Despite the many varieties, Jollof has become a fave in the international community and it is arguably the best known African dish outside the continent. If we ever have one flag for Africa, Jollof will sure feature in it.
Remember Jumia Family Market, our monthly grocery sale?
The September edition of Jumia Family Market is dedicated to love of all things Jollof! Join us to celebrate this truly iconic meal. Tag us in a picture of your favourite Jollof picture this holiday with the hashtag #JumiaMakesJollof and your picture could be reposted!