Jollof Rice. A Very popular, West African dish, which can be simply described as rice, cooked in a spicy tomato stew. It has proven to be the source of uncountable disputes and deep animosity between various nations. The most prominent one of them is the ongoing Jollof War between Nigeria and Ghana. Both parties claim to make he perfect Jollof rice, each accusing the other of either using the wrong type of rice, or not cooking the stew properly.
As an unbiased entity, we will obviously not disclose who we think makes better Jollof. All we are going to say is, it starts with a G and ends with an A.
Despite the fact that Nigeria and Ghana are the two superpowers in the Jollof War, Jollof rice did not originate from either one of those countries. It was created by the Wolof people, who are located in what we now know as Senegal. However, most West African countries later on created their on versions, each adding their personal twist to it.
If you’re reading this, you’re one of the superior, selected few, who will soon be able to make world-class Jollof.
You will need the following ingredients:
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (alternatively, you can use fresh tomatoes instead)
1 medium-sized tomato
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 medium-sized onion
500 g basmati rice
seasoning of your choice
150 ml vegetable oil (more or less, depending on your preference)
- Blend the tin tomatoes, fresh tomato and half an onion until you have a smooth paste.
- Heat up your oil in a pot on medium heat. Once it’s hot enough, add the other half of the onion (chopped) to the oil and stir until the onions are translucent. Then add the tomato puree and fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato-onion-mixture and reduce the heat (e.g. if you have 6 heat-levels, choose level 2; if you have 9 heat-levels, choose level 3). Add your seasoning (chicken or vegetable stock cubes, salt, etc.). Now let the stew simmer on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour and stir occasionally.
- Wash your rice (optional step for non-Africans)
- Add the rice and water to the stew and combine. The water/stew should be about 1 cm above the rice, when combined. If you’re unsure, put less water and add more if necessary.
- Cover the pot with aluminium foil and put the lead on it, so it can steam. Leave it to cook at low heat.
- Stir it after 30 minutes and taste the rice to know if it needs more water or not.
- After an additional 10 minutes, your jollof rice should be ready.