The Jollof Wars: Who Makes The Best Jollof Rice
African culture is a strong one with rich traditions. We love to make all aspects of our culture known, especially our food! Our food is just as colorful and memorable as the patterns on the clothes we wear.
We have so many dishes to choose from. A staple food dish in many West African nations is Jollof rice. If you have never heard of this hearty dish, it consists of rice cooked in tomato sauce with an assortment of herbs and spices.
Jollof rice is not for the weak palette - this dish is spicy! Meat isusually added to the dish - either goat, chicken, beef, or a combination of the three. Don’t worry if you’re vegetarian, there are so many other flavor components to this that it will still be an explosion in your mouth!
Each household has its recipe for Jollof rice, and many have family traditions when it comes to how it is made. Nonetheless, because Jollof is such a huge part of African culture, many people take pride in how Jollof is traditionally prepared in their home country.
The internet has been abuzz in the past few years over which country makes the best Jollof rice. Although Jollof originated in Senegal, the two main countries in this duel are Nigeria and Ghana.
Each of these countries has fierce representatives who are positive that their country’s jollof rice is the best. But what is the truth?
Both Ghana and Nigeria prepare their Jollof rice similarly. The differences are subtle, but they do change the flavor of the dish. Firstly, the type of rice used is generally different, with Nigerians usually using long-grained parboiled rice, while Ghanaians use basmati rice. Long-grained parboiled rice is studier and provides better flavor absorption, but basmati rice is more aromatic.
Next is the method of cooking the rice. Nigerians usually cook their rice traditionally, meaning they add water to allow the long-grained rice to absorb enough liquid. Basmati rice can get soggy quick - so to avoid this, Ghanaians usually don’t add water and cook the rice directly in the tomato and meat stew. https://www.instagram.com/p/CKbZ3Jyl3-k/
To give Jollof rice a unique taste, Nigerians sometimes cook the dish over firewood and allow it to burn a little bit at the bottom, give it an added smoky flavor. This is commonly referred to as party Jollof rice, as it is often prepared for celebrations amongst friends and family.
Although both countries prepare their jollof rice spicy, Ghanaians use shito, a hot pepper sauce made with fish, ginger, onions, garlic, peppers, and other ingredients of choice.
Even though GraPearl is a Nigerian-owned brand, we can’t allow our bias to deny that Jollof rice is delicious no matter what country it’s from! In the end, Nigeria and Ghana are very close, and this Jollof rivalry is only for fun. Each country has an array of unique traditional dishes to try, so there’s no point in stressing about Jollof! If you haven’t had this amazing dish, ask your West African friend for an invite to their next celebration, and make sure you’re wearing something from our featured collection for the party!