Jollof has a distinctly African flavour, due to the common use of coconut oil, fresh red chilli pepper and spices such as guinea pepper, thyme, garlic, paprika and black pepper. And once cooked, besides the heady savoury aroma, the rich orange tinge makes it all the more appealing.
Jollof rice is believed to have originated from Senegal and Gambia and is referred to as “benanchin”, meaning “one pot” in the Wolof language.
However, it has since spread to the whole of West Africa and each country has its own way of preparing it; for example, Nigerian Jollof will vary slightly from Ghanaian Jollof – even within Nigeria, a member of the Igbo ethnic group will prepare it differently than the Yorubas.
It is enjoyed not only at celebrations but at home on a regular basis. It can be eaten alone, but is often accompanied by salad or moinmoin, a steamed bean pudding also popular with Nigerians. – CometoNigeria