The Origins of Jollof Rice
Many West African nations will argue over who makes the best pot of Jollof Rice. The spicy, flavoursome rice dish is a must at all social gathering from Nigeria, to Senegal, to Ghana and every stop in between. Don’t believe us? Ask anyone from these regions and see for yourself!
The basics are always the same: rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions and an array of spices. The rest, well, that depends on where you’re from and what you like best. This meal can be enjoyed just by itself, or with many other ingredients, such as your favourite piece of fish, red meat, chicken, pork, or even with a salad.
On its origins though, most would agree that the wonder of this dish came to us from the tribe of Wolof; based in Senegal from 1350 to 1890. From there, it spread all around West Africa, then to the rest of our continent. Today it can be found all across the world.
It is said that in its home of Senegal, Jollof Rice was made by a cook at a colonial governor’s residence, when instead of rice, barley was used. Then, during a time when barley was short, she tried rice as a substitute. The rice held the flavours of the spices beautifully, and so it quickly replaced barley. Jollof Rice went on to become the world-renowned dish that it is today!
Since the time that it was first made long ago, the flavours and aromas may have changed a bit, but one thing remains constant: if there is Jollof Rice on the menu, there are going to be a lot of very happy people around the table!
There are many variations of this tasty dish. Why not try some of our delicious Spekko recipes and see which one you like best? As for us, we can’t decide… we love them all!