How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

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Know the Differences Between Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof Rice

Any one in West Africa knows there is a great debate between Nigerian and Ghanian Jollof rice. The debate is so serious that on Jollof Rice Day (August 22), Nigerian and Ghanian Jollof rice are sampled to decide which tastes better. Interestingly, no one has given a definite answer as to which Jollof rice tastes better.

Ghanaians say the grains in Nigerian Jollof rice are too fat and tasteless. Nigerians say the grains in Ghanian Jollof rice are too starchy. Nigerians are a bit forward and loud in their debate. On social media, they use a lot of videos, memes, gifs and pictures to throw a lot of shade on Ghanaian Jollof. Sometime in 2016, they even tried to get Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg decide which Jollof tastes better. Hilarious!

The Ghanians are more on the defensive, trying to block and counteract the attack from Nigerians on social media. You won’t blame them. With the ferocity of attack they get from Nigerians on social media, it’s pretty easy to think Nigerian Jollof rice tastes better.

Surprisingly, Jollof rice didn’t originate from any of these two noise makers. Ouch!

Origins of Jollof Rice

Jollof rice originates from Senegal and the Gambia where the Wolof people of that region invented the dish. No wonder Jollof sounds similar to Wolof. The Wolof people were also called the Djolof or Jolof tribe.

It is believed that Jollof was invented by a woman who lived near the Senegal river delta. It is said that this woman substituted rice for barley during a barley shortage. Using rice, fish, vegetables and tomatoes she created a tasty dish which was called Jollof.

A poll done in 2013 revealed that 40% thought Jollof originated from Ghana, 21% thought it originated from Nigeria, while 23% thought Jollof originated from Senegal. Thank God we know better.

Key Ingredients In Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is made with rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, spices and vegetable oil. These are the standard ingredients. Other varying ingredients include assorted vegetables, and different types of local spices.

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10 Most Popular African Rice Dishes

Rice is a favorite staple food in Africa. It’s taste, availability and instant energy makes it a main dish in most homes. Unlike cassava which goes through a lot of processing, rice is easy to process and relatively quick to prepare.

There are different ways to prepare and eat rice. In this article, we will look at ten most popular rice dishes in Africa. These rice dishes are tasty and cut across different African countries.

How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

Jollof Rice

Jollof rice originated from the Wolof people in Senegal and the Gambia and is the most debatable African dish when it comes to origins. Of course, the great Jollof debate between Nigerians and Ghanaians is not a hidden matter. Nigerians and Ghanaians can’t seem to agree on whose Jollof rice tastes better. Nigerian Jollof rice is made from long grain parboiled rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper and onions. Ghanaian Jollof rice is made from basmati rice and lots of chili peppers which makes it spicier than Nigerian Jollof. Jollof Rice is considered the most popular African dish outside the continent. And of course it should be. It is tasty, spicy and quick to prepare.

White Rice

White rice is a common dish eaten with different types of sauces, soups and stews. In most African countries, white rice is usually eaten with tomato stew. Other side dishes include; chicken sauce, vegetable sauce, and local dishes like ofada sauce, pepper soup, ofe nsala and ofe akwu, also known as palm nut soup.

How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way


This rice dish is native to Kenya. Historically, Biyarni is said to have originated from Asia. It was brought to East Africa by Arab traders. Made from basmati rice, Biyarni is a delicious dish. Other key ingredients include spices, yoghurt, coriander, cinnamon and cardamoms.

Palm Oil Rice

Palm oil rice is fondly called concoction rice in Nigeria. This is because the dish is prepared by putting all the ingredients at once into the rice. This spicy dish is made with palm oil and all sorts of assorted fish, meat and peppers. Local spices are commonly used in place of seasoning cubes, curry and thyme. Common spices are locust bean, oil bean seed and uziza seeds.

Yellow Rice

Yellow rice is native to South Africa. Like palm oil rice, yellow rice is quick to prepare because all the ingredients are instantly placed into the rice and allowed to cook. Important ingredients for this dish include: onion, olive oil, turmeric, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Yellow Rice can be eaten as a main dish or with gravy.

Fried Rice

Fried rice is a popular dish in Nigeria. Originally a Chinese dish, Fried rice is considered a party dish for celebrations and festivities in Nigeria. This dish is a rice and vegetable stir fry made with parboiled rice and an assortment of vegetables, chicken, and bits of cow kidney or liver.

Tuwo Shinkafa

This is a rice pudding dish made in the northern part of Nigeria. Tuwo Shinkafa is a main dish served hot with soups. Tuwo is made from rice flour and its light fluffy texture can be substituted for other heavier swallows like eba, fufu, pounded yam and amala. In Northern Nigeria, Tuwo is commonly eaten with Miyan Kuka, a soup made of powdered baobab leaves and dried okra.

Mupunga Une Dovi

Also known as peanut butter rice, mupunga une dovi is native to Zimbabwe. Peanut butter rice is best cooked with basmati rice and is served as a main dish with stews and sauces. Mupunga une dovi can also be eaten as a single dish.

This recipe is my contribution to a cookout in celebration of Juneteenth. Which marks the day on the 19th of June 1865 when the enslaved people in the United States received the announcement of their emancipation. Join in, share, and help us continue the legacy of celebrating progress. Several black food creators across the globe have contributed their recipes to mark this celebration. Join us in celebrating by checking out the list of some of the contributors down below. 40+ black creators contributed to this collaborative menu as a Freedom Day tribute. Additionally, you can easily follow each participant by using the hashtag #JuneteenthCookout2021 on Instagram.

Nigerian smoky party-style Jollof rice

Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice is the “crème de la crème” of all jollof rice dishes. There are various recipes for Nigerian jollof rice, but the fundamentals of a party jollof rice are one that has stood through the test of time. Parties such as weddings, grand birthday celebrations, baby naming ceremonies and the celebration of life (burial of someone who has lived a long and full life) are a huge part of the Nigerian culture. Thus, as with many cultures, food plays an important role.

A great occasion starts from the kitchen. Such as on the morning of a wedding celebration day, when either caterer, chefs, and/or renowned family cooks gather to prepare the dishes. Everyone has a role to play in preparing the varieties of dishes, such as soups, stews, meat dishes, yam dishes and rice dishes. The two main rice dishes for most wedding parties are Jollof rice and Fried rice. The jollof rice made for a celebration is richer, vibrant and more flavourful with a smokey aroma. The smoky aroma is typically derived from the dishes being cooked outdoor over burning wood (a.k.a. firewood). However, there are various steps in the cooking process that aids this smokey aroma which can be enhanced in an indoor kitchen on a stovetop resulting in a perfect Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice.

  • How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way
  • How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way
  • How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

The tomato base

Jollof rice starts with a tomato base and there are various ways to make this. Unlike other styles of jollof rice, the tomato base for a Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice has to be highly concentrated. This is done by pre-cooking the tomatoes with all other fresh vegetables. This process dries up the liquid and eliminates the possibility of a raw tomato taste. It also intensifies the flavour and results in vibrant red colour.

Maggi cubes

Growing up Nigerian Maggi cubes was the go-to seasoning for most dishes. I never witness a Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice being made without Maggi cubes or something similar. Although, in my adult years I have stayed away from it and other commercial seasonings. I generally prefer using fresh self-made seasonings. However, to stay true to this recipe which is a huge part of the Nigerian culture, I have included Maggi cubes.

Parboiled rice

As I mentioned in my Jollof 101 article, the type of rice used in cooking Jollof is important. Smoky Party-style Jollof rice is typically made with rice that has been parboiled. Originally the women cooking the rice would soak the rice in hot water. This helps to remove excess starch and also when the rice is added to the stew base it doesn’t bring the temperature down. A consistent temperature prevents the rice from being unevenly cooked. The rice that was typically used then were raw unprocessed rice, but these days you can find the already parboiled rice in shops. Hence, there is no need to soak and parboil, rather a quick rinse with warm water is enough.

Fresh meat stock

Jollof rice is typically served with a type of beef, chicken or fish. These are usually freshly made. For twice-cooked method is the classic Nigerian way of cooking most meats. Beef, chicken or any other type of meat are boiled with seasonings and then fried, grilled or smoked. The leftover liquid from cooking the meat is then used as stock for cooking the main dish. Such as soups, stews and various rice dishes. Well-seasoned meat stock is not optional for a flavourful Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice.

How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

Double the onions

Onions are rich in flavour. Red onions especially richer in flavour with more vibrant colour and aroma than white or yellow onions. Onions are used two ways in the Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice. Firstly cooked with the tomato base, layering it into the core flavour of the dish. Then additional onion is fried to a nice brown crisp, almost burnt, which kicks off the charred smokey flavour. Aside from their flavour, red onions are the most cultivated type of onion in Nigeria. Hence why you will find it in every Nigerian market and kitchen.

Triple layer of seasoning

Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice seasoning game is strong. Starting from the inclusion of fresh garlic and ginger in the tomato base. The browning of sliced onions together with the tomato paste and equal amounts of thyme, curry powder, ginger powder and paprika. Then the final seasoning mix of Maggi, dried thyme, curry and salt going in with the rice. All of these layers make up the richness and vibrancy of the dish.

Tomato paste

Concentrated tomato paste re-enforces the tomatoey flavour of the Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice. It helps to elevate the smokey flavour when added to the fried onions and letting it brown together with some herbs spices.

Finishing touches

Once the rice is cooked there are a few finishing touches that most Nigerian cooks, caterers or chefs would do. Such as melting a few cubes of butter into the rice to enhance the moisture. This is an optional step that adds a little oomph but however, it is not necessary especially if you’re just not keen on the additional calories. Furthermore, some slices of raw tomatoes and onions can be tossed into the rice as a garnish. Also, an optional step and not everyone likes the taste of raw onions or tomatoes in a cooked meal.

How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

#jollofrice #baked #ovendinner

Hey there lovelies!
Today we wrap or our rice themed week with this easy and delicious oven baked jollof rice! This recipe is fail proof and the great thing about it is that it does not burn.
Just sit back and let the oven do all the work!
For this recipe, you will need:
*4 tomatoes
*2 red bell peppers
*1 onion

*2 tbsp of oil
* all pepper mix
*¼ cup of tomato paste
*1 chopped onion
*1¼ cup of chicken broth
*1 tsp of thyme
*1 tsp of paprika
*2 tsp of curry powder
*1 tbsp of beef seasoning
*2 tsp of salt
*2 tomatoes (sliced)
*2½ cup of basmati rice (washed)
*1½ cup of Hot water
*4 bay leaves
*1 tbsp of minced Rosemary
* some onion slices (for freshness)
*1 tbsp of Spring onions

Try out this recipe and share with your family and friends.

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How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

Jollof rice which double as Nigeria’s most popular foods and also the naional dish of Nigeria is actually one of the easy ones.

I want to show you how to cook jollof rice, the way I do it in my own kitchen. If you can lay your hands on the right ingredients and this recipe, you will have it ready in just few minutes.

Jollof Rice Ingredients

4 cups of rice
1kg beef

1000ml of Ground Fresh red tomatoes.

50ml Ground shombo/tatashe peppers

fresh red pepper to taste.
1 Teaspoon Curry powder
1 teaspoon Thyme

1 teaspoon Nutmeg powder
3 seasoning cubes
2 cups of sliced onions

300ml vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 fingers of ginger
salt to taste.

Preparation time: 80 mins

Serving: 8 Persons.

These are some fresh ripe tomatoes and pepper (tatashe for red color).

Any species of tomato would probably serve the same purpose.


How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

Step 1

This is just for display, you will need more tomatoes. You need around 1000ml of ground tomatoes for 4 cups of rice.

Just wash, squeeze out water inside the tomatoes, combine with the fresh red pepper and tatashe and blend, then set aside.

Step 2
Wash the beef and precook using a teaspoon each of ginger and garlic powder, 2 seasoning cubes, a teaspoon of beef seasoning spice, half cup of sliced onions and a teaspoon of salt.

Add one cup of water and allow to sit and marinate for 20-120mins.

How to cook jollof rice the ghanaian way

Cook the meat till it becomes soft. Using a kitchen fork, pick out the meat and set aside.

Cooked beef on the left side and the stock on the right side. This beef stock is very important part of Nigerian cooking. Fry or grill the beef.

Step 3
Parboil rice the normal way, boil about 7 cups of water in a pot, add the four cups of rice and allow to boil for 3 minutes.

Then pour out and wash thoroughly with clean water then set aside in a bowl or plastic sieve.

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  • by Agnes Bekoe
  • August 06, 2021
  • 2 min read
  • Ghana
  • Jollof
  • Nigeria
  • rice
  • Senegal
  • West Africa

With its delectable taste, pleasant aroma and amazing deep orange colour, Jollof rice is an undoubted ruler of West African delicacies. It is a treasured delicacy by West Africans. Call out Jollof in West Africa and you will start a clash of passions on whose jollof tastes best.

The origin of jollof rice can be traced to the 1300s in the ancient Wolof Empire also known as Jollof Empire which cuts across today’s Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania. Rice farming flourished in the region and Jollof began life as a dish called thieboudienne prepared with rice, shellfish, fish and vegetables.The empire grew across the region and settled in different parts of West Africa.

Today Jollof rice is enjoyed in different parts of west Africa in different varieties. Jollof rice takes about an hour or two to be ready depending on its preparation. Jollof rice can be enjoyed everyday as a main meal. It is prepared at almost every function.

But now jollof has been made easy to prepare. Jollof can be prepared in 45 minutes or less. Check out these videos for the recipe, Tasty Tom Jollof Mix

Also Jollof can be made easy by just setting the time and leaving it in the oven. Try it out watching this video. Oven Baked Jollof

Aside from this new option, Watch Jollof preparation from others on Youtube.

This is the Senegalese Jollof rice, one method you would love to try with them being the root of the Jollof meal. Senegalese Jollof

The Gambia also has one wonderful and striking way of preparing their Jollof. Gambia Jollof

Then to west Africa, watch some varities of Jollof from these Youtube videos. Pepper soup Jollof rice Goat meat Jollof rice

Jollof rice is a dish that is most popular in West African countries. It is known to be a one pot dish, making it a perfect quick and tasty meal.

The name ‘Jollof rice’ comes from the Wolof people, and is also known as benanchin, or for French speakers ‘riz au gras’ – meaning ‘fat rice’, though not everyone is happy with that name.

The popular West African dish can be made for special occasions like weddings, baby showers, made in pressed shapes for a more formal presentation of the dish. Jollof rice is usually served with a side salad or with a meat side serving.

Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof are the most popular of the lot – though don’t ask us which is better!

So, without further ado, Grass-fields presents 10 different ways to cook Jollof rice.

The main ingredients in this dish are fish, tomato puree, chilies, stock, spices and of course rice. In Senegal, this dish is known as Thieboudienne, a French word derived from the Wolof ceebu jën, which means rice and fish.

Let Binette Cuisine show you how the dish is made traditionally.

Your main ingredients for this dish are chilies, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, tomato puree (all chopped very finely), rice, stock and spices of your choice.

Let Abena’sKitchen show you a quick and easy recipe or check out our recipe for Ghanaian Jollof rice.

The main ingredients of this dish are smoked turkey, tomatoes, peppers, tomato puree, stock, spices of your choice and rice.

Watch Demmy’s Diary make Nigerian Jollof rice look easy!

The main ingredients for this dish are rice, stock, onion, tomato, cabbage and meat (of your choice) and lots of hot chili spices.

Check out how Vickie Remoe makes the best Sierra Leone Jollof rice.

The main ingredients for this dish are rice, stock, onion, tomato, peas, and your choice of meat and spices,.

Watch funy Sylvia make Togo Jollof rice for her whole family.

The main ingredients for this dish are rice, peeled shrimp, chicken or beef, onion, bell peppers, mixed vegetables, cabbage, diced tomatoes, and spices of your choice.

Let the fun chef IBeeTheChef show you how to make Liberian Jollof rice.

The main ingredients for this dish are rice, tomatoes, onions, mixed spices, curry powder, parsley, stock, chicken breasts, and veggies. Find out how to make this tasty dish here.

The main ingredients are fish, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, cabbage, carrots, bay leaves, rice and spices to taste.

Watch home cook MsEss2011 make the dish her mother, mother’s, mother taught her.

The main ingredients for this dish are chicken breast, rice, onions, garlic cloves, tomatoes, chillies, tomato paste, chicken stock, red peppers, green peppers, mushrooms, green beans and spices to taste. But party Jollof rice is all about your party after all! So pack your Jollof recipe with most savoury foods you enjoy.

Check out Ndudu by Fafa to get the party started!

This is one for you if you have children or you’re not too keen on spice. Look up chef Trilees cooks show you how to make a tasty children and heat free version of Jollof rice.

All of these dishes have something special to them, but they are mostly prepared the same way. Here’s our all-purpose Jollof recipe:

Chop up the vegetables and slice the meat into smaller pieces

Heat the pan or pot and fry the onions

Once the onions are caramelised, add meat or fish. Next put in your spices, veggies, and broth

Add the rice and bring the pot to boil

Once boiling, turn the pot down to a simmer until the rice and meat are cooked.

Here’s a tip: make this dish easier by using use pre-cooked rice and pre-cooked meat. You could even use some leftover meat.

By this time your stomach will be grumbling and can’t wait to dig into your delicious meal. Not only is this meal easy to make but it does not break the bank or take the whole evening to cook.

You will be able to bring all the aromas of Africa right to your kitchen, customised to your own taste, or with your own twist. This is a meal the whole family will love and will leave them begging for more.

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BONUS: Watch the FungBros try Jollof and other West African food

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Oven Baked Jollof Rice Ingredients

Oven Baked Jollof Rice is the quintessential West African rice dish. Popular in many countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, this one-pot rice dish is also known as Benachin and Thieboudienne. It is popular on special occasions such as birthday parties, baby showers, and weddings. The dish can be prepared with or without meat and there are many variations in each region. Jollof Rice competitions are even held to celebrate the variations of this famous dish.

Jollof Rice is typically cooked over a fire or on a stovetop, but an even easier way to prepare it is to cook it in an oven. It takes a longer time to cook in an oven, but baking gives the dish a delectable, grainy texture. There are two ways of preparing it in the oven. One way is to combine all of the ingredients in a Dutch oven and then bake it. The second way involves cooking the tomato sauce, spices and meat for a short while to allow the flavors to marry, then adding the rice before baking.