Monday, 22 August 2016

JOLLOF OH JOLLOF!



Ghanaian Jollof is 'bae' says thee, who's Ghanaian 😜 and makes Jollof with a twist. 

Jollof rice', is a popular West African dish which originated from the Wolof tribe of SeneGambia. 'Jollof' is a one pot dish with the rice cooked in a spiced rich tomato sauce, which gives the Jollof rice its distinctive Orange colour. One can't present a pale or blush looking rice and call it Jollof 'that's a big no no'. Jollof should always have its distinctive deep Orange colour. 

Over the years, Ghana and Nigeria have dominated in it's consumption , therefore sparking a healthy debate, to who makes it better (that in itself depicts the different methods of cooking Jollof). 



In recent times, there hasn't been a moment (on social media) where the controversy of Jollof making is discussed, either in a positive, critical or competitive way.

Jamie Oliver tried creating his own version which had a backlash from purists critiquing his technique and finished product. 
I've come across a few videos of Jollof making which has received both positive and negative comments including mine, and in instances uncalled for abuse. 

Using my leftover Jollof to make a Sicilian inspired Jollof Arancini, where the Jollof can be stuffed with meat, cheese, vegetables etc  , rolled into a ball and deep fried in Panko breadcrumbs, shows the diverse ways of enjoying Jollof. 

JOLLOF RICE ARANCINI

 The whole idea of a recipe is to inspire you to cook and add your own twist. It takes a lot of time, effort and cost for either Bloggers or Vloggers  to put up a recipe, hence offering encouraging words or advise in a respectful manner will have its desired purpose of educating.
Cooking is an art and shouldn't be restricted to one school of thought; just as creatively someone promoted the use of carrots in the absence of tomatoes for sauces (during the shortage and inflated price of tomatoes in Nigeria).

The buzz about who makes the best Jollof is in tandem with everyones Mum been the best cook, hence asking whose Mum is the best cook will heed no results. 

I purposely stay clear of such inconclusive arguments and rather keep pushing the boundaries to deepen the frowns of the purists 😜. 


Last year I participated in the World Jollof Rice Day and uploaded a video on YouTube in commemoration of the day and this year I wanted to do a write up of all things Jollof rice. It's been viewed over 100,000 times and see why?...




I've created different types of Jollof rice recipes including one which I incorporated the Nigerian stew 'Buka'. BUKA JOLLOF RECIPE 

 BUKA JOLLOF RECIPE

I've also used sticky rice to make sticky Jollof rice for my canapés and I vividly remember uploading it on social media and a few people jumped on the bandwagon of an over cooked and wet Jollof.😡 Bless!  


Types of Rice
In the years of making Jollof rice, I've used Long grain rice, Short grain rice, Brown rice, Basmati rice, Jasmine rice and Sticky rice. My favourite choice will be Jasmine rice as it lends its perfumery taste to the dish.

When using Jasmine rice, it's best to keep your spices to a minimum to allow the flavour of the rice through. A little Ginger, Chilli, Onion, powdered crayfish,  a pinch of Nutmeg and bay leaf always works.  

Perfect Coconut rice recipe


Cooking Pots
The best pots to use for Jollof rice are either a heavy bottomed pot or a clay pot. 
Traditionally Jollof rice is cooked on hot coal or firewood hence the heavy bottomed pot or clay pot helps reduce the speed to which the bottom burned.



I'm fond of the clay pot as heat is evenly distributed and cooks each grain perfectly. Unlike the heavy bottomed pan, you don't need to stir the Jollof rice as much when using a clay pot. The clay pot also offers a natural smoky infusion to the Jollof. 



Spices & Herbs
Most people use curry powder, thyme and bay leaf for their Jollof rice. I love experimenting with spices and herbs, hence I've used smoky Ancho Chillies, Pimenton, Rosemary, Nigella seeds, Sage, Kafir lime, Grains of Selim, to mention but a few. 




It's exciting experimenting with spices and herbs in creating different flavours of Jollof. 


Cooking Methods
Nigerians prefer to par boil their rice before incorporating it into their sauce, however Ghanaians wash the rice and add to the sauce and slow cook.
In my quest for exploring the best way to cook rice a very good friend of mine , Ayesha taught me how it's made in Pakistan. I noticed the method was a cross between the Ghanaian and Nigerian way of cooking their Jollof rice, which was a welcomed education. 


The Perfect Jollof sauce
The key to making the best tasting Jollof is the sauce and cooking technique you use.
Find the Jollof sauce recipe here, which you can make in advance and freeze for up to a month. 


Jollof Sauce Recipe



Washing your preferred rice till the water runs clear and soaking it for about 15 minutes before cooking, guarantees you a perfect fluffy rice each time.  

Once the Jollof sauce is ready  add your rice and dry fry it for 5 minutes or until the rice is well coated. 


How much water do I add?

Achieving a fluffy and tasty rice requires little water and trapping the steam to cook the rice.  Eg; For 350g of rice , I'll use 150ml of water. Trap the steam of the rice by using grease proof paper or banana leaves and cover with the lid till it's perfectly cooked. 



Lets celebrate the diversity of World Jollof Rice day by uploading our creations with the tag #Worldjollofday2016.

All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.