For many West Africans “J is simply for Jollof” and nothing else comes close! This humble rice dish sometimes called jellof is so loved that when a popular TV chef tried to recreate the dish with his own twist it created a major online backlash / debate from many West Africans, so much so that it got the attention of major news outlets like the BBC.
So what is so special about jollof? For me jollof is not just about how tasty the dish is, it is about the memories it conjures up. It brings back memories of home cooked meals and memories of family get-togethers. For many West Africans, a party is not complete without jollof.
Jollof or jellof is traditionally long grain or basmati rice cooked in tomatoes, peppers and spices. It is usually served as an accompaniment to a main dish like stewed beef, baked chicken, grilled fish or stewed beans (also known as red red). A side dish of fried plantain or salad will usually (also) get featured in the mix.
If you are looking to get introduced to West African food, jollof rice is definitely the place to start!