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Busayo Oderinde: The Nigerian Versus Ghanaian Jollof Rice Debate

Busayo

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I am not exactly a social media guru or aficionado.  I am more of an observer and can’t be bothered most times by the drama; but one day while Instagram trolling, I stumbled on a meme depicting the difference between Nigerian and Ghanaian jollof rice. It showed two men wearing suits, the well dressed and dapper man was titled Nigerian jollof rice, while the poorly dressed and comical man was tagged the Ghanaian jollof rice. It was hilarious but insulting and then I checked it out some more and well my mind was blown and ding…I had to write about this, I just had to.

You see, I consider myself an above average authority on Ghanaian cuisine. I lived in Ghana for over a year and I sampled the cuisine as much as I could, and well it was good. I know this argument about jollof rice comes from a place of passion – both countries don’t joke about jollof rice. I mean who could blame us, jollof rice is ‘the business’. One of my all time favourites and an Achilles heel (It’s as close to chocolates on my list of kyrptonites. I stay away from it now with trying to be FitGam and all).
Jollof rice just gets you, when you are lucky enough to eat one that is decadent and perfect, you will be smiling like a fool for the rest of the day (True story).
In trying to dissect this issue though, I will try and be as unbiased as possible because on both sides of the divide I have eaten some life changing jollof “rices”. You know what, I am getting ahead of myself, let’s take it from the start.

ORIGIN OF JOLLOF RICE
Jollof rice is a dish made with rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, spices and vegetable oil. Whatever variations are available, these ingredients are a must in the dish. The long grain rice we use to cook this dish is not even indigenous to us. It is imported into our shores from Asia. This already tells you this dish came from somewhere else.

The truth is none of the two countries can claim ownership to the invention of the dish. Yes, mastery has been achieved because of years cooking this dish, but it doesn’t mean we own it. For example the “beignet”(a fried donut) is originally a French recipe; but for some reason, New Orleans in America is considered the “beignet” capital. So I understand how dishes can be passed around and then become the pride of a place.

The dish was invented by the “Wolof” people – an ancient tribe that was spread across Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania. It is called “Thieboudienne” in Senegal and “Benachim (One pot)” in Gambia but the “Wolof” tribe reside in Senegal today so Senegal is the Jollof rice Inventor. However, it was passed around along the West African coast and became so popular. Interestingly, a lot of people don’t know it originated from Senegal. I saw on online poll with Forty percent of the respondents saying Jollof rice is from Ghana, Thirty three percent Nigeria, Seventeen percent Senegal and Ten percent Gambia.

THE GHANAIAN JOLLOF RICE
For you to understand Ghanaian jollof rice, you have to know that the rice used is different from the Nigerian one. Their preference is Thai Jasmine- a perfumed more starchy rice which we call “basmati”. The average Ghanaian can’t stand the long grain rice Nigerians eat. They say it’s not sweet and the grains are too fat.(It’s a thing)
It was in Ghana that I learnt to cook perfect “basmati” rice. My flatmate taught me to cook the rice with one and quarter inches of water covering the rice i.e. the first line of your thumb to your fingernail tip. When the water dries, the rice will still be a little hard, all you do need to do is cover up with foil paper and steam on low heat and you have perfect fluffy rice.

The same methodology is used for jollof rice, but a rich tomato stew infused with a meat stock of your choice is fried first before you pour in the rice. Note that this rice is NEVER parboiled or you will end with a soggy mess. The starch content in this rice is quite high. In fact there is a dish in Ghana called “Rice Water”- a rice pudding eaten with milk and sugar. You cook the rice with lots of water on high heat and it becomes the consistency of oatmeal. It is delicious by the way.

I remember a jollof party we had in church. (You heard right, it was a jollof rice party. Jollof rice is taken seriously in Ghana.) Each home was to bring different kinds of jollof rice; lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, goat meat, sausage, gizzard, pork (it was in Ghana that I fell in love with pork). In a bid to outshine one another, people brought their A-games. The meals were just amazing. Ahhh, memories…

Ghanaians also love spicy food. The more peppery, the better it tasted. So the jollof rice is often accompanied with “shito” – a peppery oily condiment made from onions, shrimp, ginger and peppers served in small plastic containers. “Shito” is great and there are some supermarkets here in Nigeria that sell jars of “shito”. When my sister was still in school in Ghana, she used to bring jars of shito when she was on vacation and in my house. We use shito to eat everything – bread, yam, chips e.t.c. Any Ghanaian jollof rice that is unaccompanied by shito is incomplete.

I used to eat a lamb jollof rice that another flatmate of mine used to bring from Tema, a city in Ghana. It was just superduper outstanding. My elder sister (not the one who schooled there) says the best jollof rice she ever ate was in Ghana, so there are Nigerians who appreciate the Ghanaian take on the dish.

If you are ever in Accra, Ghana and want to try out the jollof rice, I recommend trying out Katawodieso in Osu, Country Kitchen in North ridge, Auntie Muni’s in Labone, Marquis Tante Marie in Accra Mall. I know a lot of Nigerians know Buka Restaurant in Osu, and though the ambience is great with a huge lunch crowd, the jollof rice is underwhelming for me.

THE NIGERIAN JOLLOF RICE
My earliest memories of jollof rice as a child were at parties and celebrations. Jollof rice and chicken and coke was the delicacy of Christmas day. Watching Jollof rice being cooked during festivities by the “alases” was always a joy for me.

There are two types of Jollof rice in Nigeria: the regular home cooked one, which is nice; and the “Party Jollof rice” which is epic. If I have to choose my favourite, it will be Party Jollof rice.

Party jollof rice is in a league of its own – that awesome smoky taste is legendary. I will go for an Owanbe because of party jollof rice.
Cooking perfect party jollof rice is an art to be learned. I believe it’s the firewood smoke and the burning of the rice in the cast iron pot that gives it that indescribable taste. The new school party jollof rice cooked at parties with gas cooker is not the same – except the cook is exceptionally gifted.

If you are a professional caterer and your jollof rice is not superb, you could be in some mess. My sister was telling me of a woman who was a professional caterer (a very comfortable one)who was praying beside her in church in a fervently Yoruba way with her head shaking and shouting “Oluwa, jor ma je ki rice mi jimi ” ( God, please don’t let my rice be soggy). You may laugh but I feel the woman’s pain.

Jollof rice cooked the Nigerian way is pretty great. Some people parboil it, some don’t. Some add green peas and sweet corn. There is local jollof rice made with palm oil or palm nut extract.
I believe I have eaten thousands of jollof rice in my lifetime. I can’t start recommending places to eat great jollof rice because I won’t exhaust the list. There are too many great experiences with this dish right here at home.

WHO WINS?
Let me wax philosophical and say that what we see at play here is deeper than a fantastic dish. It could be the ever irrepressible Nigerian superiority complex and the typical African/Ghanaian view that Nigerians are aggressive and think they know all. We all have our prejudices and I am not about to go into all that; but the truth is the take of both countries on jollof rice are great, and every one should be proud of their take on the dish and not start an insultfest.

Can we stop being so critical?

It’s the same way I didn’t get the entire #Jollofgate when it happened. The man (Chef Jamie Oliver) was trying to put his spin on the dish and he was almost crucified. If we continue to have this possessive/aggressive stance on our foods, it will turn people off from learning and loving our cuisine.

In my humble opinion, there are no winners. They are both amazing, really. And I daresay that most of these troublemakers have not sampled both jollof rices to make an informed assessment.
Food and subsequently taste is subjective, our tastes can’t always correlate, that would be weird. Let there be peace, please.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Robyn Mackenzie 

My name is Busayo, a Food Enthusiast, I love love food, its a huge passion for me and I believe Chocolates make the world a happier place. Feel free to contact me via email, [email protected]

87 Comments

  1. Captain Obvious

    July 5, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    This just made me want Jollof Rice…..

    • mel

      July 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      All this write up just for jollof… wow!!!!!!

  2. Ama

    July 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    This is a beautifully written piece, thank you!

    I am Ghanaian, and after eating thieboudienne, Ghanaian jollof rice and Nigerian jollof rice, I say it comes down to the texture of the rice you prefer. They all taste very good with slight differences in the texture of the rice and spices used.

    Throw in “riz o grand” from our francophone cousins, and we are spoilt for choice. I suggest we broaden our taste buds…West Africa has a lot to offer.

    • Afivi

      December 28, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      It’s ‘riz au gras’. Gras means fatty. A great translation will be fried rice because the rice is cooked with oil (enough to be noticeable) whether the rice is firstly fried in the oil or cooked in oily water.

  3. laslas

    July 5, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Nice piece. There is also the Spanish rice (common among Hispanics) which is very much like jollof rice, but has cheese (and sometimes sprinkles of beans) in it.

    • tutu

      July 5, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      yes its called paella…sometimes they use sea foods aswell!

    • Zade

      July 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Mexican yellow rice is similar to jollof but it’s not as flavorful. Paella is not similar to jollof at all, the rice and spices used are very different.

    • MC

      July 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Agreed! Very different

    • pumpkin

      July 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      “Flavorful”??? Kai… you people will just kill us on this blog.

  4. Tunmi

    July 5, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    It’s not that seriously. Frankly the Ghana/Nigeria jollof is meant to be a joke, it’s not that serious. And please stop defending Jamie Oliver. What he made was not jollof, and it sure wasn’t a spin, more like a decimation. I’ve seen plenty of the Nigerian/Ghanian jollof memes, ko le to ba’un (eez not day seriouzz)

    • ShineShineShine

      July 5, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Monmon da won loun. Ko le to ba’un ojeeh.

      I was watching Dinner date on TV and this Ghanaian girl’s dish of Jollof rice and grilled lamb was chosen by this white guy. When he started eating, the jollof touched a spot, not only did he clear his plate, bobo dropped his cutlery and attacked the lamb with his fingers. Babe tried chatting in an effort to keep conversation flowing. Dude said, “can you just hold it a bit? Let me deal with this”. Long story short. He chose her as his final date and they started dating. Who says the way to a man’s heart is not his stomach? Husby would eat jollof rice for breakfast, Lunch and dinner if he is allowed.

      Tunmi, Hi5. That is some serious Yoruba.

  5. Kiks

    July 5, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I find this article very interesting in so many ways. this debate i know will not end here. I have not had the nigerian version but i have a friend who called it the Great Depression (not to be rude) but i believe everyone has different tastes and preferences. As an avid jollof eater, i know that the cook must understand the nature of the rice being used. The stew can taste exceedingly splendid but if you do not put in the right amount of water, all your hard work becomes cos 90. I like my grains falling one by one back onto my plate but my father prefers the really soft type- you can make them into balls. Everyone is different. ?

  6. EllesarisEllendil

    July 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    As long as there is meat at the end, I’ll eat anything.

    You however Mam know your stuff, a real “Foodfessor”.

  7. Thatafricanchic

    July 5, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Having tasted both, I would say Ghanaian jollof rice is the TRUTH!!
    Nigerian jollof rice is like a marriage. For better or for worse. Watery, no spice, messy and hard to swallow but yet Nigerians have learnt to love it.

    I hate Nigerian jollof!! I lost weight for the 1 week I stayed in Lagos cos I had to endure Nigerian rice

    • Iris

      July 5, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Wow…clearly the debate is serious for people like you. Ma binu o. We are sorry. We won’t try it again. I don’t know who made it watery for you but that’s your own palava sauce.
      Moving on, I’ve eaten both of them a lot. I find that it depends on who makes it. Sometimes the Ghanaian one takes the cake and sometimes Nigeria wins it. The Ghanaian one is a lot greasier but they are both awesome and for me jollof is no longer complete without red shito (that green kpakpo shito is just…well..we’ll leave it far far away). People make meals differently. It is not a fight.

    • mimi

      July 6, 2015 at 6:17 am

      Gerarahere!!! you can’t tell me nuthin’ lol!!

    • Ama

      July 6, 2015 at 8:03 am

      My sister, they say correlation doesn’t mean causation. So the fact that you ate jollof in Nigeria that tasted bad doesn’t mean all Nigerian jollof will make you lose weight. If I were you, I would ask the Nigerians on here the best place to get jollof rice in whatever city you find yourself and try again next time.

      From your Ghanaian sister

    • Anonymous

      July 31, 2016 at 12:52 am

      Well said???

    • PurpleiciousBabe

      July 6, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Clearly you have not tasted a good one..Nigeria jollof..
      As in,,, esp the party ones back in the days of days…Kai, you will eat and lick plate sef…

      They are both different and nice in their own way.
      Ghanians tend to use basamati tho.

      I prefer Niaja any day sha(the super nice ones). But no more rice for now. x.

    • Anonymous

      July 31, 2016 at 12:49 am

      I’m sorry to disagree with u but have also had both and believe that Nigerians make the best jollof there is to taste. I do not want to start a debate but the last time I had Ghanaian jollof rice I did not enjoy it, there was no flavor, no spice just colored basmati rice and sweetcorn there was not even any type of MEAT! But nobody can debate this unless it’s someone that has never had jollof before and is not from Ghana or Nigeria.

  8. K

    July 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I think every one knows the whole jollof thing is a JOKE! I’ve been to Ghana twice and the only difference I can taste in eating their rice is that it has a bit of a crayfish taste. I love both.

  9. Na Wa

    July 5, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I’m not sure where you ate Nigerian jollof that was watery and tasteless but I’m sure it was in a swamp. Don’t speak about what you don’t know…just hush your mouth.

    Anyway, when did jasmine rice become Basmati rice? They are two entirely different kinds of rice…if I’m not mistaken, basmati rice is originally from India. Please always make sure you have the right info before posting.

    • Deedara

      July 6, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Very true. Basmati rice is completely different from Thai jasmine rice, Busayo. Google is your friend!!

    • Lisa

      July 6, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      i was confuse too

  10. Kafui

    July 5, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Wow!!…Busayo,u know all these jollof joints in Ghana ??…i hail u oo…i’m ghanaian n i only know of aunty muni, n Marquis tante marie (accra mall)…well,i live in tema…. i dnt really eat wen i’m out(i do so only in the company of my friends..my mum doesn’t like buying food outside)….i like my jollof very red,soft,with ”wele” (wat naija ppl call kpomo) and ‘kelewele’ (fried plantains spice with powdered pepper sliced in d shape of potato chips)…with a glass of blended pineapple,i’m good to go….**nt after belching fr like 20 seconds ***…lol…in fact,i’m gotta prepare jollof tomorrow…nice article

  11. Kafui

    July 5, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    **i’ve

  12. Daisy

    July 5, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    I saw that particular IG post. For someone who has tasted jollof made by a Nigerian and another made by a Ghanaian, I’ll choose the Ghanian jollof anyday! I could eat it all day,all week,all month,every damn day!!! Ghanaian know how to cook. Period! Living in London with neighbors from these two Countries,this is my opinion and yes I’ve visited Accra before all because of my love for Ghanaian cusine. From their grilled tilapia to beans stew…mmmmm, Typical of Nigerians and how they claim everything because of their huge population and the fact that they’ll scream whereas other West Africans will look on with classy silence, I just chuckled when I saw that IG post. You’ve not lived until you’ve tasted a well-made Ghanaian jollof, especially made by a Fante woman (Hi, my neighbor Efua). Thank me later!

    • Carliforniabawlar

      July 6, 2015 at 1:08 am

      O boy!! See beef o! You could have made your point without insulting Nigerians. Classy silence my booty…show me the classy or silent part of this your comment. Sweetie, for this I call you an Idiot (did you notice the capital I?)
      Watch the Ghanian and ‘other west African’ folks come out in droves for this ‘argument’….na only their we dey see una, if it’s not jollof rice, it’s azonto!! lmao…I can’t even deal.
      If I say I understand this beef other west African have for Nigerians, I would be lying…it’s interesting when they say ‘Nigerians claim everything’…abeg did anyone padlock your mouth? As Nigerians we know we aint shit…we show it everyday on BN with tribalistic, political and bigoted comments….yet it’s like the jealousy has clouded yalls judgement and you’re so fascinated, you can’t walk away. Abeg deal with your own quanta and stop coming on a Nigerian blog to be talking rubbish.

      And yes! Ghanian food is great! I wouldn’t eat their jollof rice though…when there is waakye on ground?? nom nom.

    • Iris

      July 6, 2015 at 3:38 am

      I honestly don’t get it. If it was possible for people to make a living out of hating Nigerians, certain countries in Africa would be first world countries by now because their GDP would have sky-rocketed. I’m actually part Ghanaian, but I get more defensive when people attack Nigeria because it’s a bit much. I don’t get it. Sometimes if I really want to get under their skin when people from other countries start to complain about Nigerians, I adopt this long-suffering tone and say “this must be how Americans must feel when smaller countries insult them”. Then they really lose it and their blood pressures rise. “How dare you compare yourselves to America?!!!!!!!” LOL. Face front if you don’t like us instead of wasting your data and going to Nigerian blogs to make noise, talking about “how THEY claim everything”. WTF is “they”? Why don’t you refer to the primary readers and say “you”? Rude child.

    • Egbami

      July 6, 2015 at 1:24 am

      It is not that serious, Nigeria and Ghana banters are harmless jokes. You need to wash ur biased problem with Nigeria away in the lagoon. Oshi rata ma rayo.

    • EllesarisEllendil

      July 6, 2015 at 1:42 am

      See this is what happens because we’re meek people. Nigerians I propose we invade the next country that doubts the greatness of our jollof rice.

    • Ashley

      July 6, 2015 at 10:03 am

      @EllesarisEllendil gbam gbam gbam.

  13. Author Unknown

    July 5, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    The best jollof rice version in my opinion is the Nigerian “party jollof rice”, which is actually a cuisine by the Agoyins in Lagos. In other words, the “Nigerian” party jollof rice is in actual fact Togolese, so neither Ghana nor Nigeria wins 🙂

    • Iris

      July 6, 2015 at 3:40 am

      Agoyin rice just shuts down the conversation. I have tried everything – using foil, letting it burn and become smoky…nothing has been successful. I need to go to an Agoyin woman for a jollof rice course.

  14. Erica Roberts

    July 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    i’m from Jamaica married to a Nigerian man. I had Ghana Jollof sometime last year during a conference in accra. Nigerian Jollof for me. Thank You

    • EllesarisEllendil

      July 6, 2015 at 1:43 am

      Better Wife. Your husband is blessed!

  15. tee

    July 6, 2015 at 12:05 am

    i’m eating jollof rice while reading this 😀

    • Carliforniabawlar

      July 6, 2015 at 1:12 am

      Me too!! And it tastes like heaven on a plate…I don’t understand why I would go to Ghana and be eating jollof rice…when I can conjure up jollof rice that will bring about world peace…not bragging…just saying 😀

  16. Egbami

    July 6, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Nigerian jollof for me. It is a free world. You love what you love. ??

  17. Yvonne

    July 6, 2015 at 2:23 am

    As of right now, Naija Jellof any day, anytime for me – I even ate it this afternooon lol.

    I have tasted ghana jellof once – it was made by this ghanaian girl and my najia friend loved it and said we (myself and my naija roommate should try it) – neither of us liked it lol. Shaa maybe it’s the person who cooked it, so i will leave judgement on which is better till i eat ghana jellof somewhere else.

    In general though, I think one’s love or hate of any food depends on who makes the food – I have tasted some naija jellof that was so bad I will vote for the cooks to be disqualified from ever cooking again.

  18. ronke

    July 6, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Nigerian jollof wins. More memes here
    chudetv.com/When-Ghanaians-Dont-Want-To-Agree-Nigerian-Jollof-Is-Better_v1069

  19. GhanaGirl

    July 6, 2015 at 3:01 am

    For a hungry Ghanaian or Nigerian man They surely dont give a fck which country the jollof is from, they will clear the plate none the less so far as its JOllof. Men, am i lieing

    To each his own. Everyone has their preference (i am ghanaian so obviously you know where i lean to) – you aint going to be getting no damn oscars for your jollof – even the senegalese who invented the ish dont make so much noise . Lets keep our knickers on, it aint that serious 🙂 .

  20. MsTilii

    July 6, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Speaking of Rice
    Here is an excellent video where this Ghanaian Doctor talks about African Calories and especially rice – what to eat and what not to eat – Great Video. Bellanaija please post this in your health section if you can. It may help many people as it has helped me tremendously.

    I ENCOURAGE ALL TO CLICK ON THE LINK AND LEARN ABOUT WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT NOT O EAT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT TO LOOSE WEIGHT OR JUST TRYING TO BE HEALTHY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lSn6JKyo1o

    hope this helps

  21. babygiwa

    July 6, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Hi Busayo, it seems to me that you explained the Ghanian jollof rice more. That’s okay, you know about it more. That being said, I make bomb jollof rice and I am a Nigerian, so Nigerian jollof rice wins it for me anyday anytime.
    Aunty classy silence, e pele ma. Wa wa alright. I’m with CB on this one. You are an IDIOT. Enjoy your week!

    • Lala

      July 6, 2015 at 6:38 am

      Looooools! Wa wa alryt mennn its neva dis serious oooooooo maybe a country -country jollof rice competition battle should be done

    • Amakanwa

      July 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      loooooooooooool!

  22. Miss_Flygerian

    July 6, 2015 at 5:26 am

    Nigerian party jollof mehn. There is nothing greater than this. And yes, I have eaten Ghanaian jollof.

  23. Vic

    July 6, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Great piece.you forgot to mention ‘Waakye”.Maame Muni and Katawodieso hmmmmmmmmmm.

  24. Olivia

    July 6, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Am I the only one that doesn’t get this recent jollof rice craze??

    • Another unimportant nonsense

      July 10, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      The natural hair battle has gotten stale… so people need a new nonsense to talk about. Here it is!

  25. bn lover

    July 6, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Na wa ohhh. The way some people just hate Nigerians ehhhh. Anything that has to do wit Naija kills people…must u die cos our jollof is obviously the best. The beauty of jollof is in the grains….and once u use gummy gummy rice to cook jollof,u can’t get it right. Even the person that wrote this piece has small beef for Naija….

  26. sass

    July 6, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Please Ghanaian jollof tastes like cow piss ( no I haven’t tasted cow piss but I feel like I know what it tastes like). The look of their jollof rice is a turn off. And that shito thing, Lord, I had a Chinese meal in Ghana and they gave me shito I was thinking what the hell.

    • ty

      July 6, 2015 at 10:29 am

      actually, when i was in the uk, there was this ghanian lady that used to cook for us in our church and she used basmati rice to cook jollof rice, the rice was never sticky and it was always delcious. The thing is she used to cook with some nigerians, so I think the end product was a combo of both countries. mehn! 1 of d major reasons i used to go to church then was because of that rice. naija pary rice of b4 though was d real mvp. these days people just cook rubbish.

  27. Ama

    July 6, 2015 at 8:03 am

    My sister, they say correlation doesn’t mean causation. So the fact that you ate jollof in Nigeria that tasted bad doesn’t mean all Nigerian jollof will make you lose weight. If I were you, I would ask the Nigerians on here the best place to get jollof rice in whatever city you find yourself and try again next time.

    From your Ghanaian sister

  28. Tosin

    July 6, 2015 at 8:17 am

    🙂

  29. Bolanle

    July 6, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Nice piece. Hunger inducing though. Would have been nicer if it was accompanied by the recipe for the Ghanian jollof rice and the Nigerian one.

  30. Neharra

    July 6, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Nigerian, Ghanian,……..none of these hold a candle to Cameroonian Jellof rice!!!! You haven’t heard? Ask somebody. This was very funny for me to read because every time I eat Nigerian or Ghanian Jellof I find it to be very bland. Esp the Nigerian Jellof. It’s like they boil the rice and fry it directly in tin tomatoes. Not that they taste bad; they are both ok….but please my dear people if you are looking for epic Jellof rice I suggest you contact a Cameroonian.

    • connie

      July 6, 2015 at 8:58 am

      From reading your post, its obvious that you are talking about a different rice. Dearest the conversation at hand is JOLLOF rice not JELLOF. two different things. Get it right.

    • Neharra

      July 6, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Actually they are the same thing. Just spelled differently in different countries. I stand to be corrected though, if you can explain to me the difference between Jellof and jollof.

    • Xtophar

      July 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Aya fi “jellof” LMAO

  31. beebee

    July 6, 2015 at 8:42 am

    the writer had so much to write about Ghanaian jollof and didn’t got into say much about Nigerian jollof. that says it. Ghanaian jollof is the best,

  32. arin

    July 6, 2015 at 9:13 am

    While we are at it, where can I get party tasting jollof rice in abuja. I need a regular supply of party Jollof esp when I can’t go crashing parties all the time.

    • adelegirl

      July 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Biko, when you find this joint, share the details on BN o. As I was reading this post, I started racking my brain for where I can get correct spicy Nigerian iya alase party jollof rice. Alas, none came up in my head. Even biobak’s jollof rice is bleh.

  33. Rolly

    July 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Imagine that Ghanian whose country’s biggest export is the azonto coming for Nigerians L-O-L.

    These african countries have inferiority complex. Whose fault is it that your citizens don’t rep their countries well??
    We are the Beyonce of Africa, y’all are the K Michelles.

    As much as Nigerians fight over religion and tribe, we still unite against mumus when necessary which makes me so happy!! Lmao

    Nigerian party jollof is IT. Nothing compares…certain people are just mad no one cares about their country talk less of their food *files nails*

    BN, you really should stop letting these people who constantly throw shade at us comment on your NIGERIAN blog.

    • Ashley

      July 6, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Kai it’s not azonto oh. azonto of how many days ago? haba

    • Esi

      July 6, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Ghana’s biggest export is Azonto? Surely you say that in jest. There is no “war” between Ghana and Nigeria. We stand to gain more from each other than these needless divisons.

      If it is Beyonce Nigeria wants to be, please go ahead, we are not even fighting you.

  34. Julia

    July 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I love reading things like this for only one reason- we forget our tribal wars (especially igbo vs Yoruba wars) and unite as Nigerians to kick some butt(s).
    Go Naija!

  35. precy

    July 6, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Interesting post, more interesting comments. Busola, this competition and argument will never end.
    But what’s most interesting is the fact that a pretty woman who is married with two adorable kids drove a Range to a wedding I attended, went back to the caterers’ stand and literally fought for a second plate of jollof rice.
    Madam no be rice full that cooler?
    Na your money? Caused the fight.

    But I am even more pissed at people who try to compare Fried Rice to Jollof rice. Like say dem be mate.!
    Jollof rice is the real deal. Anytime, Anyday. Whether Ghanian or Nigerian as long as it taste like party jollof rice. I forget fitness.

  36. may

    July 6, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Ghana jollof all day

  37. Hanee

    July 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    If you taste the rice my Senegalese colleague brought to work, you will give up on jollof rice.

  38. Diamond

    July 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    No jellofrice was invented by the Gambians from a town there call jellof,I luv my Nigerian jellof rice any time any day…

  39. Abena

    July 6, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I must join this debate and yep its that serious!Jollof is a serious business! The first time i ate Nigerian jollof was at a Nigerian restaurant in Accra owned by Dele Momodu.To say i was disappointed was an understatement!Herh I couldnt believe this rice water meal was what these people sold to me as jollof!
    I wanted to believe this was because this was a Nigerian restaurant in Accra so they couldnt get it right and it was unfair to judge them on that score..
    Work smiled on me and i began frequenting Nigeria: from Jaelingo-Lagos-Abuja-Port Harcourt,the end product was the same!Suffice to say it wasnt about the fact that it was a Nigerian restaurant in Accra: the Nigerian jollof was just abysmal in taste,feel and everything!
    But hey i get where the Nigerians are coming from,its very difficult to think otherwise when your palate is used to a particular kind of taste…
    All is fair and love in the war of jollof..
    BTW if you are visiting Ghana and wants the best jollof eatery’s,please find your way to Tante Marie,Osu Night market Pig Feet joint,MukasiChic,Starbite,yea Buka too and everywhere ..Dont forget to add kelewele(fried riped cubed plantain)…
    Chale Ghanaian jollof eh,NO SIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anna

      July 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Shut Up. You hear? Will You keep kwiet! From your post it is evident you only go to restaurants to eat. Have you had some home cooked food, better still go to a rural village, where people cook using firewood, where all they have are unrefined natural spices and expertise passed down through generations. Ghana is a lot smaller than Nigeria, so the food choice is concentrated. And yes I know what Ghanian Jollof taste like, and its nice, but I prefer Nigerian jollof. I even prefer fried rice to jollof, my taste buds get bored too easily and need constant stimulation.

    • adelegirl

      July 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Abena for the tip on the correct food joints to visit in Accra. Looking forward to going on a short holiday there in December with the family 🙂

      And thanks Busayo too for your tips on places to eat Ghanaian jollof rice in Accra.

      Been to Accra only once and that was 12 years ago, loved visiting the city and the food too though I focused on the staples like the foo-foo and the soups which I found fascinating and I fell in love with kelewele and shito too which can be eaten with just about anything.

    • adelegirl

      July 7, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Oh and I forgot to mention my younger sister makes the most bad ass Nigerian jollof rice ever! All you people who have never eaten correct Nigerian jollof rice need to let me hook you up with her jollof rice! 😀

      And I find the argument about Nigerian vs. Ghanaian Jollof Rice really amusing. Just point me in the direction of good food, don’t matter where it’s from and I am eating it. That’s all!

  40. ashabiOS

    July 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    bella naija comment section makes my day big time, laughed all through this comment section, i love to cook jollof rice and to an extent am good at it, but i honestly think the taste,appearance etc of jollof rice depends on the cook……never knew there is a ‘war” lol !

  41. Ernest

    July 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    The writer knows Ghana jollof is the best but he/she don’t want to let his country down. Honestly ghanaian jollof is cooked with a perfume asian rice whilst the naija jollof is cooked with their local rice ( I appreciate the that, they patronize their homemade products). I have been to lagos last time and I enjoyed a jollof bought at a restaurant but not spicy. Wizkid even said the truth on TimWestwood that “ghanaian jollof is the best”. My love for nigeria never fades tho.

  42. cissy_3000

    July 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    If you have not eaten Gambian Jollof rice, please don’t give any award out yet, Am a Nigerian who make a fantastic jollof rice, cooked for one church for my husband friend, the pastor of that church went to share the testimony with my husband when they met. am not kidding my husband will not eat jollof rice at parties if it not as good as mine. I regularly get requests from his friend for their events, though I don’t do it commercially

    I had a chance to sample Gambian jollof rice at my friend’s house while i was in college, boy its pretty special, i can believe that the wollof evented it. They way they eat it too is special, they serve it in a big bowl and place it on a mat and every sit on the floor and eat with their hands.

    Ghanians have some nice food too like washe( rice with bean dish) but i won’t give them the jollof rice award, Gambian first and nigeria second.

    They actually make the sauce with meat or fish and then they take the meat out before adding the rice. its just delicious

  43. cissy_3000

    July 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    @abena, sweetheart just because a restaurant is owned by famous person it don’t mean their food is good. I was once at a piddy restaurant in Atlanta, the food was uncooked and tastless. you cannot say that because dele momodu restaurant failed you mean nigerian food is not good, you will miss a good opportunity to tantalise your taste bud with our many cuisine. It just mean Dele’s restaurant has a bad cook, since it in accra, the cook may even be a ghanian cook, trying to cook out dish.

    Nigeria has many good dishies, probably one of the best in west africa

  44. Tutu

    July 6, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I just wanted to say I HATE THIS DEBATE! Its annoying and I’m tired. Okay bye

    thatsjusttutu.com

  45. Admiral Adamu 1881

    July 6, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    All this hither talk of feastings has me feeling famished! I wouldst love to tryeth this hither jollof rice from the Gold Coast. Prepareth the vessel at once!

  46. Foody

    July 10, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Busayo, I just read your write up on Nigeria/Ghana jollof rice and was reminded of shito. Ito si nja lenumi(i started salivating)Oh! Shito I miss you.

  47. Bella A

    April 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    We “Ghanaians” don’t eat jollof wtth Shito… Get it right

  48. Rice

    June 20, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Not not Prince of Saudi eat Ghana jollof and he love it Obama wife eat Ghana jollof and she feels she is from Ghana. Ghana food is the best i have Nigerian friends who can do way with waakye and banku and tilipa Nigerian even can do shito how much jollof even Nigerian actor Kalu can’t do away with waakye Harry song even say Ghana jollof good pass negrian jollof ask your celebrity how dye feel Ghana food

    • lee

      July 3, 2016 at 9:59 am

      what, y do Nigerians like comparing themselves to Ghanaians,but still Ghanaians are quite

  49. lee

    July 3, 2016 at 10:01 am

    infact am trilled Ghanaians really respect their selves

  50. Owolabi

    June 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    The term Jollof comes from an pidgin English slang in the 60s which means to enjoy or to swim in it like how politicians like to Jollof with our money. Nowadays people use other slangs like “flenjor” or flossing to communicate the same thing. I cat speak of other countries, but In Nigeria, Jollof rice emerged in Nigeria Party scenes in the late 60s and 70s once people started to import tomoto paste. By cooking Jollof, you had less waste of rice without stew. You also did need s bowl of water to wash your hand as you would with many traditional dishes. It caught on like crazy. The name Jollof bears no link to walof people or the Gambia. The rice they eat over there called Che bu jen does not taste anything like Jollof rice. You guys need to stop spreading false information. If Jollof rice was invented today in somewhere like Lagos and called flenjor rice, in 50 years time, you guys would credit it to Fulani. Its really dumb abe misleading.

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