Originally from Senegal, Jollof is a pot dish of rice prepared with tomato sauce and served with meat or fish that stirs up plenty of interesting debate online. The rice soaks up the juicy flavours and turns orange when cooking, and is a national favourite that can be found in most restaurants or dished out by street vendors at affordable prices.
WHAT YOU NEED
For a serving of 4 – 6
- 6 large tomatoes
- 4 large onions
- 6 cloves of pressed garlic
- 2 chillies
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- vegetable oil
- 500g of beef, chicken or lamb (alt: mixed vegetables)
- 800g long grain rice
- 1,5 litres of water or stock (± 1 stock cube, depending on how much meat is used)
- 1 teaspoon each of ground white and black pepper
Put tomatoes into the blender and set aside. Then, in a non-stick pot, fry pre-cooked meat in oil. When these have browned, remove and set aside.
Add onions and fry until soft before adding garlic and blended tomatoes. Add meat stock and/or stock cube(s), tomato paste, ground white and black pepper and stir. Remember to season strongly because rice will later be added to this sauce.
Cook for ± 10 minutes on medium heat before adding rice. Stir and mix well before covering. Cook on low heat for ± 20 minutes. Add vegetables and mix well. Add about 1 cup more of water and continue to cook on low heat until rice is done.
Jollof is believed to have originated in the Senegambia region of West Africa among the Wolof people, where it is known as benachin. The mouth-watering meal has travelled throughout the sub-region because of the frequent cultural exchange that goes on there. As such, it has evolved into several regional varieties, laced with the heritage of the place where it is prepared. Nevertheless, it maintains its magic and is relished all over Africa.