Jollof Rice

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Jollof Rice whose name comes from the ancient kingdom of the Wolof people of Senegal and surrounding countries, is one of the most common W. African dishes sold in chop houses, cookshops, and restaurants. It is regarded as a festival dish or one for special occasions and is, in effect, a W. African version of pilaf with as many variations as that dish. It is not usually as chilli-hot as most W. African cooking but contains a huge amount of tomato paste or palm oil, so the dish is always red.

Any meats, chicken, ham, smoked fish, and shellfish may be used to go with the rice, plus any or several of various vegetables (potatoes, pumpkin, aubergine, cabbage, beans, dried peas). Spices and flavourings can be drawn from a wide range: e.g. curry powder, nutmeg, cloves, mint, thyme, garlic, and sugar.