Jollof rice is a popular dish consumed throughout West Africa and is a celebratory dish that can often be found at weddings and parties. The preparations for this fluffy, red-hued rice vary from region to region with a rivalry between two countries in particular, Ghana and Nigeria, over who makes the best variation. What all of them share in common though is the use of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and rice. Beyond that, there can be the additions of meat, seafood, and vegetables of a large variety!
The origin of jollof rice is likely from Senegal and derives its name from the Wolof – the largest ethnic group in Senegal. However, other than the coloring of the rice, the version of the dish found in Senegal, theiboudienne, is quite different from the jollof rice popular outside of the country. The recipe that follows is based off of a few different Nigerian recipes where we’ve included the ingredients that have been featured in all of them, but omitted the more niche ones such as red palm oil that is used in such a small quantity and in only a few of the them.