Is That What You Call Jollof Rice?



I thought that whenever a party has ended people are eager to collect food to bring home, but when the food at the event they attended is unsatisfying and not up to par they are eager to go home to find something to eat.

Have you ever gone to a Nigerian party, event, or gathering and “jollof rice” was served?  You know, those events you were tricked into attending because you thought that the food advertised would be great but you learn that yet again, the food was blah.

Take for example jollof rice, the biggest disappointment at just about every Nigerian party.

Food is one of the most common tactics promoters use to promote their parties and events, and the following example is a typical way they advertise.  “Come join us as we gather together for a night of dancing, socializing and eating.  Your favorite foods will be served; moi moi, amala, plantain, puff puff, suya, and egusi soup.  It is an event you do not want to miss.”

Ok, so maybe there are no expectations about suya or even puff puff in the states.  No one should ever expect to have the authentic taste of suya anywhere else but in Africa.  I am talking about the kind of suya made by Hausa boys at the roadside; beef dipped in that red hot mixture of spicy goodness and laid in oil to fry then served to you wrapped in newspaper.  But when it comes to simple jollof rice, why not have expectations? Unfortunately though for some odd reason, people just can’t seem to get it right.

After the line for food has shortened and you are met with an aluminum foil pan that contains “jollof,” perhaps you may skip it and move on to the next just because of its appearance, or you are optimistic and hope that the rice is flavorful.  But all it is is just plain ol’ tomato stew mixed together with boiled white rice.  Excuse me, but since when does jollof consist of only two ingredients?  Not only are these poor excuses for jollof rice plainly made, but the rice is overcooked which causes the grains to stick together.

For a quick lesson in Jollof 101, the first step to cooking good rice is making each grain single and separate; the kind that can pass through a spoon and it fall onto the plate one by one.

To all those Nigerians guilty of this, here is a basic list of what perfect jollof rice consists of; spinach or collard greens, mixed vegetables, shrimp, mushroom, spices, onions and peppers.  Instead of presenting that your useless plain tomato stew mixed with white rice, learn the proper way to execute this dish in the kitchen.

Also, I find it comical when people brag about their mother’s cooking; how they make this delicious and how they cook that tasty, but when you finally taste “mama chef’s” cooking it is disgusting.   When bragging about the great way your mom or aunty cooks, be sure that outsiders/visitors feel the same way because unbiased opinions mean valid conclusions.

By: #stepyourjollofup

Photo credit:



  1. i fell you. you know its so sad to come to a party and leave hungry because of the slackers who arent serious about food. if you arent gunna execute it, dont do it at all

  2. I totally agree with you- except on the suya part- ’tis roasted, not fried. Could be sprinkled with oil, but it’s roasted. I’m a hausa girl and it was only in Houston I ever saw fried ‘suya’! Yuck!

  3. Do you even know what you are talking about? Since when has jollof rice turned to fried rice? FYI, Jollof rice is rice and tomatoes!!! If you are garnishing with the ingredients in your basic list, then that is your personal recipe….. not the norm.