There’s a heated debate revolving around Ghanaian jollof rice and Nigerian jollof rice. Plenty of people claim that one is better than the other. Is it all a matter of taste or is there a grain of truth to the question of which one is tastier?
Nigerian jollof rice is a splendid rice dish that includes tomatoes and tomato paste along with onions, peppers, African spices and a bit of salt. There are variations of course but it’s these core ingredients that make up the dish. It came from an ancient tribe of people that spanned through Gambia, Mauritania, and Senegal, and soon spread along Africa’s western coast. Now intensely popular, this seemingly simple dish is much more complex than it lets on.
Ghanaian jollof rice uses a different rice than its Nigerian counterpart. In the Nigerian version, long grain rice is used. However, in this version, Thai Jasmine rice is what is used. That’s largely due to the Ghanaian preference of this type of rice. For Ghanaian jollof rice, the same methods are employed in the creation of the dish. What is different about it, aside from the grain of rice used, is that it is cooked with a meat stock prior to the addition of the rice. So the rice cooks in this tomato-based stew because if not, boiling it beforehand would result in an undesirable mush of sorts.
So who’s to say who wins? Taste is really a subjective thing, and it all boils down to (pardon the pun), which one wins you over. Really, much more research should be conducted on this subject. It should involve everyone coming together to have a taste of each jollof rice dish.
In fact, jollof rice is a celebratory food, served at parties and special occasions. It is the life of the party wherever it is served, and however it is served. Perhaps someone should throw a party with every jollof rice version in order for everyone to see how great it is. And perhaps during that soiree, everyone will have their own opinions about which one reigns supreme. But in the end, does it really matter?
We don’t think so. What we have here are two delicious types of jollof rice that can coexist in peace, just like the rest of us should.
Have you tried jollof rice? Which one do you prefer?
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