Before you watch this and tell me that is not the original Jollof because you don’t cook it this way in Nigeria or Ghana or wherever you are from, take notice of the origin of the name itself.
How Igbo, Yoruba or Ashanti is this?
My friend, don’t get it twisted!
If you are not making thiebou dieune, you are probably just remixing the original jollof rice recipe. This beloved rice dish of West Africans is so popular even Jamie Oliver came up with his own European rendition of it .
If you were looking for a business idea that is not one of our suggested 4 side hustles, then maybe you should consider introducing a Jollof rice fast food restaurant which offers different protein options.
In fact, Djolof was a West African state in parts of today’s Senegal; different ethnic groups in the area united to form the Djolof state.
The name Wolof, originally “Wa-laf”, means the people of the Laf country. This designated the the majority of peoples who lived in the Djolof state in the 14th century. The Wolof people now populate Senegal and parts of Mauritania and Gambia. Wolof is probably the most spoken language in Senegal today.
It is thought that the Jollof rice recipe may have spread between the 1300-1500 across West Africa (mostly down the Niger valley) with the help of the Djula tradespeople of the Mali Empire.
Now that the doubts on the origins of Jollof rice have been cleared, let’s stop arguing and start eating.
I’ve asked an original Senegalese “aunty” to show us the real deal: the way Jollof rice is cooked by the Wolof.
Before we start, you have to understand that Jollof can be cooked with different proteins. The most popular are beef (a.k.a thiebou yap in Senegal) and fish (a.k.a thiebou dieune in Senegal).
We will be demonstrating the fish version of jollof rice, which even includes dried “yet” (a dried fermented mollusk) for some flavour that you can only fall in love with!
Thank you aunty Adja!
If this just made you hungry and you live in Ottawa (Ontario), just check out her Facebook page Calebasse Catering and place your order!
For my part, you are invited to join me and feast with this meal. As a matter or fact, it is supposed to taste better when served in a large dish and shared with family and friends as you can see in our Food Around the World article.
Don’t forget to eat it with your hands – wash them first please!
To recap, here is what we used in the recipe –
(for 10 people):
- 2 kg of jasmine broken rice
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 cup of tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. of paprika – optional
- 4 – 2 inch pcs of yet (mollusk) – optional
- 2 – 2 inch pieces of guedj (dried fish)
- 1 large onion
- 8 cups of water
- 12 pcs of grouper fish (thiof)
- 1 yam cut in 4 inch pieces
- 1 dozen pieces of okra
- 1 bell pepper
- 2 small cabbages
- 2 small aubergines
- 4 carrots
- 1 peeled and sliced cassavas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion
- 1 bell pepper
Good to know:
You want to plan at least 3 hours to cook this from scratch.
In my house, we usually make lots and freeze in batches. That way if you get a midnight craving or want more next week, it’s there waiting to be heated and eaten right away.
Enjoyed this article?
We are also happy to hear your own personal tips on making the best Jollof rice your way; just use the comments section below.