Nigerian jollof rice, or “party jollof” is a one pot, tomato and pepper infused rice with a layer of crispy rice at the bottom. My recipe is vegan, packed with flavor, and Nigerian-partner approved!
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- Ready in 30 minutes. This recipe comes together in barely any time and it is so delicious, and hearty!
- Great for make-ahead meals. I typically make a huge batch and we tend to eat it with different curries and mains through the week. It also freezes excellently.
- Super simple to make substitutions. You don’t have a blender? No worries, just use canned marinara sauce and add some habanero sauce to it (blasphemous, but you gotta get by sometimes) Don’t want it spicy? Just take out the habanero. Works each time
This is an origin story close to my heart, because it truly speaks of the connection between West African cuisine and modern-day Southern “red” cuisine. It originated in modern day Senegal, from the Wollof people. As Portuguese trading posts were set up on the Senegal River Delta, tomatoes made their way to West Africa.
It’s commonly believed that a shortage of barley led a local cook to use rice, and modern-day jollof rice was born (called Benachin, aka, one pot). One school of thought suggests that the influence of jollof rice has been felt in the American South, where West African slaves from rice-growing regions introduced the “red rice” concept. Modern-day dishes like jambalaya and gumbo are believed to derive some influence from jollof rice!