How do I make the perfect Jollof Rice?
Are you expecting a recipe? I have none. I do have a few tips I don’t mind sharing.
Cook for at least 4 people. Invite your friends/family. Or invite the strangers that you met at the bus-stop the last time it rained so heavy, you got to work at noon. Do you remember? You exchanged numbers with the guy and his sister and eventually hitched a ride with them when her fiance came to pick them. You’ve never gotten around to calling her. You should.
Blend a lot of onions into the tomatoes, don’t use tinned tomato puree. Add a quarter of a ginger root. Monitor the water, add it a little at a time.
Pretend you’re on a cooking show. Maybe Maggi Kitchen ( is that show still on air?) or Shokoyokoto. Say each step to yourself out loud. “Now, I’m adding a dash of Cameroon pepper.” It’s a lot of fun and no, it doesn’t make you look crazy. Everyone does it, they just don’t admit it.
Add crayfish liberally. Use thyme and curry sparingly.
Play music. Play Shakira as you slice the onions and imagine that you’re in the La Tortura video. No, do not drag yourself face-up on the countertop.
At the very end, add the carrots & green peppers you’ve sliced julienne. Add a bay-leaf for good luck. Be sure to take it out when your guests arrive.
Serve with a smile.
When the brother compliments the Jollof rice, and offers to reciprocate your gesture by cooking you his world-famous Indomie noodles, accept with a laugh. Pretend not to notice his sister and her fiance chuckling 🙂