Jollof rice, also known as Benachin, is one of the most popular dishes in many West African countries. It is mainly a one-pot dish that can include many ingredients all together, and it is also served in gatherings and weddings due to its national popularity among the West African people. It is known to be consumed in in many regions in West Africa including Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Togo, and Cameroon. The dish has now become an international meal that is served in many countries out of Africa. Below is the most popular recipe for the famous Ghanaian jollof rice.
Ghanaian Jollof Rice
The meal is really authentic, as its name originally comes from the word Wolof, which refers to the ethnic group of the Wolof people who live in the regions of Senegal, South Mauritania, and the Gambia. The dish has become one of the most popular and known African dishes outside Africa. It can be served with different ingredients according to anyone’s popular taste.
Jollof rice was mainly prepared with beef or lamb, but many people now serve it with chicken, turkey or mixed vegetables. The Ghanaian jollof rice recipe is also easy to prepare, as it is a one-pot dish after all. There used to be a long debate about the geographical origin of the dish, whether it comes originally from Ghana or from Nigeria, as it is very popular and common in both countries, but the debate now is more about which variant tastes better. There are even many organized TV shows in which the dish is prepared in both ways, where critics from different other countries taste both variants of the dish, examine the differences, and say their overall judgments on either form of the dish. The main ingredients of the dish are rice and tomatoes, as it can also be served with fish sometimes on coastal cities in Nigeria and Ghana. Therefore, the main nutrients of the dish are carbohydrates and protein. The carbohydrates in the Jollof rice are primarily from the rice, and the protein is from the meat, chicken, fish, or turkey. The tomatoes also provide the dish with a considerable amount of useful minerals and vitamins.
Ghanaian Jollof Rice Ingredients
The main ingredients of the dish are rice, tomatoes, and onions. The rest of the ingredients can vary greatly according to everyone’s taste. For example, vegetarians prefer to have the dish with mixed vegetables and without any meat products, while many other people prefer to have the dish with meat, chicken, turkey, or fish. Below are the ingredients of the most traditional Ghana jollof rice that is served with Goat meat.
- 6 large tomatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic (you can add more according to your choice)
- 4 large onions
- 4 cups (800 grams) of basmati rice (long grain rice)
- 2 chilies (optional, you can add more according to your choice)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 4 spoons of vegetable oil
- 500 grams of goat meat
- Salt and ground black pepper (according to taste)
- 1.5 liters of water or stock (you can also add one stock cube for a better seasoning)
How to Cook Ghanaian Jollof Rice
The ingredients of the Ghana jollof rice recipe can differ slightly from one way to another and the differences are mainly when it comes to the choice of protein in the meal. Thus, the way of preparation of the dish is very important to cook a delicious and an authentic Ghanaian jollof rice.
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Preparation of Ghana Jollof Rice:
- At the beginning, you have to prepare the meat and the stock. Heat 1.8 liters of water in a large pot with half an onion and some black pepper, and then add the goat meat to it after the water starts boiling. Cover the pot with a lid and keep it boiling on low heat for about 40-60 minutes until the meat gets soft, as it will still be cooked again with the rice.
- It is very important not to add salt to the meat while it is cooked, otherwise, it will take a long time to get cooked.
- While the meat is cooking, cut the tomatoes into big cubes and blend then using a blender, cut the garlic cloves into halves and press them, and then slice the rest of the onions into medium pieces.
- In a non-stick pot, add the vegetable oil and heat it for 1-2 minutes. Then add the precooked meat to the oil and fry it until it becomes brown. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
- Add the onions to the same pot where you fried the meat, and fry them until they become soft. Add the garlic cloves and fry all together with the onions for one more minute while stirring continuously, and then add the blended tomatoes.
- You can add some vegetables of your choice like sliced cabbage or carrots, but make sure to fry them with the onions.
- Add the meat stock, the stock cube, salt, black pepper, the chilies, the tomato paste, and stir them all together. You should pay attention to the seasoning, as the rice will be cooked later in this mix.
- Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the mix starts boiling, and then add the rice and the meat to the pot. Stir all of them together well before you cover the pot, and then cook on a low heat for 20-30 minutes.
- It is very important to cook the rice on low heat and to cover the pot in which it is cooked.
- Make sure that the surface of the sauce in which the rice is cooked is about two centimeters above the rice.
- Taste the rice after 20 minutes, and check whether it needs more water or salt. Add half or one cup of boiling water if needed.