We know where that where three or more Nigerians are gathered for Owambe, one thing is sure: Jollof Rice is making the rounds.
But who even invented Jollof Rice?
Sources say it was invented by a Senegalese woman names Penda Mbaye. She used rice as a replacement for barley.
She was a woman from the Wolof People. In their language, it’s called Benachin, for ‘one pot’.
Can we please have a moment of gratitude to big Aunty Penda?
But to the big quesion; Why do you Nigerians get so emotional about Jollof Rice?
Aunty Penda’s spirit instructed us to gather every ingredient that has ever been part of the Nigerian Jollof Rice experience.
We checked every recipe, every discussion, every family secret available, and this is what we found;
Rice, red onions, stock cubes, bell pepper (tatashe), tomato, green peas, fish, firewood, vegetable oil, thyme, salt, spring onions, curry, nutmeg, ginger, bay leaves, palm oil.
Scotch bonnet pepper (atarodo), water, crayfish, garlic, white pepper, green bell pepper, broth, plantain, salad, turkey, carrot, moin moin, butter, paprika, locust beans (iru), coconut milk, and green beans.
You know how many ingredients we found? 36. Guess which country has 36 states?
That’s not even the best part. All these ingredients come together in the Federal Capital Territory.
Might just be a coincidence, but maybe, just maybe it’s a sign.
One thing we do know is that whether you’re happy,
No matter your tribe, or social class. We can all agree, that if we must begin this conversation about “One Nigeria”, we must first meet at the table, and the table must have the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the alpha and omega. Jollof Rice.