Part 2: #Jollofgate – In Defense Of Our Traditions

Now the dust has settled :), we can explore more about Jollof Rice – both a short history and the recent #Jollofgate incident.


In the winter of 2010, I made Whole-wheat Argentine Empanadas. I served them with a fresh herb sauce, Chimichurri and got many pats on the back save for one comment – from an Argentine no less which gave me an education. For life.

It is fascinating to see how everything we feel about life is (reflected) on the plate.

Take Jollof Rice for instance– its popularity is assured offline and online as these twitter hashtags suggest – #JollofGang ,  #JollofIsLife,  #Jollofies,  #Jollofnation,  #Teamjollof and the most recent, most controversial  #Jollofgate.

Jollof Rice. Essential to our ‘culture’. So important that West Africans at home and in diaspora will take up arms to defend anything and everything about  it – its origin, preparation and by God, how it is served.

Nigerian Jollof StickRice Recipe

Last Christmas: Smoky Stick Jollof Rice

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Part 1: A Short History of Jollof Rice

Jollof, definitions
Noun. Verb.

  1. of a red, spiced rice dish loved in every city and town ‘South of the Sahara’ and along the coast of West Africa. Synonyms: Djolof, Benachim (Gambia); Thieboudienne (Senegal)
  1. to cook in a red, tomato-based sauce: ‘Jollof beans’ – a one pot dish of beans cooked in a rich tomato sauce. West African-speak.
  2. denoting a state of enjoyment: ‘see her, she’s jollofing’ (she’s enjoying herself and I’m not!). Nigerian-speak. Synonyms: enjoyment, pleasure



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Garden Egg Bake with Cheese & Sugo

And on and on and on – Part 2 of the Baked Garri-crusted Garden Eggs.

It involves a bake.

Ideally, I would have like this to feature the baked garden eggs, a spicy sauce and Wara, locally produced cheese.

Well, though I didn’t meet the ultimate test in my head, the end result was pretty awesome. So, I couldn’t find Wara but the Mozzarella I used created a luscious dish.


This is the Nigerian version of the Italian Eggplant Parmigiana (Eggplant Parmesan), using Nigerian Garden Eggs to create a three-component layered dish with Baked garden eggs, Sugo (tomato sauce) and Mozzarella Cheese.

Eggplant parmesan is one of those great Italian comfort foods—a layered casserole much like lasagna but with slices of globe eggplant taking the place of pasta; Elise, Simply Recipes

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Nigerian Small Chops: Baked Garri-crusted Garden Eggs

I am fascinated by how ideas come, how they’re created – so many elements, some seemingly random, yet they come together to test concepts, fuse thoughts and generally do something ‘new’. Like with garden eggs.

Garri-crusted Garden Eggs

Baked Garri-crusted Garden Eggs

I think I like the whole exploration, the journey, the process of building, of constructing, of putting together. I like that as much as I like seeing the end result.

This creation of garri-crusted garden eggs began months ago. And quite by accident. For my own learning, I’m going to chart the course.

Garri (also known as gari, garry, or tapioca) is a popular West African food made from cassava tubers.

The spelling ‘garri’ is mainly used in Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Benin, Togo and ‘gari’ in Ghana. 

Either spelling may be used in Nigeria.

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Quick & Easy: Ideas for Breakfast/ Part 2

Fruit. Fruit. Fruit.

In Part 1, I shared a few of my favourites which are largely carb-based.

In Part 2, I share my fruit-heavy breakfasts which tend to be fruit bowls and smoothies.

I had this fruitbowl and then I went to sleep - a combination of full and tired from the walk.  Fruit - guava - mangoes, going fast out of season - passionfruit - bananas - red, seedless grapes  Yogurt  Heaven  I especially love the combination of passion

Fruit: guava, mangoes, passionfruit, bananas, red, seedless grapes and Yogurt

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Quick & Easy: Ideas for Breakfast/ Part 1

I don’t joke with my food  – not breakfast, lunch or dinner. I have a fondness for breakfast for it sets me up for the rest of the day. Especially at the weekend when I can mess about and cook all sorts.

Here are a few quick and easy recipes, for hectic week mornings and leisurely weekend feasts – quick, easy and delicious.

In Part 1, I share a few of my favourites which are largely carb-based. In Part 2, I’ll share my fruit-heavy breakfasts. Stay tuned :).

Tip: Add fruits and nuts, yogurt or other dairy for substance.


Pancakes with sugar, cream and a strawberry salad

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The Art of The Savoury Salad


I love salads.

What a lame beginning.

I’m unsure of myself here. Today. On my own blog. I can’t believe its been three months since I was here last.

Sigh, life is happening even as we speak. And still, I love salads. And I’m here. Showing up on the page.

Talking about the wonders of savoury salads. Of colours and textures, of layers and flavours. And green and root vegetables.


Plantain Salad Imoyo: Boiled plantains, bell peppers, chilies, smoked chicken, herbs

I’m of the opinion that there is a general formula for salads and its always about balance – therein lies the art. About that combination of sweet and salty, spice and crunch. And heft sometimes, lightness – others. Of herbiness. And of a combination of a few of these.

I like how salads run the gamut – from  making me feel as though rivers run through my centre, to being comfort food.

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Lime Fever: 30 Things to do with Limes

mswanawana wrote on Instagram:

‘Its official. You are obsessed with limes. Get on with the lime and lemon grass cordial’


Zip. Zing. Zest.

Great with sweet – mangoes, ripe plantains, pawpaw, perfect with spice, like cardamom; herbs like mint and tang, like yogurt.

Nigerian dessert: Mango and Lime Dessert

Pushed and prodded by Miss Wana Wana on Instagram, I decided to share my favourite ways to make them bed and mouth fellow.

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Jollof Beans

I love stewed beans.

Or Jollof beans as we would call it in Nigeria.

Beans cooked in a tomato sauce. Except my sauce is more onions and peppers than tomatoes. But it still ends up with the Jollof ‘hue’, a cross between deep orange and red.


Today, I share my beloved recipe for ‘stewed’ beans: Brown beans pre-cooked, then finished in an oniony sauce, reddened with palm oil.

This bean dish can be cooked with white or brown beans. I prefer brown beans especially a variety known by the Yorubas as ‘Oloyin’, meaning honey. Of sweetness.


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Frejon: Of Nigerian And Brazilian History

Connectedness. The thing that fascinates me the most in life. If I had to narrow down the things I find fascinating. This would be one of them.

Connectedness – of people, places and things. Brazil. Nigeria. Connected. By slavery and freedom.

Frejon Recipe

Frejon, with Garri Ijebu & Flaked Croaker in a pepper sauce

In culture and cuisine. Like Carnivals. Connected, with thick tropical rainforests and love for football. Connected in cuisine. Some of which I’ve explored before, from Bean Fritters to Plantain salads.

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