Senegal wins jollof contest

Author: Lydia Ezit
• The award-winning plate of  Senegalese jollof
• The award-winning plate of Senegalese jollof

There has always been a debate as to which West African country makes the best jollof but 3FM’s jollof war contest somehow settled the argument on Republic Day holiday as Senegal emerged winner.

Contesting against Nigeria and Ghana, Senegal did not only prove that indeed jollof originated from that country. In a pop-up kitichen on the premises of TV3, Ms Ayah Nicole, representing Senegal, also cooked with ingredients that Ghanaians would usually not add to jollof preparation.


Unlike the other contestants’ usual fresh tomato, onion, ginger, meat and tomato paste recipe, Ms Nicole added ingredients like cassava boiled with carrot and tamarind mixed separately with lemon, salt and pepper, thus creating a spicy dish.

“That approach is exclusive to the Gambia and Senegal. The important thing about the recipe is that you cook all the ingedients together in a big pot. You then wash the rice but leave it in water for about 15 minutes to soak well before adding to the sauce,” Ms Nicole said.

Senegal at the end of the competition came first with 310 points.  Ghana scored 290 to beat age-old rival, Nigeria, that scored 280 points. Each country was represented by one chef and they were presented with prizes from sponsors who included ONGA, Verna Mineral Water and Leap Tomato Paste.

Judges for the contest were from Jamaica and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Event Brand Manager for 3FM,  Mr Ken Nana Kojo Addo,  told Daily Graphic jollof was one of West Africa’s wonderful contributions to the culinary arts of the world which had generated a lot of argument about its origin.

He said the ‘jollof war’ would be an annual event aimed at celebrating the cultural and culinary diversity of Africa.

He said other African countries would be added in subsequent editions to enable them to introduce their own versions of jollof.

Audience at the contest were treated to some live performances from Adina, Eshun and some reggae dancehall artistes who passed through.