Iconic, unifying and often the topic of heated debate, Jollof Rice is a dish whose roots can be traced throughout the West African region.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with the dish, Jollof Rice’s flavors are the root of some of the Caribbean’s and Southern United States’ most emblematic dishes, such as “Spanish” rice and jambalaya.
Jollof Rice is known for its flavorful combination of bell pepper, tomatoes and herbs like thyme and bay leaf, all layered on top of the West African holy trinity — ginger, garlic and chili. It’s a hearty rice dish that's nourishing enough to be eaten alone or as an accompaniment to roasted or braised meats, fried plantains or seasoned and crisped tofu.
For this blend, we collaborated with Abena Foli, food scientist, spice blender extraordinaire and owner of POKS Spices, to develop this one-of-a-kind spice mix that showcases the rich traditions of Jollof Rice in an easy-to-use format
We'll hand it over to Abena to share more:
"This blend has sweet paprika for the tatashe (red bell pepper) typical of Nigerian and Cameroonian Jollof Rice, tomato powder for the tomato-heavy notes typical of Ghanaian and Ivorian Jollof Rice, herbs (bay leaves and thyme) for the Senegalese and Gambian influences as the originators of the Jollof rice recipe, and of course it would not be complete without the West African holy trinity of spices — chili pepper (Cobanero chili), ginger and an allium (garlic).
The West African region is often left off conversations in the culinary world, but West African foods boast bold, colorful flavors that have directly impacted cuisines in the Caribbean and Southern United States. As we developed this blend, we mixed flavors that transcend the borders of West African countries."
ABOUT POKS SPICES
Abena Foli grew up in Ghana with a vegetable farmer father and a cocoa farmer grandfather. Her father taught her how to cook and blend the West African holy trinity. After moving to the US while working in the food industry, Abena noticed a lack of West African originated products in mainstream food retail stores. In the winter of 2015, she leveraged her food science background and West African heritage to develop the first prototypes of POKS Spices West African Seasonings. That prototype was a hit at a white elephant gift exchange event, and it led to the launch of two products in the summer of 2016. POKS' spice blends have won multiple awards.
Learn more at poksspices.com