Breakfast Jollof: Crazy or Genius? We Tried It So You Don't Have To!

Forget boring bowls of cereal and predictable pancakes.

  • written by Joy Onu
  • 4 min read
  • 19 Mar, 2024

In the era of bold flavors in Nigeria, a new breakfast trend is spicing things up: Breakfast Jollof. Yes, you read that right. The savory, tomato-rich rice dish traditionally enjoyed for lunch or dinner is making its way to the morning table. But is it a breakfast win or a culinary crime? We ventured into uncharted Nigerian territory to find out, just so no one looks at you crazy when you say you had Jollof for breakfast! You’re welcome.

The Jollof Debate:

Jollof rice, a national treasure in Nigeria (and a source of friendly competition with our frenemies, Ghana!), is known for its vibrant red color, smoky depth, and fluffy texture. Traditionally made with tomatoes, peppers, onions, spices, and your choice of protein (think chicken, fish, or even beans), it's a hearty and flavorful dish. But is it breakfast material? 

A lot of people would argue that it’s not, in fact, growing up, if it’s not at a birthday party or Sunday lunch, and in some rare cases leftovers, then forget about it. 

The Breakfast Jollof Experiment

It’s really not rocket science, if you really think about it, there’s no rule against unconventional breakfast ideas, sometimes just throwing caution into the wind, so we decided to put this breakfast revolution to the test. Here's what went down:

The Recipe Remix: We opted for a classic Jollof recipe but toned down the spice level a touch, keeping it kid-friendly (or perfect for those who like things milder in the morning). If you’re here, surely you know how to make Jollof rice already, so find the easiest, hassle-free recipe you can get your hands on, and voila! 

To give it that breakfast-esque feel, you can adjust the spice level, add other breakfast proteins like sausage or bacon, or even throw in some chopped vegetables for an extra nutritional boost.

The Protein Power-Up:  This Jollof breakfast formula is a personal favorite, let’s call it the breakfast protein. We scrambled some eggs and folded them into the finished Jollof rice. Scrambled eggs are a breakfast staple in Nigeria, so it felt like a natural fit. Plus who doesn’t love a good egg and rice combo? With the addition of scrambled eggs, Breakfast Jollof packs a protein punch, keeping you feeling full and energized until lunchtime.

The Sweet & Savory Twist: Jollof offers a welcome departure from the usual sweet breakfast options. It's perfect for those who crave something more exciting to start their day. For our next trick, we’ll add a touch of breakfast familiarity. We served the Jollof with a side of sliced fresh pineapple. The sweetness and acidity of the pineapple beautifully balanced the savory, tomatoey flavors, and in our opinion, that’s simply perfection. 

Our Verdict: Breakfast Jollof - (Mind. Blown.)

Okay, here's the honest truth: Breakfast Jollof is a game-changer, but it can still feel a bit odd if it's not something you’re used to. The combination of fluffy rice, savory tomato tones, and creamy scrambled eggs was surprisingly delightful, and the sweetness of the pineapple provided a refreshing bubbly contrast.

However, here’s a head up. it's not for everyone: Even with a toned-down spice level, Jollof still has a kick. If you're sensitive to heat or you have a long day ahead, this might not be your cup of tea (or bowl of Jollof).

Plus, unless you're a die-hard Jollof fan, a whole plate for breakfast might be a bit much. Consider making a smaller batch or using leftover Jollof from dinner the night before.

At the end of the day, Breakfast Jollof is a bold yet delicious breakfast option that challenges the status quo.  It's a great way to add some excitement to your morning routine and experience a taste of that Nigerian culinary vibe. So, next time you're craving something different, give Breakfast Jollof a try. You might just surprise yourself!  

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