The Crispy-Crusted Pot of Rice That Unites Us All

No matter how often or where I eat Jollof, it’ll always be considered owambe (”party”) food in my heart.

Since 2015, I’ve celebrated World Jollof Rice day every Aug. 22 with friends and (virtual) strangers. I’ve organized Jollof art installations and …

No matter how often or where I eat Jollof, it’ll always be considered owambe (”party”) food in my heart.

Since 2015, I’ve celebrated World Jollof Rice day every Aug. 22 with friends and (virtual) strangers. I’ve organized Jollof art installations and have even started a Jollof festival, one which now pulls in thousands of people each year. We're all united by a love of Jollof, or party rice, and the accidental (or intentional!) scorched layer at the bottom, which Nigerians call "bottom pot."

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The Scrappy Tomato Trick We’re Obsessed With This Summer

We’re officially into double digits of quarantine weeks, and tomatoes have been a faithful companion in my kitchen now more than ever. I use them in everything from Nigerian stew to Italian sugo, Gigi Hadid’s creamy tomato sauce using tomato paste, sal…

We’re officially into double digits of quarantine weeks, and tomatoes have been a faithful companion in my kitchen now more than ever. I use them in everything from Nigerian stew to Italian sugo, Gigi Hadid's creamy tomato sauce using tomato paste, salsa, and focaccia gardens, studded with sweet, halved heirloom tomatoes. Week in, week out, we've gone through fresh, canned, pureed, paste.

Often—for at least a few days, sometimes even a couple of weeks—we focus on one tomato sauce. When I say "we," I mean my three teenage children, who find the best recipes on TikTok, Instagram, and from watching Anime—and then co-opt me occasionally into cooking it for them.

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The Virtues of Canned Fruit Salad

Nearly eight years later, I can so vividly recall this one New York winter day: I’m with my older sister, Upe, who is in her final days of pregnancy. I’m here to hold her hand and antsy to cradle my nephew. And Esther, her sister-in-law has brought a F…

Nearly eight years later, I can so vividly recall this one New York winter day: I'm with my older sister, Upe, who is in her final days of pregnancy. I’m here to hold her hand and antsy to cradle my nephew. And Esther, her sister-in-law has brought a Filipino fruit salad for the occasion. One that stuns me with its texture, vibrancy, deliciousness, ease and most of all, how powerfully it transports me back to childhood.

Growing up, whenever there was a party at our house (and there were many), from birthdays to “meetings” to other reasons to gather and feast, huge bowls of fresh fruit, diced jelly, and evaporated milk would tailgate Jollof rice, dodo, and other savory delights. We’d enjoy the chilled, creamy fruit salad topped with globes of vanilla ice cream and slices of cream cake, a sundae of sorts.

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The Nigerian Fried Rice That Turned Me Into My Mother

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

I am my mother. In every line I speak, no, every word. Every sway of the hips. Every pot o…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


I am my mother. In every line I speak, no, every word. Every sway of the hips. Every pot of fried rice hurriedly spooned into red Freezinhot coolers with flower motifs, full of blackened pieces of beef—not burnt, just colored by hot oil—and chicken, fried in groundnut oil so the fragrance of freshly roasted peanuts lingers sweet. Every bottle of Limca and Goldspot packed into a yellow Thermocool cooler, and every packet of apple or orange Capri Sonne. Growing up, I thought her ‘wahala’—her penchant for fussing and worrying was too much. I didn’t know what it meant then, to be responsible for children.

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