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Agidi Jollof

There are times some things just come to your head, you start wondering where they came from. How can one explain my laughing like a mad man in the bathroom and all I had in my mind was “Agidi Jollof”. Oke; I know I heard some people in the Presidency were gossiping about me that I like food too much. Yes oh, Presidency. That’s where my name has been mentioned! It had to do with that Jollof rice controversy. Nigerian Jollof rice remains the best in the whole world and I stand by it.
But today is not about Jollof rice but “Agidi Jollof”. If you know, you know! And if you do not know, then you need to know. Agidi Jollof in its most literal explanation is corn meal in a cake form with some oil and other ingredients to bring it to spec. Let me start with explaining Agidi before going to Agidi Jollof since that will make it easier.
You see, while growing up, Agidi was one of the delicacies we looked forward to. It was definitely for the evenings in my house. These days you find it everywhere and everyday without any respect. Once the corn is ground and paste ready, it is poured on trays to cake and cool. Ofeakwu (Banga stew) was the favourite to down it with and you can never go wrong with it. The slicing of the white Agidi follows after it had cooled and the “ofeakwu” blesses it in beautiful robes. Dry fish and vegetables were the other decorations that bring out the beauty in the lady. 
But Agidi Jollof does not follow those house rules. It stands on its own and is treated specially. You cannot find Agidi Jollof disrespected on a bare tray “naked”. Mbanu; (no) not possible. Agidi Jollof comes already robed in “Akwukwo ilo” (leaf from a lily specie). It comes ready to eat! That is why we loved it so much in primary school. It comes cheap. You only need to undress its green gown and you are ready for heaven. Even the undressing has a protocol. If you look very well you will observe the flips and you have to follow the sequence to unravel the glory before you.
I don’t know for you, but for me the sweetest part of Agidi Jollof was always the “okpukpu” (bone) inside. For the records, if your “Agidi Jollof” has no “Okpukpu” inside, sorry, it must be fake. You can  as well ask for a refund. An Agidi Jollof without “okpukpu” is like Jollof rice without crayfish.
Interestingly, Agidi is still waxing strong these days even though I have not seen the Jollof around in the modern eateries or I may not have looked properly. The last I took notice of was the normal Agidi white. That one is available everywhere in the market and eateries and I am not surprised. Agidi Jollof is not on the same level with Agidi white and it takes extra effort to get it right. I suspect it will be available at “nkwo igbo” and I will be checking it out the next time I visit my village. I mean everything is available in that market; from Okpa to hot Akara to Moimoi, just name it!
For those of you planning to go home for Christmas, you already have your food agenda set before you. Your quest for Agidi Jollof starts right now.
Obidike Peter wrote from www.peterobidike.com and p_obidike@yahoo.com
Sunday 3rd November 2019

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