"There's rice at home."
It's no exaggeration to say that regardless of age, region or class, rice is Nigeria's number one staple food item. This got us thinking in the newsroom, and we decided to do some Google search analysis and found some interesting trends.
Jollof rice vs fried rice
If you go by the rice wars on Twitter, jollof rice seems to be in the lead. However, Google search trends tell a different story.
The chart below shows fried rice has stayed ahead of jollof rice over the last five years, suggesting that fried rice is in the lead. But this doesn't necessarily mean Nigerians prefer fried rice. The most likely explanation is that more people rely on the internet to make fried rice due to its more complicated recipe.
Another interesting trend is the peak every Christmas. Both dishes, especially fried rice, reach their maximum interest levels in December. No awards for guessing the best time to enter the rice business.
Interestingly there was also a spike last month around easter. This is in line with how COVID-19 has led to more home cooking than usual.
Note: A score of 100 denotes the highest point of interest over the selected period.
Top related queries
We decided to get more insight into what exactly people are searching for in relation to fried rice and jollof rice. Advice on how to cook the meals was the main topic. Obviously, "party jollof" made the cut. On the fried rice side, some people attempted Chinese fried rice.
Cheapest region to prepare a meal?
We then decided to answer the question of where one can make the cheapest pot of jollof rice and chicken. For this, we went to the National Bureau of Statistics and calculated the average cost across Nigeria's regions.
Ingredients include local loose rice (4 cups), frozen chicken (500g), Vegetable oil (4 tablespoons), Onions (6 pieces) and Fresh tomatoes (8 pieces).
For individual states, Plateau and Akwa Ibom were the most expensive at ₦4,371 and ₦3,831, whereas the cheapest states were Kano (₦2,668) and Taraba (₦2,684).
Follow our data journalist on Twitter @_aniekan_