Jollof Rice (Nigerian Style)

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Last year the social media space was agog with the #jollofgate saga, thanks to the jollof rice recipe by Jamie Oliver,  which many West Africans (esp Nigerians) thought was a sacrilege. I read the most hilarious comments about food ever. People take their food seriously I tell you.  I sided with Jamie on the recipe because he was spot on with the basic ingredients and he had stated that it was his TWIST to jollof rice. I have had the privilege / misfortune to have jollof rice from other West African regions asides Nigeria and Ghana, and I would say never again! Most people who called for his head on a platter mostly had problems with the plating of the food. In support of #JollofGate I made this jollof rice which had mushrooms, broccoli, purple cabbage…. and the ingredients included paprika,  cinnamon,  turmeric and a host more. 

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Now the dust is completely settled I’m doing a post on Jollof rice , no fuss, no gimmicks!
Recipe

Ingredients

* all measurements in the post refer to standard measuring cups and spoons.

•   2 1/2 Long grain Rice

•    2 cups pre cooked pepper mix (tomatoes + jalapeños + scotch bonnet, ratio 5:1:1)

•    1/4 Tomato Paste

•    1 Cup Chicken or Beef Stock

•    2 bay Leaf

•    1 1/2 Tablespoons Curry powder

•    1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme

•    Salt to taste

•    2 or more Bouillon Cubes (These days I use MSG free seasonings )

•    1/2 Cup Vegetable oil

•    2 Onions

•     *4 cloves of garlic (optional)

•     Chopped mixed vegetables  (optional)

•    Plum or Cherry tomatoes

My tips for great jollof rice,

 1. A rich beef or chicken stock,

 2. Good Tomato base (Ground tomatoes+peppers+Onions & Tomato Paste)


Below I’d share how I make my beef stock and the ratio for my Tomato base. 

I doubled the ingredients in recipe here so I had 4 cups of freshly blended pepper, 1/2 Cup tomato paste. Cook the mix till it done.


This is how I make my rich beef or chicken stock. 

Celery + Carrot + Onions (Mirepoix in french). I always have smoked fish (see my mum has a fish farm and they roast a lot fish for sale) most times I save the head of the fish so as to use in cooking my meats. Most times I add only salt to this other times I may just add seasoning .  These days I’m embracing MSG free seasonings so I favour Adobo Seasoning. 

Add a little water (when my meat is fresh I mostly don’t add water except it is necessary, when it is frozen I add water to help it thaw faster) 

Cook your meats till tender and strain the stock from the meat.


Procedure

–  Wash Rice with clean water until the water is clear and set aside.

–    In a clean pot, heat up vegetable oil, chop one onion and fry with bay leaf till the onions are slightly tender and add the pepper mix , tomato paste, stock, curry, thyme, taste after adding stock before you add the bouillon cubes, and salt, so as not to over season or salt it.

–    Allow the pepper to fry  a little then add 750 ml of water and pour in the rice

Curry powder, dried thyme, garlic, tomato stock with bay leaf.

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–    Cook till the rice is tender. If the rice seems to be slightly hard and most of the water has evaporated, turn down the heat, and cover the rice with a *plastic  bag* moinmoin leaves or banana leaves, and cover with pot lid, this would trap the heat and cook the rice  through without leaving you with soggy rice.

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There is a potential health risk to using a plastic bag to cover your cooking rice. Heat interferes with the chemical components in the plastic bag to cause a reaction with your food. Please use leaves instead.
It is safer and healthier to use leaves to trap the steam in your rice instead of using plastic.


* Jollof rice may burn whilst cooking , it is perfectly okay, I know people who live for the burnt bits. 

* You have to use a wooden spoon or ladle to stir the rice in thoroughly so the colouration can be even 

–     Slice onions and plum tomatoes (i used cherry tomatoes) and stir into cooked rice when it is done. 

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I used plum tomatoes when I made this.

–    If you are adding chopped  vegetables stir it in now.

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Jollof rice is not complete without fried  plantain. At most Nigerian parties,  it is served along  with fried rice and moinmoin.

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3 thoughts on “Jollof Rice (Nigerian Style)

  1. chioma Egbuniwe May 6, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Pls wich one is jalapenous,scotch bonnet n bay leaves

    Like

  2. chioma Egbuniwe May 6, 2015 / 8:24 am

    Interesting.bt pls wat is jalapenous,scotch pepper and bay leaves

    Like

    • Ounje May 6, 2015 / 8:41 am

      Jalapeños is your tatashe and scotch bonnet is ata rodo. Bay leaf is bay leaf

      Like

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