|Funke Koleosho's Jollof Rice|
I last posted a recipe on Jollof rice about two years ago and ever since, its been one of the most searched most popular posts on my blog! (Check out post here).
Jollof rice is popular and its popularity is forever growing. Jamie Oliver even has his own albeit controversial version of the traditional west African dish. (Read about Jollofgate here).
As you may expect, there are different variation of the dish and I usually am up for twists and turns added to the dish provided these would not take away from its true identity, the way West Africans eat and enjoy the dish...! (Read a little about the origin of Jollof Rice here)
I cook Jollof rice regularly, it is a staple in my household and I can say that each time I "twist and turn" experimenting with my ingredients. Some produce fabulous outcomes others don;pt bu it is all very exciting for me to keep changing and discovering new flavours.
Because Jollof rice is so popular on my blog, I decided to revise my recipe just to make the process of making the dish a little easier especially those who are totally new to West African Cuisine. This revised recipe is also guaranteed to produce a good outcome so feel encouraged to try it out...
What you need
- 2 cups (500g) easy cook rice (Soak rice for about 10-15 minutes and rinse to remove excess starch. This will also reduce stickiness when cooked.)
- 4 large plum tomatoes or 1 can of plum tomatoes
- 1 large sweet red pepper, remove stalk & seeds
- 1 scotch bonnet (yellow), remove stalk & seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme or two teaspoons of dried thyme
- A small piece of ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 cloves of garlic or 2 spoons of garlic powder
- 2 cups of good quality chicken stock
- 1 medium size onion
- 3 serving spoons of butter (not margarine)
- 1 serving spoon sunflower oil
- Dried parsley (to garnish)
- Salt to taste
- Some hot water
What to do
- Blend the tomatoes, pepper, scotch bonnet (if using) and onion in a liquidizer. If using fresh garlic and ginger, blend with the peppers otherwise add in the next step.
- Simultaneously, gently heat the oil in a large pot and add the thyme, garlic powder and curry powder. Allow the spices to infuse into the oil for about 2 minutes then pour the blend. Now add the chicken stock, one cup of hot water and bring to the boil. Also add the tomato paste and allow to boil for 3-5 minutes under high heat. Have a quick taste and check that the emerging sauce is balanced in taste.
- Note that the taste of the resulting rice is dependent on the taste of this sauce. If you like what the sauce tastes like then you will like the resulting Jollof rice..!
- Slowly introduce the washed rice, stir in, add just enough water to boil the rice and cook under high heat for about 2 minutes then turn heat down. Cover pot first with a sheet of foil paper and then with the pot lid. Allow to steam for about 10 minutes.
- Open pot and check if rice is cooked. Add more hot water if required to cook the rice till soft. (To avoid over coking the rice, add a little quantity at a time). When all water/moisture has evaporated, gently stir rice avoiding scraping the bottom of the pot. At this stage, check for salt and adjust accordingly. You may choose to add any of your preferred seasoning at this stage. Stir well to distribute seasoning, then taste again, (use more or less seasoning/salt depending on preference). Add the butter and stir in. Cover pot tight and simmer for a further 5 minutes to allow the flavours develop.
- Serve hot with some mixed veggies, fish or meat....