Follow this simple recipe on how to make one of the worlds best tasting rice recipe. If you are from West Africa then this recipe needs no introduction. Jollof rice is a staple in most West African homes and parties with roots from Senegambia region of West Africa. An aromatic tomato base makes this flavour rich rice. Follow the recipe and let's get some jollof on your table!
Ingredients: This will make enough for 2 adults.
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped, set aside
2 scotch bonnet peppers (habanero peppers as they are sometimes called)
¼ cup of groundnut oil/vegetable oil or even coconut oil (the choice is yours)
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups of parboiled rice
2½ cups of chicken stock
1 tsp salt to taste
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
Water, as needed
Intensify the aromatic flavour with bay leaves.
Blend your tomatoes, red pepper, scotch bonnet peppers in a food processor or blender for about 45 seconds, make sure that everything is blended well.
In a medium sized pot, heat your oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated add the onions you set aside and fry just until they turn golden brown. Once the onions, have turned brown in color add the tomato paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add the blended tomato mixture (reserve about ¼ cup and set aside) and fry the mixture with the onions and tomato paste for about 30 minutes. Make sure you stir consistently so that the tomato mixture does not burn.
After 30 minutes, turn the heat down to medium, and add the chicken stock. Mix and add your seasonings (salt, curry powder, thyme, and the Maggi stock cube). Continue to boil for 10 minutes.
Add the parboiled rice** to the pot. Mix it very well with the tomato stew. At this point, if you need to add water so that the rice is level with the tomato mixture/chicken stock go ahead and do so. Add the bay leaves, cover the pot, and cook on medium to low heat for 15-30 minutes.
When the liquid has almost dried up add the remaining tomato stew**, cover, and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes heat until the liquid has completely dried up. Turn off the heat, mix thoroughly, and your Jollof Rice is ready to be eaten!
Notes **It is key to use parboiled rice so that you don't end up with mushy rice in the end. **When cooking the tomato stew, you can tell when it is done because the oil will rise to the top. Also, another way to tell that is done is when the bitter taste of the tomatoes has been cooked out. **The reason why you reserve ¼th of the tomato mixture and add it at the end is because we do not want the rice to burn. Also, it gives the rice that beautiful red color we all know and love.
Now simply enjoy your Jollof rice on its own or accompanied with assorted meat and salad.