Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe and Tips
Jollof rice is known to be a popular one-pot rice dish from West African countries.These are counties such as: Nigeria, Ghana, Senagal, Sierra Leone,Liberia, Côte d’ivore, Togo ,Mali, Liberia etc …The argument over which country makes the best jollof rice is never ending. Today’s recipe and tips lean towards the Nigerian way of doing it as Nigerians are known for their jaw dropping jollof 😉
- Vegetable oil (to oil pot)
- 3 Red Bell Peppers
- 4 fresh tomatoes
- 2 scotch bonnets (these are VERY spicy so I only use 1)
- 1/4 of fresh ginger
- 5 red onions
- 4 cups of rice (the type of rice used is important and i will tell you why further down)
- 105g tomato purée
- 1 1/2 Tbsp salt (it seems like a lot but its just enough 😉
- 4 chicken stock cubes (if decide to make chicken you can use that stock from that)
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
The method is pretty simple and if you apply some of the tips suggested your jolly rice will most certainly be fail proof!
- Take one of the red onions and slice it. This onion will be used differently to the others, therefore, after slicing it leave it on the side fro late use.
- Wash and Cut all your red bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, scotch bonnet ( I only use 1 or 1 1/2 because it can be very spicy!), fresh ginger and the 4 remaining red onions. Place all of this into a blender with 1 cup of water (tap water is fine)
- Blend all together until it forms a paste (this is your jollof rice paste)
- Place a pot over a medium-low heat stove and use your vegetable oil to oil the bottom of them pan (generously)
- Once the oil has warmed up place the onion you sliced in ‘step 1’ and after 1-2 minutes add the 105g of tomato purée into the pot. Stir REGULARLY to ensure the purée doesn’t burn. Do this from 1-2 minutes.
- If you are using 4 cups of rice your will need 4 cups of the jolly paste you have blended. Keep this ratio in mind whenever you want to increase or decrease the portion (x cups of rice: x cups of jollof paste) I use 4 cups of rice : 4 cups of jollof paste. Therefore for this step add 4 cups of paste into the pot with your 3 bay leaves and stir. Close the lid and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes.
The Type of Rice:
7. Whilst your sauce is simmering your can use this time to wash your rice. I recommend using ‘Tolly boy easy cook long grain rice.’ Place 4 cups of your rice into a bowl and wash under water until the becomes clear. Once your rice is washed leave it on the side for later use.
8.After the 5 minutes has passed go back to your pot and add your spices. This time you will had you chicken seasoning cubes or your chicken stock, your current powder your dried thyme and your salt. IF you do not have your own chicken stock I suggest adding your spices into a bowl first and to that bowl add around 4 tbsp of water to make it more liquid then add this mixture to your simmering pot.
9.Stir the spices in and close the lid to let the mixture simmer for a further 10 minutes. Make sure your stove is on medium-low heat. (For example: if the highest setting on your stove is six put it on 2)
10.Once the 10 minutes has passed add 4 cups of your washed, easy cook long grain rice. Mix the rice into the paste well. Make sure the rice is slightly below the liquid if it isn’t add a little water (up to a cup of water) to make sure the the water is above the rice(this is like cooking normal rice)
IMPORTANT TIP: Ensure there is not too much water as this will make your rice soggy and we do not want soggy rice. Therefore, if you decide to add more water make sure it is slightly just slightly above the rice.
11. Now, keeping the stove on medium-low, place foil over the pot and let the rice cook completely. The rice is cooked once all the liquid is gone. The timing of this step depends on how watery your paste is. Therefore, check the rice regularly I would say 10 minute intervals, to make sure your rice is not burning
12. Once you notice the rice has nearly finished cooking remove the foil and let it cook without the lid on.
Here it is! A Jollof rice recipe that will please you and impress your family and friends. With this rice, fried plantains are often served as well as chicken stew which you can make using the leftover jollof paste. These two things really add that extra goodness that will leave people wanting more 😉 !