Nigerian food and food recipes are one of a kind you can never afford to overlook. As we don’t lack a dish representing at least one ethnic group in Nigeria, so also do we have some delicacies that unite the whole groups. One of such is the Nigerian Jollof Rice. Jollof rice is a dominant name among African dishes. Any country can prepare their own kind of jollof rice using ingredients best known to their environment, but the Nigerian Jollof rice is one unique dish that is always talked of by any one from any part of the world who happens to eat it.
Now there are two different kinds of Jollof rice – the party jollof rice and the normal jollof rice that is usually prepared in every home. The major difference between the two is that the party rice is usually over spiced with lots of condiments to look colorful and tasty. But the normal jollof rice we have at home is moderately spiced and of course quite tasty as well. People do argue that the best reason why the party rice is always preferred lies in its smoky aroma accumulated during the process of cooking it with firewood. Though they may not be far from the truth, jollof rice can as well be prepared at home and under any kind of fire. Nigerian jollof rice is accepted all over the world and the ingredient used can be found in all parts of the world. These ingredients include:
- Precooked long grain rice
- Tomato paste
- A few fresh Tomatoes
- Red bell pepper (tatashe)
- Scotch bonnets peppers (atarodo)
- Vegetable oil
- Meat or Chicken
- Onion (Sliced)
- Thyme and curry
- Seasoning cubes
- Cloves of Garlic
Before the cooking proper, there are important things you need to put in place. If you will use chicken or beef or any other kind of meat then you must wash and cut it into pieces. Add thyme, seasoning cubes, salt, garlic and chopped onion bulbs. The cooking time depends on the type of meat you choose to use but it is important you allow your meat to boil until it is soft and tender. You need to also wash and parboil your rice for about 10 minutes to reduce excess starch then drain it in a sieve. Blend your fresh tomatoes, red bell pepper and scotch bonnet pepper together until its roughly smooth. You can fry or grill your meat depending on your choice. Get your cooking pot ready.
Cooking your Jollof Rice
Before you start cooking, it is very important for you to be conscious of the quantity of oil you add for your jollof rice. Apparently, Jollof rice requires a little vegetable oil for it to dry properly without burning. Bearing that in mind…
Step One: Add your vegetable oil and allow to heat a little, add your chopped onion and allow to fry until it becomes translucent. Add your blended tomatoes to your already frying onions and allow to fry for a while, add your tomato paste and a small quantity of thyme and curry.
Step Two: In your already tomato stew, pour your meat or chicken stock, add a little cups of water that will be enough to cook the rice, add your seasoning cubes salt to taste then stir and taste the whole sauce to check if any ingredient is lacking, allow to boil for about 10 minutes.
Step Three: Get your drained rice gradually poured into your source and mix it together with the sauce until the sauce is evenly mixed with the rice. Also make sure the sauce in the pot is at the same level as the rice in the pot… occasionally add water if the rice is not soft. Cover the pot and leave the rice to cook on low to medium heat. High heat will burn the rice before it is well cooked. Allow the rice to dry properly and remain grainy not mashed. You can also garnish your jollof rice with green pepper and carrot. You can as well serve your jollof rice with the fried meat, plantain or vegetable salad and maybe a bottle of your favorite drink. Bon apetit …!