Jollof rice is one of the most popular dish in Nigeria. Infact, this party delicacy needs no introduction. I present to you recipe for achieving the perfect Nigerian party jollof rice.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
INGREDIENTS ( Serves 6)
5 cups of easy cook rice (standard measuring cup)
3 scotch bonnet/habanero (ata rodo)
1 bell pepper (tatashe)
1 400g tin plum tomatoes
1 brown onion
1 red onion
2 fresh tomatoes
40-50g tomato puree
1/2 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
1 table spoon butter
1 tablespoon Curry powder
1 tablespoon Dried thyme
1 teaspoon White pepper
4 maggi cubes (or any stock cube of choice)
Chicken or beef stock
1) Blend the scotch bonnet, bell pepper, plum tomatoes and red onion. This should give you a rich red colour and about 800ml in content.
Note: If you don’t take spicy food please reduce the quantity of the scotch bonnet.
2) Boil the blended pepper to reduce the water content.
3) Slice the brown onion and the fresh tomatoes and set aside.
4) Wash the rice thoroughly and also set this aside. No need to parboil.
5) Now set on the cooker the pot for cooking.
Tip: One of the secret of getting a good result for party Jollof rice is by using aluminium pot. Remember the iya alases (cooks) use ikoko irin/adogan which is heavy duty aluminium pot for party cooking. Avoid non stick as the burnt part will lift with the rice and not stick to the pot thereby not achieve the smoky flavour popular with party jollof rice.
6) Heat the vegetable oil in a pot for few minutes and add the boiled blended peppers. Let this fry finely then add the stock cubes, curry powder, dried thyme,white pepper and butter. Also add half of the sliced brown onions, half of the sliced fresh tomatoes and the tomato purée.
Notice how I didn’t overload this recipe with spices? I never overload food with spices even for events catering and trust me my food ends up tasting amazing. I know that from feedbacks 🙂
7) After adding the tomato puree the mixture will change colour to a darker and richer colour and the sauce becomes thicker. Leave to fry for another 5minutes and then add the chicken or beef stock.
8) Add 2.5 cups of water and let it boil. It is important you do not add too much water as doing this will make your jollof rice soggy.
9) When this boils, add the already washed rice. The water level should be a little bit above the rice. Cover with foil before covering with the pot lid and cooking on low heat.
The foil help locks in the steam and low heat ensures the rice doesn’t burn fast.
10) After about 15 minutes open the pot of rice. At this stage, the rice should be almost cooked and you will see some of the stew nicely settled on the rice. Use a spoon to turn this with the rice while taking care not to get to the very bottom of the pot with the spoon.
11) When you’ve done this, it’s now time to add the remaining sliced onions and tomatoes. I grew up seeing the iya alases and my mum doing this. I reckon it’s done because of the appeal it gives when looking at the jollof rice like most garnishing. If you’d prefer you can add sliced mixed peppers or vegetables at this stage.
*Cover the pot and leave for another 5minutes.
12) Open the pot and turn the rice with spoon. The rice would have burnt a little. That’s perfectly ok . Afterall, trademark of Nigerian party jollof rice is the burnt smokey flavour😄. Infact it’s best to let it burn to acheive the smokey flavour.
Set the pot down and leave the lid partially open for 2 minutes.
There you have it! Your very tasty, no sogginess, beautifully coloured party jollof rice.
You can serve with sides such as plantain or salad. Enjoy!