I believe that “Jollof Rice” is the most known African dish. Hell, Jollof rice has, its own hashtag #jollofrice. You should check it on Instagram, they have killer jokes. Why do Nigerian claim Jollof rice? Jollof rice is consumed throughout the region including Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Cameroon, Mali and Ghana. And guess what? I talked to a lot of people and I noticed that a lot of other country has a version of the jollof rice.
“Riz au Gras”, “Red Rice” or “Jollof rice” the cousin of “theibou dienn” Look at the recipe and tell me how it’s called in your country.
Jollof rice is basically rice cooked in tomato sauce. You can add meat or serve with a side of meat.
The choice of the meat
You can use seafood, fish and (meat or poultry). For example you can use shrimp, tilapia or chicken, like I did in this recipe. Because I don’t want the rice to be saturated I’m going to serve the fish and chicken on the side. But I still want their flavor to elevate my rice so I cooked them in the same tomato sauce. Also the shrimp has a short cooking time, I will add it right before I add the rice. All you need to know is the cooking time of your fish, seafood, poultry and or meat. To avoid any surprises, you can cook it on the side and mix it at the end.
The choice of the rice
You can use the rice of your choice: Jasmine, Brown Rice, Basmati Rice… Personally is use the Goya Jasmine because it’s the closest rice I found to the one we use back home. White jasmine rice is white, has a jasmine aroma and, when cooked, a slightly sticky texture. The white jasmine rice is a long-grain variety of fragrant rice (also known as aromatic rice).
The choice of vegetable
Every vegetable is fair game: Asparagus, green Beans, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, celery, Corn, Eggplant, Courgette, Kale, Okra, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Spinach, Squash & Zucchini, Sweet Potato, and Tomatoes. It’s great because it’s an easy way to make your kids eat veggies.
Commonly use: green beans, bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, onion, tomato, peas and potatoes.
I use frozen mixed veggies
Canned Tomato paste Vs Red Bell Pepper
I think people use canned tomato paste to get that red color. Guess what, you can get that color with some pure red bell pepper. And the red bell pepper resolve more than one problem. They are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red Bell Peppers have a sweet, almost fruity taste that takes your jollof rice taste to the next level.
Smoked shrimp & Small smoked fish & Smoked crashfish
You can add one of this to farther the taste of your jollof. I use this items on special occasion.
• 2 cups rice (long grained)
• 1⁄8 cup oil &1⁄8 cup butter for the rice + Some oil to fry the fish and chicken
• 1chicken,cleanned, cut in big pieces & seasoned
• 1 tilapia, cleaned, cut in big pieces & seasoned
• 2 cup shrimp, cleaned & seasoned
• 1 onion, sliced + 1 onion, pureed
• 1 Red bell pepper, diced or 1 red bell pepper, pureed
• 2 large tomatoes, pureed
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional – I don’t use tomato paste in jollof)
• 2 -3 garlic cloves
• 1⁄2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or pureed
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 tablespoon ground paprika
• 2 tablespoons cayenne – optional
• 1 bay leaf
• 1⁄4 cup cilantro (to garnish) or 1⁄4 cup parsley (to garnish)
• I use frozen mixed veggies( carrot, peas, corn & green beans)
• 1 chicken bouillon cube (knorr chicken or maggi)
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 2 cups water
• With blender, blend tomatoes, onions, red pepper until smooth. Then blend the garlic, ginger
• Boil the chicken until tender (not all the way cooked because will cook it some more) and fry. Set aside
• Then fry the fish. And set aside
• Add the oil to the pan and heat it up, add the chopped onion cook till tender. Add the blended mixture of tomato, onions, and red bell pepper. Stir (please don’t stop stirring )on a medium heat for 15 min
• Add the blended garlic cloves, ginger, the dried thyme, ground paprika, cayenne, leaf, Maggi. Add 1 cup of water (enough to make a stew not a soup). Bring it to a boil and add the chicken and fish. Let it simmer for 10 min – salt to taste. Then remove the chicken and fish and set aside one more time.
• Add the frozen mixed veggies, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 cups water and Salt to taste. Bring it to a boil and add the shrimp and the rice.
• Boil until the water evaporate (don’t stop stirring), when the level of water is low then the rice, turn the heat down to low heat. Cover with the paper towel and plastic to steam the rice. Allow the rice to continue cooking until the rice is soft.
• If rice is still little hard, add 1/4 cup water and cover, allow it to steam through. Check back at 10 min and it should be ready.
• Serve with the chicken and fish, Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve.
Often people add hard egg, hotdog or sardine! It’s up to you.