It is pertinent to state that jollof rice is thought to have originated from the Wolof ethnic group in the Senegal/Gambia region of western Africa. However, it has since spread to other parts of West Africa, especially Nigeria where it is a major hit!
This dish is so popular that most foodies swear by it as the basis of skilled cooking.
Even the UK’s Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson cooked up their own versions. Though not yet an international dish, most people recognise it as an African recipe delight.
Jollof rice is so popular that no party or get-together menu is complete without this dish. There are several variations to this meal but the basic ingredients of rice, tomatoes, stock and onions remain the same.
So if you like to try new things as I do, whip up your cooking tools and let’s get to work!
Title: Jollof Rice
Other name: Benachin- “One Pot” (Wolof)
Cooking Time: 90 mins
5 Tatashe (Red bell pepper)
5 Red scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoon canned tomato puree
1 liter meat/chicken stock
2 Red Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
4 Bay leaves ‘whole’
1 tbsp. dry Thyme
1 tbsp. curry powder
4 Seasoning cubes
5 cups long grain rice (thoroughly washed with cold water or parboiled to remove excess starch)
Salt to taste
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cooking Methods: Cook the chicken/meat, season with crushed seasoning cubes, salt, curry, thyme and ground/minced ginger, chopped onion and garlic. Boil till tender.
Remove the meat from the stock and deep fry in a separate pan.
Set the stock aside separately and the oil used in frying separately. You’d need these later
Wash the rice thoroughly and place in a pot. Add enough water just enough to cover the rice and parboil for 10 mins.
Wash the parboiled rice with cold water, drain and set aside or soak the rice in hot water for some minutes, rinse with clean water, drain and set aside.
Remove the seeds from the red bell peppers and wash, also rinse the tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper and onion too.
Blend everything into a smooth puree. Pour the Blended puree into an empty iron pot and boil till there’s no water left, leaving just the concentrated puree
Add the tinned tomato paste into the Boiled tomato and pepper puree. Pour the 8 tablespoons of oil used in frying the meat into the puree and fry, while stirring constantly so it does not burn (5 mins). You can add a tablespoon of butter if you wish.
Pour the stock into the fried puree and mix. Add the dry thyme, curry powder, seasoning cubes (Crushed) and salt to taste.
Gently add the parboiled rice into the puree and stock mixture and make sure the stock covers the rice, if it doesn’t simply add water to ensure it does. Add the Bay leaves to the pot and cover.
Leave the Jollof to cook and soften and once you notice the liquid in the pot has almost dried up leaving concentrated tomato puree at the top, turn with a wooden spoon or spatula. At this time, check if the rice is soft enough and also check for salt and if the seasoning from the stock is enough, if not add the necessary ingredients.
If it’s not soft enough, keep adding water in minute quantities till it softens. Now you can turn with any type of spoon.
Note, you need to let the rice at the bottom of the pot burn a little, this is always the sweetest part!!!
Your rice should be ready to serve. Remember presentation is key so garnish with Meat/Chicken, plantain and vegetables. Yummy
Recipe by Lara Soetan – Dobbysignature