HOW TO PREPARE NIGERIAN JOLLOF RICE (PARTY JOLLOF)
There are two types of jollof rice, the everyday jollof and the party jollof rice. There are also diverse methods and recipes for jollof rice all determined by your country of origin. There is the Senegalese version, which is where jollof rice originated from. It originated from the Wolof tribe in Senegal. There is also the Ghanaian version which is also quite different from the Nigerian version.
Party jollof rice is usually very authentic in taste, much richer than the former version and far more delicious than the everyday jollof, due to its unique Smokey aroma and taste. The festive seasons in Nigeria are incomplete without the preparation of jollof rice. It is one of the most popular rice dishes in Nigeria and is usually paired with fried plantain. There are three main methods of cooking party jollof rice, the hob, the firewood and the oven method. Some people attest to the firewood method being the best method. Their reasons being that the firewood smoke gives the rice that unique flavour while others vow that the burning of the rice gives it its unique taste. Whichever way, I’m going to show you how to recreate the party jollof rice right in your home without the firewood of course. For jollof rice, you can use the Stock of any meat such as Beef stock, Chicken Stock, Turkey stock e.t.c.
4 Cups Easy Cook Rice
4 Red Bell Peppers (Tatashey)
1/2 Can of Plum Tomatoes/ 2 Medium Size Tomatoes
4 Scotch Bonnet (Ata Rodo)
2 cups Beef or Chicken Stock
120g Tomato Paste
2 red Onions
100ml /6 Tablespoons Cooking oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Curry powder and Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon any seasoning of your choosing
3 Knorr Chicken cubes
2 Teaspoons White pepper
4 cloves of minced garlic
3 Bay Leaves whole
1 Medium Size Tomato for Garnishing
Salt to Taste
Remove the seeds from the tatashey and red bell pepper and wash well. Wash the Tomatoes, Scotch bonnet pepper (ata rodo) and onion well too. Blend everything to 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 in the pot and set aside.
Add the cooking oil into a large pot, place on the hob on medium heat, add half sliced onion into it and the minced garlic and let it fry till it caramelises.
Add the blended pepper, tomato paste, knorr cubes, curry powder, one teaspoon white pepper, bay leaves, cover and let it fry till the oil begins to float to the top. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.
While that’s frying, wash your rice thoroughly to rid it of starch and set aside. If you choose to parboil your rice, parboil for 5-8 minutes with a little water on low heat. The rice should still be very firm and not soft, wash with warm water and set aside.
When the oil floats to the top, add the chicken/ meat stock, cover and let it fry for a further 8-10 minutes. Now add the washed rice, it’s better to transfer the rice into another big pot, then add the stew so you can control the amount of stew that goes in to avoid adding excess. Combine thoroughly, ensure the stew is only about a cm over the rice when combined, it’s better to start with little liquid and add as you go)
When that’s fully combined, add the butter….
the minced ginger, the remaining teaspoon of white pepper and combine.
Cover and let it cook till the rice softens. Do stir every now and then with a WOODEN spoon; this prevents clumps and doesn’t break the rice up.
Add little bits of stock or water as you go, be careful not to add too much. Jollof rice needs steam to cook and not water, don’t be alarmed if/when the rice begins to burn, it will burn a little, this is what gives it the much-loved Smokey flavour.
When the rice is soft enough, add the onion rings and sliced tomato and stir.
Onions and tomatoes should be added just a couple of minutes before final doneness. Combine thoroughly and switch off the heat and leave to steam with the residual heat for another minute or two and your Party Jollof Rice is ready.