Welcome to the month of February! What better way to start the new month than with a jollof rice recipe. For the uninitiated, jollof rice is a one pot rice dish made with fresh tomatoes, pureed tin tomatoes and some other ingredients we will see in the recipe. It is a very popular dish, it's so much a part of us that any party where jollof rice is not served is considered incomplete. Jollof rice even has a day dedicated to it, it's August 22nd.
Delicious jollof rice starts with the right tomato base.
3 cups rice
5 fresh tomato
5 red bell pepper (tatashe)
2 green bell pepper
1 big onion
1 small onion
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon thyme
2 seasoning cubes
3 table spoons tin tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 fresh peppers (scotch bonnets)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
Salt to taste
Remove the seeds of the tatashe and green pepper. Remove the white part of the green pepper as this is bitter. Wash them properly. Blend together the washed fresh tomatoes, tatashe, green pepper, scotch bonnets and onion. Pour in a pot and boil until there is no water left. You can microwave it instead(it is faster).
Pour oil in a pot to heat, when it is hot, put in cut onion. After frying for about two minutes, put in tomato mix and pureed tin tomato, fry until the sour taste in gone. Add curry and thyme.
Wash the rice in some salt water to bring out some the starch and prevent clumping. Add rice to the boiling stew. Add seasoning cubes and salt to taste. If using meat stock, remember that it already has some salt and stock cubes so adjust seasoning accordingly. Stir properly.
Cover the pot and allow to cook. Add water a little at a time. Cook until rice is soft. When the rice is soft and the water almost dry, stir with a wooden stick. Don't stir vigorously, it should be more like a folding motion from up to down to make sure the tomato is evenly distributed.
Cover the pot and allow to cook for a few more minutes until the water dries completely.
Remove from heat and leave the pot partially open so the vapour can escape.
Serve and enjoy! Dont forget to remove the bay leaves when serving.