Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Almost every African knows about the jollof war, and the origination of one of the most popular dishes in Africa is still disputed. The most popular war is between the Nigerian and Ghanian jollof. But despite the wars, this delicious rice is probably the only or most popular dish I've heard a non- African mention when they say they have had an African dish. Its popularity is down to it's deliciousness and though some people might say it's overrated, it still brings joy and happiness wherever it is eaten. I mean what's a party or any occasion at all without jollof on the menu?! So below is my Nigerian jollof recipe. Try it and let me know how you get on!
Ingredients (serves 5)
- 5 cups of rice
- 1 tinned tomatoes (or 5 large fresh tomatoes)
- 6 red bell peppers
-2 large onions (preferably white onions, but red is fine too)
-1 large fresh tomatoes and 1 medium onions (to garnish, but optional)
-2 -3 scotch bonnet (1 -if you're not a fan of the heat!)
- 1 tbsp Tomato puree
-2 tbsp Curry powder
-1 tbsp Thyme
-6 Seasoning/stock cubes
-1 tsp of salt
-4 tbsp vegetable oil
- Non-stick pot
-Wash the bell peppers & scotch bonnet and 1 onions
-Slice the 2 large onions
- Optional ingredients: Slice fresh tomatoes and onions in round shapes for garnishing
1) Wash your red bell peppers, scotch bonnet and 1 onions. Blend all together with the tinned/ fresh tomatoes. Pour in a pot and bring to boil until dry- ie it's less liquid and a bit thicker. This should take around 20 minutes. (please note, the boiling of the mixture can be skipped so go straight to step 2 but I recommend & prefer this way especially if you are using tinned tomatoes. Boiling the mixture takes away the tangy taste some tinned tomatoes may have. If you are using fresh tomatoes, you won't need to boil as it doesn't have the tangy taste)
2) Heat the oil up for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour in the sliced onions to fry for about 1-2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes puree, and stir in continuously to avoid it sticking. Fry for about 2 minutes. Add in the blended tomatoes /pepper mixture and stir in and leave to fry for about 1 minute. Add in the seasoning cubes, salt, thyme, and curry powder. Mix altogether and allow to fry on medium heat for a few minutes- until the oil settles at the top. Whilst this is frying, wash the rice with hot (not boiling) water multiple times until the water is clear.
3) Add the rice to the stew, and stir together. Add a little bit of water- about 2 measuring cups. Just enough to combine with the stew to bring to cook. Please do not add more water than necessary as you do not want a soggy rice! Alternatively, you can leave the water out at this stage (see step 4) and let the rice cook/steam with just the stew. Reduce the heat to the lowest. Place tin foil over the pot and cover with the pot lid- this is to help the steaming process of the rice.
4) Check the rice in about 15 minutes to see how soft it is. If not soft enough, then add a little bit of water and allow to cook - do this until your desired level of softness of the rice. And your jollof rice is ready!
5)Optional step: when the rice is soft enough, garnish with the sliced tomatoes and onions. Leave to steam for about 5 mins
Enjoy this with fried plantain, shito, coleslaw, salad, chicken, fish, moi-moi, gizzard-dodo or whatever floats your boat really! See why it is one of the delicious and popular meals on the continent!?