Jollof Rice

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the dish, Jollof rice is a one-pot, spicy, tomato-based rice dish common in West African countries like Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. It’s both an everyday staple as well as party food. Senegal claims to have originated the dish, but Ghanaians and Nigerians fight for best version supremacy.  Without taking sides in this hotly contested culinary competition,  we bring you the Ghanaian version.  Ours is a vegan version given to us by a Ghanaian friend, but the recipe lends itself to an omnivorous diet as well. Just swap out the vegetable broth for chicken broth, add chicken, beef, or whatever meat you like!  The recipe is incredibly versatile and delicious.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Ingredients:

2 red onions sliced thin
1 cup bell peppers
¼ cup green onions sliced green onions
¼ scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (more if you love hot foods)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ Tbsp curry powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
2 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup basmati rice
1 ½ cup vegetable broth
2 cups water

Instructions:
1. Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it has begun to boil, remove the pan from the burner and add the rice.
2. Add vegetable oil to a large pot. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions, peppers and green onions. Cook until the veggies have softened, then stir in the minced garlic and ginger.
3. Add the Cumin, dried thyme, bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and stir until well mixed.
4. Add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, stirring well, then allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Next, strain the rice and stir it into the pot of vegetables. Sautée the rice for about 5 minutes to allow it to toast a bit and absorb the flavors.
Add the vegetable broth.
6. The liquid should just cover the rice. Adjust as necessary.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
7. Simmer for about 30-35 minutes or until the rice is al dente and the liquid is absorbed. Once the rice is done. Remove the pot from the hot burner and set it the side for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.