Making Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice

As far back as I can remember, my mother made Jollof rice. It is an ever-present dish at any West African event and as you travel across West Africa you will see this dish in varied renditions.

Interestingly, the word "jollof" is thought to have originated from the Wolof language of Senegal and means "one pot" which essentially captures how this dish is prepared : you throw all the ingredients into one pot and cover and once it is done, it is done ! So for all you adventurous cooks out there, here is a West African recipe for you to try your hands at.

This recipe will make enough for 6-8 people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati or jasmine rice (both work very well in my experience)
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce (try to get the ones with no added salt)
  • 1 8-10oz can tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 5-10 bay leaves
  • One medium-sized onion, chopped
  • two harbenero peppers (you can eliminate the peppers if you prefer), blended
  • 1-2 tablespoons of blended ginger
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions:

  • Preheat olive oil in a large pan for 10 minutes (medium heat)
  • Add chopped onions to the oil and cook until onions are light brown
  • Add blended harbenero peppers and ginger. Cook for 5-10 minutes while stirring.
  • Add the ground oregano, parsley leaves, Adobo and bay leaves and cook this for another 5 minutes.
  • Mix in tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add about 1/4 cup of water and then allow this sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes while occasionally stirring. NOTE : This forms the "base" for the jollof. Your jollof is as good as its' base.
  • Add in rice and then add chicken broth and stir until the base and the rice are completely mixed.
  • Once this is done, cover your dish and allow the jollof to cook for another 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Occasionally stir from the bottom. This will ensure even cooking of the rice and also an even mixture of your rice and base.

And your jollof is done ! It takes an hour to an hour and a half to prepare this meal but in my experience it is totally worth it. You can cook this meal and store in the fridge for a week or more without it going bad on you. Jollof left-overs are delicious and always make a great lunch or dinner.

If you are brave enough to try this recipe, do leave me a note and let me know how it went !






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