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JOLLOF RICE RECIPE
(WEST AFRICA)

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From the name Jollof Rice you might assume this is some strange form of rice grain or alternatively you may think it's purely a way of cooking rice to be served as an accompaniment to a main dish.

However Jollof Rice is a mixture of rice with a tomato stew and chicken, it may also contain shrimp, prawns and/or dried fish and is a full meal in itself.

Being a one pot meal it really saves on the washing up.

One thing to note is Jollof Rice recipes can vary from country to country in West Africa and even different parts of Ghana and Nigeria will have different local variations.

Although I have recipes for many different variations of Jollof Rice given to me by friends from Ghana and Nigeria this version which shows strong Senegalese influences has to be among my favourites. The tomato stew in this version is much quicker to make than many others.

Ingredients for Tomato stew/sauce

1/2lb (250g) Plum Tomatoes
1 large hot red pepper
14oz (410g) tin tomato puree
2 large onions
1 red bell pepper (optional)
½ cup (124ml) vegetable oil

To make the sauce for Jollof Rice

Peel and chop the onions very finely.
Seed and dice the red pepper
Seed and dice the bell pepper
Wash the plum tomatoes place in a blender together with the red pepper and optional bell pepper and blend on high making sure the tomato seeds are well ground into the blend

(Note:- If your blender is incapable of grinding down the tomato seeds remove them before blending otherwise they will affect the consistency of the resulting sauce.)

Place the blended tomatoes in a saucepan and cook at high heat until the tomato juice has almost dried making sure you do not burn the tomatoes.

Add the tomato puree and simmer until all the liquid has almost evaporated, you want the mixture to be as dry as possible without burning it.

Add the chopped onions and vegetable oil stirring very well to make sure the oil is well blended into the tomato mixture.

Fry at very low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the oil separates completely from the tomato mixture. The mixture should also contain streaks of oil which wasn't the case when you started. If you taste the tomato sauce you should now find that the raw tomato taste has completely disappeared.

Decant the excess oil.

Ingredients for the Jollof Rice.

The tomato sauce as described above
3lb 4oz (1½kg) chicken jointed and cut into portions
1lb 2oz (500g) parboiled long grain white rice
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup (125ml) deveined shrimp (optional)
1 cup (250ml) prawns (optional)
2 tsp (10ml) thyme
2 tsp (10ml) curry powder (or 1 tsp 5ml if a milder flavor is preferred)
1 large onion
3 stock cubes (Knorr or Maggi)

To make the Jollof Rice

Peel and chop the onion

Place the chicken, together with the chopped onion, thyme and curry powder in a saucepan.

Add 500ml water in which you have dissolved the stock cubes.

Bring to the boil and then simmer until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken from the stock and fry in the vegetable oil until the chicken pieces are golden brown.

Set aside the chicken and the chicken stock.

Place the chicken stock and tomato sauce in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, add the prawns and shrimp, if using, and boil for a further 5 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the parboiled rice, cover the saucepan and leave to cook on low heat.

When the stock has all been absorbed the rice should be cooked, taste to confirm.

If the rice is still not fully cooked add a little more water or stock and continue cooking until the rice is done.

Jollof rice is delicious with coleslaw or a salad it may also be served with Moi Moi or fried plantain or any other accompanying vegetables of your choosing.I can assure you that Jollof rice is well worth the slight effort required to make it.

Although this recipe may seem difficult it's very easy if you follow the detailed steps listed above.

In order to separate the tasks the tomato stew/sauce may be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator before making the Jollof Rice

Depending on appetites this Jollof Rice recipe should serve from 6 to 8 people depending on whether the shrimp and prawns are used.

Preparation Time:- 20 minutes
Cooking Time:- 2 Hours 15 minutes
Total time:- 2 Hours 35 minutes

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Date Published 21st April 2016
Author: Michael Tracey - Africhef

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