Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Love Rice, But Do Jollof Rice?

Sorry. That pun is Gawd-awful. Thankfully, the rice is much, much better!

Jollof rice is ubiquitous across West Africa. It's prepared differently in different areas. So consider this only a starter recipe. You can add about any types of vegetable, spice, or protein that you think would go well in here. I've added sauteed seitan, fried plantains, carrot, peas, corn, peanuts, and shrimp powder. Those who are meatier among us commonly add chicken or sausage.

This rice goes great with anything West African. We made it with some kick-ass roasted fish and veggies, but you can also serve it with red-red, meat, or anything else that grabs your fancy. Jollofit! (sorry)

Prep time: 1 cocktail (3 cocktails, if you count cooking time)

1 large onion, very finely minced
3 TBSP oil
1 1/4 cup rice (I usually just use long-grain brown)
3 ounces tomato paste
2" piece of ginger, chopped
1-2 habenero peppers, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup water
1 cup veggie stock
1 cup very finely minced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a big saucepan that has a snug lid over medium heat. Add onions and saute, stirring occasionally until the onions start to turn transparent, about 5-6 minutes.

While onions are cooking, combine tomato paste, ginger, habenero, thyme, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg in a food processor with a couple tablespoons of water. Puree it all into a smooth paste and set aside.

Once onions have turned transparent, add the tomato paste puree and the rice. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes.

Add water, veggie stock, and tomatoes. Stir well, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. If rice is still crunchy but all the liquid is cooked off, add some more water or stock. Cooking time takes over an hour. 

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