Jollof rice is one of Nigeria’s tastiest culinary treasures. You’ll realize how easy it is to make it at home! It has grains, fruits, and vegetables for a savory, delicious, and smokey quality!
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It’s a popular side dish in West Africa, so it will not disappoint!
How to Make Jollof Rice
Jollof rice may taste complex, but it is easy to cook. It’s almost like cooking plain rice but more exciting!
Long-grain rice is one of the best grains for fried rice recipes. It is easy to prepare, loose, and fluffy. This kind of grain absorbs herbs and spices well.
I recommend using brown rice, basmati rice, or even jasmine rice. Moreover, it can be cooked on a stovetop, slow cooker, instant pot, and even in an oven.
Pepper sauce is made of tomatoes, bell pepper, sweet peppers, scotch bonnets, and onion. The tomatoes and peppers are for acidity, sweetness, and color.
Scotch bonnets can add a kick of spice to the recipe. It is hotter than a jalapeno, so use it moderately. Meanwhile, the onion contributes a pungent taste and fragrant aroma.
Tomato puree complements the pepper sauce. It also enriches the appearance of the jollof rice. It also has a vibrant flavor that will make every spoonful delectable.
Incorporating an onion adds a tender and juicy texture to the rice. It also creates a more appetizing scent you won’t get enough of.
Seasoning for this dish is customizable, but the most recommended are mixed herbs, meat liquid stock, chicken stock cubes, bay leaves, and sea salt. These will surely escalate the quality of the jollof rice.
When making jollof rice, it is important to use oil with a high smoke point to withstand the temperature. Use other cooking oil variants of your choice.
You won’t have a problem purchasing these ingredients. They are readily available in grocery stores! Who knew these basic ingredients could transform into extraordinary Jollof Rice, right?
Make the sauce
- Blend the tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell pepper, scotch bonnet, and onion until smooth. Set it aside.
- Heat sunflower oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Saute the onion, mixed herbs, curry powder, turmeric, and stock cubes.
- Then, add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the blended pepper sauce and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaves and assorted meat liquid.
- Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, depending on the quantity of the sauce.
- Season with salt if needed.
Cook the rice
- Rinse the grains with warm water. Drain them twice.
- Put the grains in the pot and coat them with the sauce.
- Reduce heat to low fire and cover the pot with aluminum foil.
- Cook it for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Stir the Jollof Rice to ensure that it is not burnt.
- Add hot water if needed and steam for five more minutes.
Did you notice that it’s almost like cooking plain rice? Add the seasoning and pepper sauce, and you’ve got yourself irresistibly delicious Jollof Rice!
How to Buy and Store Long Grain Rice
Selection. Long-grain rice varieties are readily available in grocery stores. Select packaged rice without holes and molds.
Storage. Unopened long-grain rice can be kept in its original packaging. Once opened, put the rice in an airtight container at room temperature to last for several months.
According to Recipe Vibes, cooked rice can be refrigerated for three days or frozen for three months.
How to Purchase and Preserve Fresh Jollof Ingredients
Selection. Choose tomatoes that feel heavy for their weight. They should be free from soft spots or discoloration. The skin should also be smooth and plump.
Storage. Tomatoes can be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight. Once ripe, transfer them to the fridge to extend their shelf life.
Sweet peppers, bell peppers, and scotch bonnet
Selection. Look for sweet peppers and bell peppers with healthy-looking skin and stems. They should also feel heavy for their size. Use the same observations for the scotch bonnet.
Storage. These peppers can last up to 5 days at room temperature. Place them in the fridge to last up to more than a week. For the scotch bonnet, freeze them to prolong shelf life.
Selection. Purchase onions without soft spots or holes. The skin should also be intact. They should also feel firm.
Storage. Onions can last for more than a week at room temperature.
Pepper Sauce Without a Blender
Aside from blending the sauce, you can also use an immersion blender or a food processor. Alternatively, chop them finely with a knife or pound them with a mortar and pestle.
There is no need to add water because the tomato juice can help with the sauce’s texture.
How to Make Meat Liquid Stock
Assorted meat and liquid stock are helpful when cooking African dishes. You can go for abodi, tripe, or other beef organs available for the meat.
- Rinse them thoroughly.
- Put the meat parts in a pot and heat to medium fire.
- Mix it with chopped garlic and onions.
- Use curry powder, stock cubes, thyme, and salt for the seasoning.
- Allow this to cook for about 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
- Filter the meat and the stock.
- Store them separately to use for other recipes.
- The meat liquid stock can be frozen to preserve for several weeks.
How to Make and Store Tomato Puree
Tomato puree may be readily available in stores, but it is always best to make an all-natural one at home.
Chop the tomatoes and puree them using a blender, food processor, immersion blender, or other similar kitchen tools.
Store the tomato puree in a resealable bag and label it. Alternatively, freeze the puree in ice cube trays before storing the cubes in the freezer bags. If preserved properly, this can last up to several months.
Jollof Rice Variations
Jollof rice is customizable, so feel free to substitute other ingredients. For instance, the meat liquid stock can be replaced with stock from vegetables or chicken.
If you want to incorporate more vegetables, then I recommend using green beans, carrots, cabbage, onion leeks, and more. To make it a full meal, incorporate beef, chicken, seafood, or eggs.
The seasoning is entirely up to you. However, note to use them in moderation for a well-balanced flavor.
- Pot: Cook the jollof rice in a pot.
- Blender: Use a blender to make the pepper sauce.
- Knife: Chop the ingredients using a knife.
- Wooden spatula: Stir the rice with a wooden spatula.
- Glass bowl: Rinse the rice in a glass bowl.
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How to Serve Jollof Rice
Jollof rice can be served with the simplest of dishes, and it will still taste delicious. For the complete Nigerian culinary experience, try the recipes mentioned below:
Limit your jollof rice intake to one cup every other day or week. Consume it with healthy dishes to balance the nutritional value. You can also have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
If you plan on introducing Nigerian rice recipes to children, then My Active Kitchen recommends cooking the jollof rice in its vegetarian version.
- At room temperature: Consume jollof rice within two hours of cooking.
Put your desired quantity in a bowl and reheat it in the microwave for four minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to wash parboiled rice?
No, it is unnecessary to wash parboiled rice since it has already been washed. However, if you prefer regular rice, you can parboil it.
What does jollof rice taste like?
Because of the ingredients used, jollof rice tastes smoky and savory. It also depends on how spicy or sweet you want it to be. Decide how you want the sauce to taste before cooking it with the rice.
What is the secret ingredient in jollof rice?
The secret ingredient to the jollof rice is the pepper sauce. It provides an appetizing color and flavor to the rice. The sauce is also freshly made of vegetables, so you can ensure it’s healthy.
Smoky Jollof Rice
for the pepper sauce
- 5 tomatoes
- 2 sweet peppers
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 onion (small-sized )
- 2 scotch bonnets
for the jollof rice
- 4 cups long grain rice
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 cups assorted meat liquid stock
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- ⅓ cup sunflower oil
- 1 onion (small-sized)
- 2 chicken stock cubes
- 3 bay leaves
- sea salt
- Make the sauce. Blend the tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell pepper, scotch bonnet, and onion until smooth. Set it aside.
- Cook the sauce. Heat sunflower oil in a pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, mixed herbs, curry powder, turmeric, and stock cubes. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the blended pepper sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Add bay leaves and assorted meat liquid. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes, depending on the quantity of the sauce. Season with salt if needed.
- Prepare the rice. Rinse the grains with warm water and drain them twice or until the water is clear.
- Cook the rice. Add the grains to the pot and coat it with the sauce. Reduce heat to low fire and cover the pot with aluminum foil or parchment paper to seal the steam.Cook it for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir the Jollof Rice to ensure that it is not burnt badly. Add hot water if needed and steam for five more minutes.
- Use other herbs and spices of your choice for seasoning.
- Make homemade tomato puree for a healthier ingredient.
- For child-friendly Jollof rice, cook it with vegetables and with less seasoning.