Jollof rice is one of the commonest African dishes. It is prepared and eaten in West African regions like Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cameroun, Liberia, and The Gambia. However, many of these West African countries have their own variation of jollof rice. Want to know more about the incredibly tasty meal? Below are some of the things you should know about Nigerian Jollof.
How to Cook Nigerian Jollof From Scratch?
The basic ingredients for this recipe include; ice, tomatoes, pimento peppers, tomato paste, scotch bonnet, onions, salt, and other spices.
Start by Sautéing The Onions
You must have your flavor base ready when cooking jollof rice. You shouldn’t be in a haste to pour or dump your ingredients in the pot if you don’t want to end up with what most Nigerians call “concoction Jollof.” Always have in mind that each step counts, so you must put in your vest for each step you take. Sautéing your onions should take about 3-5 minutes, after which you can stir the tomato paste.
Add the Ginger and Garlic
Both ginger and garlic are beneficial to health. They are also popularly used by Nigerians in cooking. You can add the ginger and garlic to cook with the Tomato paste for extra two minutes. Actually, by the time this is well cooked, you would definitely notice it in the aroma. You don’t have to risk cooking it any longer, so it doesn’t get burnt.
Add the Blended Pepper
There is no particular time frame for frying the pepper. You can just decide to make it a little thick, so the oil can literally float on top of the sauce. At this point, you already know most of the water is gone, and the sauce doesn’t smell raw anymore.
Add the Remaining Spices; Thyme, Curry Powder, Salt, And Seasoning Cubes
Actually, adding white pepper is good, but optional. After adding all these, you can adjust the seasoning if there is a need to. You can also stir once you notice the flavor is on point. Ensure that you stir the rice properly to the point where you have covered each grain of rice with the sauce. At this point, you can add the chicken stock. Stir for a brief period, afterwards, cover it up with a tight-fitting lid. In case your lid isn’t tight enough, you can cover the rice up with foil paper, before covering it with the lid. This is important, because jollof rice usually needs a lot of steam, to turn out nice.
Cook Until the Rice Is Done
At this point, you can reduce the heat to medium-low once and continue to cook until the rice is ready. This usually takes about 20-25 minutes.
Serve and Enjoy!
It’s time to enjoy your meal! You can serve with spicy grilled chicken, fried chicken, grilled tilapia fish, or even gizzards and plantains.
How to Serve Jollof Rice
In Nigeria, jollof rice is usually served with chicken, turkey, beef, goat meat, or fish. In some cases, it can be served with a side of fresh creamy Coleslaw, or “Nigerian salad.” In Nigeria, a party (wedding, birthday, or naming ceremony) is not complete without this meal. You should know by now, why it is called “party Jollof!”