Follow up on cooking jollof rice

Thank you for your comments on my first attempt to make jollof rice on my own. Growing up, wemy mom always prepared jollof rice with meat in it. Ground beef is the meat of choice most times, and whole pieces of chicken (drumsticks, thigh or breast) are used sometimes. However, thinking back to all the times I enjoyed jollof rice in Nigeria, jollof was cooked without meat, and a piece of chicken or goat meat or beef would added to the rice when serving it. The jollof I ate in Nigeria had a special taste to it that I LOVE but could never dream of being able to recreate here. Maybe the secret to that taste is cooking it over a fire? I bet that’s it! I’m not saying all Nigerians in Nigeria cook over a fire, just that my family does when cooking jollof rice for a whole bunch of people (dozens, hundreds).

I think the way they make jollof in Nigeria (and how most of the commenters make it) uses tomato paste or sort of tomato base to give the rice more of a red colour. If you have your recipe handy, or know how I can get that kind of scorched taste that the jollof I had in Nigeria has, do feel free to share it in the comments.

One of my colleagues who reads this blog (Hi Gen!) was kind enough to answer my question about why rice is not dirty. Apparently it’s not dirt per se that I’m washing off; it’s starch. If you like your rice sticky, don’t rinse it so much.

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6 thoughts on “Follow up on cooking jollof rice

  1. Funny, when I was younger I used to think that I needed to "wash" rice cos it was dirty. But of course, when I grew older I realized that that was not the case. I guess the use of the word "wash" confused me.

    For jollof rice, I found out that the flavors and spices enter the rice more when it's cooked inside the stew (i.e. don't parboil it in a pot of water first, just cook it directly in the stew under low heat) I don't know how many people do this, but it's made my rice more flavorful.

    I'm looking forward to other tips of that "over-the-fire" flavor you talk about here. I love that "party-jollof-rice-taste" as well.

  2. This is def not the traditional jollof rice but….
    Here is my recipe :)
    Pepper Mix( I big tin of whole tomatoes, 2 red bell peppers, 2 habanero, 1 Large Onion) Blend
    2 cups of rice
    1 big spoon of butter(optional) extra flavor
    2 big spoons of oil
    salt, maggi, thyme,garlic, curry, red pepper flakes, ginger, oregano, bay leaves(3)
    **Directions**
    In a pot, sautee, onions and garlic with butter and oil
    Add blended pepper mix (about 6 big spoons or about half your mixture), all seasonings and bay leaves and let it fry for about 15 mins
    Add your rice and let it mix with the pepper for about 3 mins
    Add about 1 1/2 -2 cups of water (just enough to cover the rice)
    Stir the rice to make sure it is well mixed
    Cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes
    When it is almost done, add sliced onions and cover the lid to let it cook
    Stir the onions in with the rice
    Voila!
    Very easy
    Good luck =)

  3. Yea Jaycee beat me to it. That jollof you like is party rice and yea cooking over a fire does something different to it

  4. I agree with Aloted, to get the much loved 'party rice' taste you just have to let the rice burn (you might need to cook the rice in an old pot).
    Also tomatoe puree/paste is a key ingredient

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