Jollof rice is pot rice dish that is very popular in West Africa. The rice dish is easy to prepare but it is packed with tons of favour. Jollof rice is also known as the "party rice" as it is a staple at most parties and social gatherings in West African countries.
There are many ways to prepare Jollof rice, but the main ingredients to a good Jollof rice are: tomatoes, tomato pasta, red bell peppers, onion, chilli, spices and salt. Not forgetting the main ingredient rice. I will be using brown rice in my Jollof rice recipe instead of the traditional white rice. I will also be using less oil than the authentic jollof rice recipe.
My recipe is inspired by Nigerian jollof rice. A few weeks ago, I was in town with my mother and we walked passed a Nigerian restaurant. There are very few Nigerian restaurants where I live, my mother and I had been looking for an authentic Nigerian restaurant for a while now, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw the restaurant. My mother and I were so excited to finally try out authentic Nigerian food. We tried out a few dishes on the menu but the one dish that stood out for both of us was definitely the Jollof rice, I was inspired right there and then to create a healthier version of this rice dish that I would be able to eat often and of course to be able to share it with all of you.
Jollof rice can be served with any protein or vegetable that your heart desires. I really love the combination of chicken and mushrooms with the rice. Since I am a pescatarian, I do not eat any meat, I substituted chicken with vegan chicken pieces that are seasoned with cardamom, turmeric and garam masala. If you are a meat lover you can definitely use chicken breast meat, which will work perfectly in this recipe.
Jollof Rice with chicken and mushroom
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
250g vegan chicken pieces or 4 chicken fillets (cut into 2cm pieces)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium tomatoes (Skin removed and roughly chopped)
½ cup/ 125ml tomato puree
½ cup/ 125ml water
1 red pepper (Deseed and roughly chopped)
2 medium onion (1 roughly chopped, 1 helved)
1 green chili (roughly chopped)
2 T/30ml oil
1T/ 15ml tomato pasta
1t/ honey or brown sugar
1t/ 5ml curry powder
1t/ 5ml crushed garlic
1t/ 5ml ginger powder
1t/ 5ml fresh chopped thyme
2 bays leaves
2 vegetable or chicken stock cubes
1 cup/ 250ml water
1 cup/ 250ml long grain brown rice
In a medium pot heat a few tablespoons of water, add in mushrooms and chicken, season with salt and pepper. Fry for 10-15 minutes until chicken and mushrooms are cooked. Set the chicken and mushrooms aside.
In a blender combine tomatoes, tomato puree, water, red pepper, 1 halved onion and chilli. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Should roughly take 45 seconds to 1 minute to achieve the desired consistency.
In the same pot you used fry chicken and mushrooms heat oil and add in 1 roughly chopped onion. Fry for 1-2 minutes until the onions are golden brown. Once onions have browned add in tomato pasta and fry for 1 minute. Add in honey, curry powder, garlic, ginger, thyme, salt and bay leaves and fry for a further 1 minute until spices are fragrant.
Add in the blended tomato and pepper mixture to the onion and spice mixture. Stir well, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes on a medium low heat. Make sure to stir every 8-10 minutes so the mixture does not burn at the bottom.
Meanwhile rinse rice thoroughly to remove any starch and set aside. After 30 minutes the tomato mixture should have reduced in volume. Add in stock cubes and water, stir well until the stock cubes have dissolved. Add in the rice, stir and cover the pot. Cook the jollof rice for 1½ hours on a low heat.
I like to use a fork to lightly stir the rice, so the rice does not burn at the bottom. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid the rice is ready to eat.
Serve your jollof rice with the fried chicken and mushrooms or mix the chicken and mushrooms into the jollof rice before serving.
If you are not a fan of spicy food deseed the chilli or omit the chilli completely.
To avoid mushy Jollof rice rinse your rice thoroughly, do not overlook this step.
Note... The Jollof rice tastes even better the next day.
Ps: All weight loss starts in the kitchen...