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Recipes around Africa: Jollof rice

Readers Lounge By Lolita Bunde
Jollof rice cooked in various indigenous spices to bring out a unique taste (Courtesy)

Jollof rice is the main West African dish. It is rice cooked in various indigenous spices to bring out a unique taste. Jollof rice has no particular country of origin, as many of the West African countries claim it as their main dish.

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Jollof rice is said to have originated from Senegambia where it was known as Benachin. Due to their rich cultural exchange, this meal has since travelled to the rest of the region and the world. However, its glory still remains in Africa.

Jollof rice is relished by most, for the way it sucks in juices from the condiments used to prepare in.

Here are the ingredients you will need in preparing Jollof rice. Depending on the number of people you are serving, you will need:

  • Two cups of rice
  • Two whole tomatoes
  • White pepper
  • Three onions
  • Two bay leaves.
  • One clove of garlic
  • One root ginger
  • Tomato paste
  • ½ table spoon of curry powder
  • One tea spoon of thyme
  • Four cups of chicken stock
  • ½ cup of cooking oil
  • One teaspoon of butter
  • Salt to taste
Jollof rice is said to have originated from Senegambia where it was known as Benachin (Courtesy)

Method:

In a large cooking pot, add your cooking oil and let it heat up for some few seconds. Then add your chopped onions, your pounded garlic and ginger mixture, then stir for a few seconds.

While doing this add all your other ingredients; ½ a teaspoon of white pepper, ½ teaspoon full of curry powder, one teaspoon full of thyme and two bay leaves and continue stirring until the mixture turns golden.

Then to the mixture add 3 table spoons of tomato paste and your finely chopped tomatoes. Then stir for 2-3 minutes. Then add salt to taste. Then add four cups of your chicken stock to the mixture and let it cook for ten minutes on low heat.

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The finally add two cups of rice and stir to let it mix well. Then now cover it with a foil paper and a lid to seal in all the moisture.

The rice doesn’t need any stirring at this point, let it cook for 30 minutes. Once ready add one teaspoon of butter and mix together. Serve when hot.

You can accompany this meal with chicken or beef stew.

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