Jollof rice, a mixture of rice, onions and tomatoes at its very basic, is almost everyone’s favourite rice dish. Ceremonies, social occasions, Sunday lunch, or just because one fancies some – there is always a reason to eat some jollof. The word is so synonymous with celebrations that it has entered popular parlance: ‘jollofing’ means having a good time.
Like most of our dishes, there are various ways of making it – some cook tomato stew from scratch (which I prefer to do) and others simply add a liquidised mixture of tomatoes, onions and chillies to the rice and let everything cook together.
- 600g long grain easy-cook rice
- *300g tomato stew
- 1 tablespoon of curry powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- 2 sprigs of thyme (or 2 teaspoons of dried thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 100ml of water (or chicken stock)
- 600g mixed frozen vegetables (optional)
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, and then place in a heavy-bottomed pan with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add 100 ml of water or chicken stock so that the liquid is just above the rice. Stir gently, and then please do not stir again until the rice is cooked. This prevents it from burning
- Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
- When the liquid has almost evaporated, place some muslin or foil over the pan and then cover it. This helps steam the rice.
- (If using prawns and/or frozen vegetables, add at this point and cover as previously described).
- After about five minutes, check the rice to see if it has cooked to your taste.
- Fluff up with a fork, and serve with a salad or steamed vegetables, some fried beef or chicken, and fried plantains.
Cooked prawns, meat or chicken chunks mixed in with the jollof rice also provide a tasty alternative.