Loving nothing more than hot and spicy food I was in my element when a friend and ex-colleague introduced me to hot and spicy authentic African jollof rice. We went to a Nigerian restaurant in reading and ordered up lots of different dishes and I loved them all. but I have to say the texture, flavour, and heat of the jollof really did excite me and I was keen to recreate this at home again.
jollof rice is best described as a risotto type dish but with heat, depth of flavour and spice.
the spice and heat comes from scotch bonnet chilies that look pretty friendly but most definitely pack a punch. Be super careful using these and if you can’t handle spice perhaps consider either using a tiny amount and slowly building up the heat. or replace the scotch bonnet with a milder chili such as a jalapeno.
- 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 fresh scotch bonnet chili
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 bay leaf
- sprig fresh thyme
- 1 stock cube
- 225g/8oz long-grain or basmati rice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
heat oil in a pan and cook the onions until they become translucent. be careful not to burn the onions as this will make them bitter.
add tinned tomatoes, red pepper, tomato puree and the scotch bonnet chili. add the curry powder, bay leaf thyme and season with salt and pepper. (i usually simply pierce the scotch bonnet and place it in the mix to let the flavours absorb into the mix.)
pour in 500ml of water and add the stock cube, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
rinse the rice in cold water to remove any excess starch and then add it to the mix of tomatoes and spices.
bring it to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
it’s then ready to eat. I sometimes chop up pieces of chicken to put in with the rice to make more of a meal of it and I also sometimes enjoy having a fried egg on top of the rice.
give jollop a try and let me know how you get on.