Friday, March 20, 2015

Nigerian-Style Jollof Rice

A popular, standard dish in West Africa, jollof rice originated among the Wolof people of Senegal and spread to many other countries in West Africa, including Nigeria. I first read about it in a novel by a Nigerian author and it sounded so delicious that I had to find out how to make it. Although it is often made with chicken or fish, this is a vegetarian/vegan version that I enjoy.

1 c. uncooked brown basmati rice
½ c. wild rice
½ c. finely chopped onion
½ c. finely chopped red pepper
15 oz. (one can) diced tomatoes or two large chopped fresh tomatoes
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. coconut milk
2 c. vegetable broth (vegetarian soup stock or substitute water)
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
A couple of shakes of habanero pepper sauce (optional)
15 oz. artichoke hearts (optional)


For the vegetable mixture, finely chop the onion and pepper and lightly cook them in the oil for 5 minutes over medium heat then turn the heat off. Finely chop the tomatoes. Crush the garlic. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and tomato paste to the onion and pepper.

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the rice, the coconut milk, the vegetable mixture, and the spices. The habanero pepper sauce can be added while cooking or it can be kept aside to be added later according to how spicy each person wants their own rice.

Cook the rice, covered, on a very low temperature until all the liquid is absorbed (about 45 minutes). Fluff with a fork and allow to sit for 5 minutes. If you add artichoke hearts, put them into the rice for the last few minutes of cooking to warm them up.

Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. For those who eat cheese, this dish is delicious with grated cheddar cheese melted on top.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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