Monday, 1 October 2012

Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice from West Africa

One of my ex-colleagues from UNICEF first cooked this rice for me. When he served the rice, I was so surprised that I could not speak for a few moments. How could two dishes from two different continents smell and taste so similar? Getting surprised ? Yes, Tomato Pulao from South India and Jollof Rice from Western Africa tastes almost very similar except for the fact that Tomato Pulao is mostly vegetarian and Jollof Rice are sometimes Non veg. The spices also are almost same except for the fact that Tomato Pulao has Mustard seeds and Curry leaves. So, Jollof Rice can easily become a part of your Indian Kitchen. Just cook and surprise your family.

Preparation Time  :  15 minutes
Cooking Time       :  45 minutes
Difficulty               :  Easy
Serves                   :   4 - 6

Ingredients :

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, sliced
  • 2  cans Stewed Tomatoes / 600 grams of Blanched Tomatoes, skinned and chopped.
  • 1/2 can Tomato Paste / 200 grams of Tomato Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Rosemary (you can also use 1/2 tsp of Dried Rosemary
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 1/2 kilos Whole Chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked White Rice
  • 1 cup diced Carrots
  • 1/2 cup shelled Peas / Chopped coloured Bell Peppers
  • 200 grams fresh Green Beans, trimmed and snapped into 1 to 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
  • One Boiled Egg, per head, to serve (optional)

    Method :

     1) Pour oil into large Non stick Pan over medium high heat.
     2) Add sliced onions to the oil. Cook onion in oil over medium-low heat until translucent.
     3) Stir in stewed tomatoes and tomato paste, and season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce and rosemary. Stir well to mix.
     4) Cover, and bring to a boil.
     5) Reduce heat, stir in water, and add chicken pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes.
     6) Stir in rice, carrots, peas/ chopped bell peppers and green beans, and season with nutmeg.
     7) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
     8) Cover, and simmer until the chicken is fork-tender and the rice is cooked, 25 to 30 minutes. That means the chicken meat can be separated from the bones with a prick of a fork and the rice is no longer hand in the center.
     10) Serve Jollof Rice hot, with Boiled egg (Optional) 

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