Nigeria’s favourite meal, Jollof rice is a staple meal in most West African countries. Made with a base of rich tomato sauce, its tantalizing aroma ignites your taste buds giving you the desire to eat even when you’re not truly hungry.
Over the years I have learnt from the great cooks that run in my family that a meal is not great by just the measure of ingredients, but the quality is also important. My mama always taught me to look out for fresh vegetables, meat, fish & poultry and that’s why when I cook a pot of Jollof rice, fresh plum tomatoes is my key ingredient.
My mama also taught me that a great cook can make good use of any ingredient available, regardless of its quality or quantity, be it fresh tomatoes from the farmers market or canned tomatoes from the grocers shelve, a great meal cannot be devalued.
Here’s the recipe for a great Nigerian meal.
- 6 Plum Tomatoes
- 3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- 1 Large Smoked Paprika Pepper
- 1 Red Medium Onion
- 1 Garlic Glove
- 1 Thumb Ginger
- 2 Cups Long Grain Rice (Washed)
- ½ Cup Sunflower Oil
- 1 ½ Cup Water
- ½ Cup Fresh Meat Stock
- 1/2 Tbsp. Salt
- Pinch of Grated Nutmeg (Optional)
- 1 Maggi Cube
- Chop the tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and ginger into a food processor/blender, then blend into a smooth mixture.
- Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, and then pour in the blended mixture.
- Using a wooden spoon, carefully stir the sauce as it fries, then cover it with a lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- As the sauce cooks, occasionally take of the lid and stir so that it does not burn.
- After cooking the sauce for 30 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and then pour in the rice, meat stock, water, nutmeg and Maggi cube.
- Gently stir the content of the pot together, cover with a lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Whilst the Jollof rice is cooking, take the lid of occasionally and stir to prevent burning.
- After 30 minutes, the rice should be cooked and ready to serve.
- Serve hot.
Serve with Fried plantain or Moi-Moi and Meat, fish or Poultry. Here’s how I served mine: