Party Jollof Essential spice, herbs and Extra seasonings


My mama’s Wednesday afternoon Jollof rice was the way maker to her Saturday/Sunday Feel good Jollof a.k.a ‘Parry Jollof a.k.a ‘Owambe Jollof but most popularly know as Party Jollof. Growing up I have learnt so many ways of cooking Jollof rice from watching different people: the born before 60’s way, the boarding schooler’s way, the market woman’s way and the all round festive ways.

Jollof rice on its own is a festive meal even when eating alone or feasting with friends and family. Of all the ways I have seen Jollof being made, both nationally and internationally (i.e. Ghanian, Sierra Leone way) one important thing I’ve learnt is that you can take your Jollof to a whole new level by the seasonings you choose to use, be it fresh of ready-made. The best way for me to share this knowledge with you is in a recipe using all my known essential and extra seasonings. I’ll let you know which Essential or an Extra.

Festive rice in Nigeria such as this party Jollof rice or fried rice are usually served with a variety of sides, such as: Moi-Moi, rich mixture of coleslaw & salad, Suya (Chicken or beef), Dodo (fried plantain), fried or grilled fish, fried or grilled meat and as much as you can think of.

Here’s the recipe:

Print Recipe
Party Jollof Rice
Essential spices and herbs for Party Jollof Rice
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • 400g plum tomatoes (Essential and the base for the Jollof sauce and most Nigerian sauces)
  • 50g scotch bonnet peppers (Very Essential not only in Nigerian cooking but in most African, Caribbean cooking!)
  • 3 whole smoked paprika pepper (an Extra ingredients but a wise choice to use when cooking it's a sweet spice with a pungent red colour)
  • 2 whole Cameroon pepper (an Extra but a vital ingredient in modern Nigerian meals)
  • 1 large red onions (Essential, it gives a beautiful taste and aroma that cannot be substituted for white onions)
  • 30g Tin Tomato purée (Just as Essential as the fresh tomatoes but can equally be left out or substituted for the fresh tomatoes, i.e. boarding school Jollof)
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg (Extra but gold, it's my not so secret ingredient)
  • 1 thumb ginger (Extra to most but very Essential to me, it's a personal preference)
  • 2 bay leafs (Essential especially when cooking party Jollof and not just the "I deserve a treat" Jollof)
  • 2 tsp curry powder (Somewhat Essential, I can do without using curry, but using it does make a difference)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder (Etxra and a personal preference for extra vibrant colour and spice)
  • 1 tsp dry thyme (Essential to party Jollof, it's the aroma it gives the whole street, almost like an invitation to come feast with you)
  • 2 Maggi cubes (One of the oldest favorite Nigerian brand, it's very debatable if it's Essential to cooking, but sometimes I use it and sometimes I don't)
  • 3 cups rice (Essential base. Either parboiled or just plain washed)
  • 2 cups fresh stock (Very Essential to Nigerian cooking, we usually boil meat (be it beef or chicken) which is then fried and served with the rice)
  • 1 tbsp rock salt (Essential and can be substituted with 1/2 the amount of table salt)
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • 400g plum tomatoes (Essential and the base for the Jollof sauce and most Nigerian sauces)
  • 50g scotch bonnet peppers (Very Essential not only in Nigerian cooking but in most African, Caribbean cooking!)
  • 3 whole smoked paprika pepper (an Extra ingredients but a wise choice to use when cooking it's a sweet spice with a pungent red colour)
  • 2 whole Cameroon pepper (an Extra but a vital ingredient in modern Nigerian meals)
  • 1 large red onions (Essential, it gives a beautiful taste and aroma that cannot be substituted for white onions)
  • 30g Tin Tomato purée (Just as Essential as the fresh tomatoes but can equally be left out or substituted for the fresh tomatoes, i.e. boarding school Jollof)
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg (Extra but gold, it's my not so secret ingredient)
  • 1 thumb ginger (Extra to most but very Essential to me, it's a personal preference)
  • 2 bay leafs (Essential especially when cooking party Jollof and not just the "I deserve a treat" Jollof)
  • 2 tsp curry powder (Somewhat Essential, I can do without using curry, but using it does make a difference)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder (Etxra and a personal preference for extra vibrant colour and spice)
  • 1 tsp dry thyme (Essential to party Jollof, it's the aroma it gives the whole street, almost like an invitation to come feast with you)
  • 2 Maggi cubes (One of the oldest favorite Nigerian brand, it's very debatable if it's Essential to cooking, but sometimes I use it and sometimes I don't)
  • 3 cups rice (Essential base. Either parboiled or just plain washed)
  • 2 cups fresh stock (Very Essential to Nigerian cooking, we usually boil meat (be it beef or chicken) which is then fried and served with the rice)
  • 1 tbsp rock salt (Essential and can be substituted with 1/2 the amount of table salt)
Essential spices and herbs for Party Jollof Rice
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, puréed the fresh tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, red onions, Cameroon pepper, smoked paprika, ginger and garlic.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep pan or a cast iron pot (typical used to prepare festive meals in Nigeria) over medium heat.
  3. Pour in the puréed mixture and fry whilst continually stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. Grate in the nutmeg and add all the other seasonings; curry powder, dried thyme, Maggi cubes and turmeric powder.
  5. Stir in the tin tomato purée.
  6. Continue frying and stirring, this process takes between 30 to 50 minutes, the aim is to thoroughly cook the tomatoes, hence infusing all the spices and herbs as they fry.
  7. Pour in the washed rice and fresh stock (it is almost seen as a taboo to use store-bought stock or even use broth, but if you must, use a stock cube dissolved in hot water).
  8. Throw in the bay leaf.
  9. Stir to combine well and cover with first some aluminium foil paper (or a sack which is traditionally used) and then a lid)
  10. Reduce the heat and let the rice cook for 30 to 45 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to prevent it from getting burnt or cooking unevenly
  11. Once the rice is cooked, serve hot.

Enjoy… It’s a festive meal after all! Xx

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