African Jollof Rice
By: Chinwe Ibeh
*If you’re cooking more than 3 cups, double the pepper, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and add 1/2 an onion*
1. Halve the red bell pepper, onion and tomato and then cut into quarters. Blend mixture (add the tomato paste). Add 1-2 cups of water to mixture and blend further till liquefied (this will be a watery mix).
2. Heat pot on stove over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup oil of your choice (I used canola). Add blended peppers and seasonings, stir. Slice some onion into mixture (optional). Let boil for 15 minutes on low heat.
3. Add rice, continue to cook on low heat for 35 minutes. It should be be almost cooked at this point, if not let cook until rice is soft enough for you.
4. Heat oven to 325° F. Put pot in oven for another 15 minutes (this makes it fluffy).
5. Remove, let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Before it goes in the oven, it might be somewhat mushy, but not to worry, as soon as it comes out of the oven, it’ll be nice and fluffy.
Also, don’t get flustered if the rice at the bottom of the pot burns, most if not all great tasting jollof rice burns at the bottom just a tad.
This is typically eaten with fried plantain or moi-moi (steamed bean cake) along with meat of your choice.