When we enjoy a dish in my lord’s household, I set out on a mission to perfect a recipe my family and friends will adore. The House of Yahn loves rice, and it is often featured in many of the meals I prepare. Plain rice is good, but a scoop of rice filled with flavor and just the right amount of spice always elevates the experience. During the Feast of Tabernacles, one of my remnant Judah Liberians sistas gave me a plate of Jollof rice. Since then, I researched and found many versions of Jollof rice, including Nigerian and Ghanaian.
Taking a little bit of what I liked from each recipe, I cooked up my first batch. It was pretty good, but I wasn’t thrilled with the texture, and the flavor was just a little flat. I went back to the drawing board and thought about how I could change the recipe to give me just the right bite. With a few tweaks and trust in some of my culinary tricks, I’m super proud to report I have a rice recipe you will absolutely love!
Jollof rice is known for its richness and spice, and can be dialed up or down to control the heat level. You control the heat with how much habanero/scotch bonnet pepper you use. I don’t recommend going without the pepper completely, as the pepper adds a distinct flavor. If you are nervous about the spice level, go with 1/4 of a pepper your first time around. The recipe below has a moderate heat level, meaning you can definitely taste the spice, but you won’t be uncomfortable eating the dish.
The following recipe will make enough to fit a 9×13 aluminum pan.
2.5 cups of Jasmine rice washed well
1 cup canned peeled whole tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1 medium red onion
3 cloves garlic
Up to 1.5 scotch bonnet/habanero
1/4 cup canned tomato puree
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Badia Sazon Tropical (orange)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons chicken bullion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups chicken stock
1-2/3 cups of water
1/4 cup oil
- In a blender or food processor, add bell peppers, scotch bonnet pepper, red onion, garlic, and canned tomatoes. Also add the following spices/herbs directly on top: curry powder, Badia Sazon, chicken bullion powder, thyme, white pepper, and salt.
- Blend all ingredients until smooth. You may see some bits of vegetables, which is perfectly fine. Set pepper/tomato mixture aside.
- In a large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and tomato puree and fry for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently so the mixture doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. Season the mixture with just a small pinch of salt and tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Now add chicken stock and water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the washed rice and stir to even out. Bring the mixture back to a boil, which will take approximately 3-4 minutes. It will depend on your stove so the key is to make sure you get your boil back.
- Once you boil has returned, add the pepper mixture and stir to combine. Cook uncovered on medium-high for 5 or so minutes.
- Cover the pot with foil and then put the lid on. Turn the stove down to low.
- Cook the rice on low for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and foil. You will still see liquid but you are almost there. Gently fold the bottom of the rice to the top. Be sure not to scrap the bottom layer of rice. You need that bottom layer of rice to get a nice crust on it.
- Add thawed peas and carrots, sliced onion, and sliced tomato to the bottom of the dish you plan to serve the rice from. I just use a regular ole aluminum pan.
- Pour the hot rice all over the vegetables and let sit for a few minutes.
- Gently fold through the rice to mix the vegetables throughout. The heat will have cooked them just a bit, leaving a nice contrasting crunch.
- Serve right away. If you’re waiting a little while to serve, be sure to allow the rice to cool uncovered until it stops steaming. You don’t want your rice to become mushy by trapping the heat and continuing the cooking process. Enjoy!