Jollof is a whole mood, a cultural phenomenon, and the crowning glory of any cook is that
they know how to make perfect, tasty jollof rice.
Jollof Rice is a popular West African rice dish simmered with spicy tomato sauce with Scotch
bonnets and lots of awesome seasonings, the perfect party dish!
Getting the Jollof recipe down can be very tricky, but the great thing is that once you have
it down, you are golden. Even though we like to say that no two pots of Jollof are the same,
there are some basic principles for the absolute best jollof rice. Here they are:
Traditional jollof rice is cooked with two main ingredients - rice and tomatoes.
Quality Of Rice
This has a lot to do with achieving the right consistency of Jollof Rice. Usually, any long
grain or Basmati would do. Just make sure it's properly washed clean and drained of all liquids.
If making Jollof risotto; then a shorter grain can be used.
As a rule, start with equal parts of rice and liquid; let the steam do the work. The reason is that Jollof should be infused with steam, not boiled. The more you can infuse your rice without overcooking, the tastier it is.
There are two major determining factors for Jollof color. These are:
1. properly fried base and
2. tomato paste (purée).
Using fresh tomatoes and bell peppers have just always been the best preference. Patience also plays a big part in color. It takes time to get the right consistency of the fried stew for Jollof rice. After frying your stew, it should look a little dark and dry before adding your rice to the mix.
The texture of Jollof is just as important as the taste. You never want the rice to turn to mush, yet you don't want undercooked rice. If you are ever in a sticky situation, here are some tips:
• If your rice is too hard, you could add a little more hot water or stock. Do not cook your rice with cold stock or cool water!
• If your rice has too much water, pour it into a wide tray and stuff it into the oven on high heat(350 degrees) to dry it out.
Cooking Jollof rice with the right spices and cooking the spices correctly counts for a good foundation. The general flavor profile of Jollof has Bayleaf, tomato, onion, bouillon, curry, thyme, and salt. The secret is to fry these spices in the oil for about a minute before adding your onion and tomatoes puree.
Also, do not be afraid to add more seasonings and spices after the rice is cooked, just make sure your rice is still hot when you do.
The Jollof experience is often as important as what it's paired with. Jollof is NEVER served alone. A perfectly paired plate of Jollof should include two or more of the following:
• Fried plantain (obviously)
• Sauced or stewed meat
• Creamy coleslaw is always a great idea
There you have it, folks! If you follow these Jollof Rice Tips, then you really can't go wrong with your next trial.