If you’ve never had Jollof rice, where’ve you been? Even Jamie Oliver has had a go at recreating this dish which is the go-to favourite of west Africans everywhere, but beware of #Jollofwars.
Now where else would we go to get a failsafe recipe for Jollof rice than someone who makes it all day and every day for a living? Eat Jollof London is one of London’s leading catering company, providing modern and creative culinary alternatives to mainstream options. Its founder, Adwoa Hagan-Mensah gives us the low-down on her recipe.
“Jollof rice aficionados will swear by their own way of cooking this famous dish, and for me, there are two main categories. There is party Jollof and Jollof cooked at home! Now party Jollof is on a different level, it’s crammed with lots more flavour than Jollof cooked at home. For me, there are simple rules to making perfect Jollof rice; Cook it with love – don’t rush it, spend some time and make your own perfect stock whether vegetable or meat. Always par-boil your rice or if you are feeling lazy wash your rice before adding it to your tomato based stew. This Jollof recipe was handed down to me by my grandmother, slighted adapted.”
Jollof Rice with Green Soya Bean and Suya Pepper Pan Fried Steak
Ingredients for Jollof Rice
2 onions (peeled)
4 cloves of garlic
Half tablespoon mild curry powder
800g chopped tinned tomatoes (good quality)
1 red capsicum pepper
1 thumb of ginger
1 or 2 scotch bonnet pepper(s)
Half tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Half tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 litre fresh chicken stock
420g long grain or basmati rice (I don’t discriminate) par boiled and strained
1 tablespoon tomato puree
125ml vegetable oil
Half teaspoon dried fennel seeds
4 Knorr chicken stock cubes
Half cup of fresh skinned soya beans
Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Steak
2 medium sirloin steak
1 clove of garlic
Sprig fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon premixed Suya seasoning
Cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Rub the garlic on both side of the steaks. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, pinch of rosemary, cracked black pepper and the Suya powder. Mix thoroughly and rub well into the steaks. Wrap the bowl in clingfilm and place in the fridge to marinade for one to two hours.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, then blend the garlic, onions, fennel seeds, scotch bonnet, rosemary, ginger and thyme in a food processor and add all of the ingredients carefully into the hot oil. Cook off until the onion mixture begins to caramelise.
Blend the tomato and red capsicum peppers and add to the caramelised onion mixture along with the tomato puree and the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce the temperature to a simmer. Gently simmer for 45mins to an hour.
Next, add the Knorr stock cubes, all-purpose seasoning and curry powder and simmer for a further 10 mins. Then add the par-boiled white rice, bring to a rapid boil stirring to ensure that all the rice is covered in the tomato mixture and then reduce the heat. Place the lid on the pot and leave to steam for a further 15 mins.
Gently mix the rice and then cover the pot with foil to stop the steam escaping and cook for a further 40 mins until soft and fluffy.
Finally, stir in the soya beans – they can steam slowly in the rice and don’t need much cooking.
When the Jollof is cooked, heat up a hot griddle pan and place the steaks on the griddle for about 3 – 4 mins on each side. Leave to rest, slice and serve with the hot Jollof.
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