West African Jollof Rice

5 Jun

This is another one of the recipes  that I first made while watching the World Cup last summer. The other being my Brazilian Bean Patties. I decided to make a dish from one of the countries playing in each match. This recipe was from when England played Ghana. There are many different variations on Jollof rice from all over West Africa but nearly all are tomato based with whatever vegetables you have, or are in season, added.

Most versions also contain chicken, which I have obviously left out. If you want to add the chicken just fry off some chicken pieces first to colour them then remove them from the pan, continue with the rest of the recipe and then add the chicken pieces back in when you add the stock.

The Washer Up pointed out that it is very similar to Paella and I had to agree. I think this would have something to do with the fact that Paella came to Spain during the Moorish occupation. It is believed to be a derivation of a Pilaf or Pilau and you can see that in the name.  The Arabs were also in West Africa for a long time controlling the slave trade in that area so obviously would have had an influence on their cuisine also. It makes sense doesn’t it. So Pilau, Paella, Pilaf  and Jollof could all have started out as one dish that over the centuries has been adapted by many different cultures and adopted as part of their own food heritage.

West African Jollof Rice Recipe

serves 4, vegan, gluten-free

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 litre (2 – 4 cups) veg stock
  • 2  ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1oo gr cooked kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 50 gr frozen peas (I used a peas & sweetcorn mix)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 400 gr (2 cups) wholegrain rice
  • 150 ml tomate frito/tomato passata/puree
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, herbs, spices, salt & black pepper and cook until the onions have softened (about 5 minutes). Then add the garlic, fresh chilli & ginger and cook for another minute.

Next add in the chopped vegetables and tomatoes and cook until the vegetables are partly cooked(5 -8 minutes).

Stir in the rice then add the tomato puree and stir over a low heat to coat the rice. Next add 1/2 litre of stock, season with salt & black pepper and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, over a low heat, covered until the rice and vegetables are cooked and all the stock has been absorbed. (About 25 minutes). Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and add more veg stock if necessary, a cup at a time, to stop it becoming dry before the rice is cooked.

Check for seasoning and serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Things that made me smile today…

Giant Dandelions…?

Make a wish Rufus….!

20 Responses to “West African Jollof Rice”

  1. tony ward June 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    all this lovely food AND a history lesson, don’t know where you get it from.!!!
    We have to give this a try too,will give this to our next dinner guests(Wednesday). Great pic’s…..that Rufus gets in everywhere princess. xx

  2. happywhennothungry June 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Wow this rice looks beautiful!!! I love the flavors too. Yum!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    This meat eater thinks this recipe doesn’t need chicken. It’s just wonderful without it, so colorful too. I love that you made it for a sporting event.

  4. Joyti June 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    The rice sounds very delicious. Spicy and full of flavor🙂

  5. thefooddoctor June 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    This looks amazing..I love the idea of making dishes inspired by sporting events..it looks colorful and refreshing..

  6. Maris(In Good Taste) June 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    What a beautiful colorful and healthy dish!

  7. Maris(In Good Taste) June 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    What a beautiful, colorful and healthy dish!

  8. Ramona June 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    This dish is so very comforting to look at. It is simply a bowl of spicy deliciousness! I know I would dig in and go back for seconds. : ) Great Job. I love your cultural culinary repertoire. Lovely pictures too! : )

  9. Caroline June 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    What a gorgeous dish! I don’t think chicken is even necessary, it looks fantastic without the addition. Love the kick of spice in the recipe.

  10. Erin June 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    So pretty! Great flavors in there, has to taste amazing!

  11. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom June 6, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    Your mix of seasonings has me so intrigued. Love the cinnamon-ginger combined with the cayenne-chili flakes.

  12. Olivia June 6, 2011 at 2:08 am #

    this looks delicious! i am definitely going to try it out! also, thank for the desert island potato recipe, that was really funny🙂 i think i’m making those tonight!

  13. kitchenarian June 6, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    I love the combination of spices and flavors. This dish sounds wonderful.

  14. Medeja June 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    It looks so creamy.. I like such rich rice dishes🙂

  15. suzy eats June 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    i love how you gave such a great history lesson! this dish looks amazing!!

  16. Marmande in the Kitchen June 7, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    This looks great, and would be perfect to make ahead of time for a busy week. Love the picture of your dog sniffing the flower!

  17. tiffany June 7, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    I love the connection you make between Pilau, Paella, Pilaf and Jollof! It just goes to show that we are ALL interconnected!

  18. KonstantKraver June 7, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    This looks so filling and fresh and just full of warm lovely goodness

  19. sarah June 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    I think I have literally bookmarked every single recipe you have posted and this one is no different- looks perfect!! Also- the picture of rufus “making a wish” just made my day.

  20. Tammy McLeod June 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I love that you made a dish for every team in the World Cup. That’s fantastic. And I love the look of this dish – spicy veg. Mmmm.

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