November 03, 2014

Jollof Rice

1 red bell pepper
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 scotch bonnet (or habanero) pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon madras curry powder
1 beef bouillon cube*
2 tablespoons Lawry's seasoning salt
2 tablespoons ground chipotle pepper
1 lb cubed beef
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, cut into half moon slices
3 cups beef broth
2 cups (uncooked) basmati rice
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 lb okra, diced
1/2 lb sliced crimini mushrooms
canola oil for cooking


Cut the bell pepper into slices, brush with oil and put under the broiler until charred. Put pepper slices in a blender with the crushed tomatoes, hot pepper, garlic, bouillon cube, curry powder and nutmeg and blend until it forms a thick sauce.

Cut the chicken thighs into small chunks, and cut the beef into small bite-sized cubes. Season both meats with Lawry's seasoning salt and chipotle pepper. In a hot dutch oven, add a tablespoon of oil and brown the chicken over a medium high heat. Remove the chicken from pot into a bowl and cover to keep warm. Add the beef cubes into the pan and brown well. Add the onion slices once the beef is browned and cook until the onions are soft and fragrant.

Return the chicken to the pot and add the tomato mixture, thyme and the broth. While this is cooking wash and drain the rice 2-3 times and set aside. Cook meat without a lid for 40 minutes over a medium-low heat stirring occasionally. Stir in the rice and cook for 20 minutes on low heat covered with foil and a lid to keep in steam. While this is cooking, sautee the mushrooms in a small amount of oil.

Open the pot and scatter the okra on top, re-cover and cook 10 more minutes. Stir in sauteed mushrooms and serve.

*I suggest Knorr's

My thoughts:
This rice dish is a staple in several areas in West Africa. It is so homey and filling! It does take a bit of time but it is very simple and the results are worth it, I promise! It made a great dinner (we served it with a side of fried plantains) and even the leftovers were good for lunches the next day.

What's funny is that my husband made this last week and then just a day or so later, a lot of controversy erupted over Jamie Oliver's recipe for Jollof Rice that was recently published. It was lambasted for using fresh tomatoes and other ingredients not common or authentic to the dish. I'd like to think we did a better job!

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