Why did it take me 2 long years to learn how to make jollof rice? There are so many details that I have just simply ignored and that has prevented me from success.
As a Hungarian girl married to a Nigerian man I am pretty used to cooking fast. 30-40 minutes and I want to see cooked food on the table. I had to learn the hard way that there is no short cut when you cook naija food. Good news though, naija people don't mind eating the same 5 or 6 naija dishes over and over again - as long as they are well cooked.
So when it comes to Jollof rice these are my tips:
1. When you make your stew , take your time and cook the blended vegetables ( chilly pepper, 2-3 bell pepper, tomato puree, canned tomato and onion) for at least 40 minutes in hot oil. It will become dark red and that's what you are looking for. My husband says you don't actually cook it but fry it.
I used to ignore the whole frying business and poured it into the rice. Never do that. Disastrous.
I also make sure to put spices in the stew just after 5 minutes of frying. I always put curry powder, salt, pepper, knorr and thyme in it. Hmmm, delicious.
2. You don't cook your rice soft before you mix it with the stew. This one is another killer mistake. I "love" overcooking my rice but that doesn't work with jollof rice.
Cook your rice for 5 minutes and rinse it. Once you mix it with the stew it will soften up in slow cooking. I normally cook the rice with the stew for 20-25 minutes.
This is how I have achieved my AMAZING jollof rice. Don't believe it? Let me prove you wrong.😉