FOOD . BEAUTY . STYLE

Thursday, 8 December 2016

NIGERIAN JOLLOF RICE | Video Recipe





I’ll be sharing with you how I make Nigerian Jollof Rice. Jollof rice is a rice dish cooked in a blend of peppers and tomatoes. It’s that simple, but it doesn’t taste that way. It is really really delicious. It’s enjoyed by various African countries, with Nigeria being one of them. Jollof rice is a party favourite, barbeque favourite, children party favourite, everything favourite lol. It’s a hit all the time!

INGREDIENTS
This recipe feeds a village. Joke, this recipe will fill the pot I used in the image below, it’s a 24cm stockpot. So if you don’t want to make as much, divide the quantities of ingredients in half.

Rice 4 mugs/1kg (I used ‘Tolly Boy’ Easy Cook Long Grain Rice)
4 tomatoes (you can also use 1 can of chopped tomatoes)
Red bell peppers (2)
Scotch bonnet peppers (2)
Red Onions (2)
Tomato puree (around 150g)
Thyme (1 tablespoon)
Bayleaves (3)
Oil (1/2 cup)
Salt, All-Purpose Seasoning, and Knorr Stock Cubes to taste

* Please note: I used easy cook long grain rice, if you use other rice like basmati rice you’ll need to reduce the cooking time as it does not take as long to cook*

METHOD
  1. Blend the pepper mixture which will be used for later on, so add the 4 tomatoes, 2 red bell peppers, 2 scotch bonnet peppers, and 1 of the onions to a blender. Then add a little water to help the blending process. And blend until smooth, set aside for later.
  2. Next dice one red onion into small pieces. TIP – If there’s one thing that makes a difference to jollof rice, it’s using red onions rather than yellow onions.
  3. Add half a cup of oil into the pot and once the oil is hot enough add in the diced onions and fry on a medium heat till they become translucent, this should take about 4 minutes.
  4. Next add in the tomato puree, and fry the onions and tomato puree on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, don’t worry if it sticks to the pot a little (it’ll taste even better). TIP – Doing this and starting off your jollof rice this way really makes a difference and adds such a delicious in-depth flavour. Frying it also removes the bitter taste of uncooked purée and gives a smoky, sweet and distinctly rich flavour instead. You will know when it’s ready as the mixture looks grainy or like crumbled sand.
  5. Once the puree has fried, add in the pepper mixture blended earlier and stir in well to incorporate the fried puree properly.
  6. Now it’s time to season, so add: 3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, and a mixture of salt, Knorr chicken stock cubes and all-purpose seasoning to taste. Stir this in well and cover and leave to boil on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is cooking, wash the rice repeatedly to remove the starch. You want to do this until the water turns clear. This step is important, don't be lazy about it, this will prevent mushy and unpleasantly sticky jollof rice.
  8. Back to the pot, after about 15 minutes the sauce is ready, you’ll see it would have thickened slightly. This is also the time to taste just in case you need to adjust the seasoning at all before adding in the rice.
  9. Next add in the washed rice and stir well to ensure rice is properly mixed in.
  10. After this, add in just enough water to cover the rice, so the water should be just above the level of the rice. TIP – This is step is very important as adding excess amount of water will lead to soggy jollof rice which we don’t want. After adding the water stir well.
  11. Now the easy part, cover and leave the Jollof rice to cook on a very low heat. So For example if the highest setting of your cooker is 6 then reduce it to l or 2.
  12. I stir the jollof rice every 20 minutes until it is cooked. So after the first 20 minutes stir the rice from the bottom up. Don't worry if you feel there isn't enough liquid to cook the rice, there is, the steam at this point will do the remainder of the cooking. Cover the pot and continue to leave to cook for a further 20 minutes before checking at stirring again.
  13. So after 40 minutes check the rice and stir again from bottom up. Cover and continue to leave to steam.
  14. Now after steaming on a low heat for a total of approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, the jollof rice is ready!  TIP – you can also shorten the cooking time by covering the rice the foil before adding the lid of the pot. However if you do so, increase the heat slightly unless it can get too soggy, so I only usually use foil if I’m in a rush.


This is how I make Jollof rice, you can however make it so many other different ways but this is how I make it that guarantees me great results every time.

* I used easy cook log grain rice, if you use other rice like basmati rice you’ll need to reduce the cooking time as it does not take as long to cook*

You can also watch the video of this recipe here


Thanks for reading, hope you found this recipe useful :) 

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

HOW STRONG ARE YOU?

Most times I think I have everything together, but honestly speaking it’s when things don’t go as planned that I realize, “mate I'm not as strong I think I am, am I? ”. I can’t take pain, I can’t take disappointment. However 2015 tested me big time, last year taught me major lessons; to buckle up, to wipe my tears and move on, to be strong, and to eliminate the fear of bad times and challenges. Initially I wanted to proclaim 2015 as the worst year ever, however when I started to reflect I realized that it was in fact my best year yet, I finally grew up. 

I used to run away from or dread the fact that problems will arise in life. I can’t pin point the exact reason why, but I do believe that my “no weapon formed against me shall prosper” thinking contributed to this fear (or should I say ignorance). Preaching’s and preaching’s of you are not meant to be sick, you are not meant to struggle, you are not meant to be single, everything will be easy etc. also played a part. I stupidly thought everything has to be rosy because “I am a child of God” (ha!) I can laugh it now because I now see how folly that actually was. 

How did I (and I’m sure many other Christians out there) blindly refuse to see the real meaning behind Isaiah 54:17 -“No weapon formed against you shall prosper”. It clearly says that weapons will be formed against you, not weapons might be formed against you. Therefore, problems will arise, you will be stressed, you will face disappointments, there will be mountains that seem bigger that you, however, these issues will not prosper over you, they will not consume you, and they will not overwhelm you, this is God’s promise for His children.

So in light of this, “If you are weak in crisis, you are weak in reality” (Prov 24:10). It is in such days of crises that we have a natural tendency to be discouraged and overwhelmed. Hate to say it, but this means we are weak full-stop. It shows that we have little Christian strength or courage. It shows that the faith or assurance in God which we proudly proclaim when times are good, is actually non-existent because when we are actually meant to exercise this faith we speak so fondly about on the pulpit, we fail.  

Therefore, let us use times of adversity as a way to strengthen ourselves, our spirits, and our will. So when next you are facing a challenging time, keep your head up, don’t give up or run away from it, try not to be impatient. But instead, ask God for His Grace, His Strength and Wisdom to get through the turmoil. Because at the end of the day God is a loving Father who will never ever give you more than you can take. And remember that through it ALL He remains, always and for ever, a faithful and good good Father.

Ivonne Munito x


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