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Master the Art of Smoky Party Jollof Rice

Easy Tips and Tricks for Perfect Flavor

By Godwin OmogoPublished about a month ago 3 min read

This is for those who love exploring new foods and recipes. And even if you don't, you might know someone who does, making this useful for you as well.

Today, I'll be sharing an incredible, smoky party Jollof rice recipe. Plus, I have some tips and tricks to help you achieve that perfect smoky flavor.

Let's get started. One of the key ingredients for Jollof rice is a concentrated meat broth or stock. For this, I'll be using turkey and beef. You can use any meat you prefer, but I find a mix of turkey and beef gives the best flavor. For seasoning, I’ll use chopped onions, curry leaves, fresh thyme, one scotch bonnet pepper for heat, bouillon cubes, salt, curry powder, and garlic powder. Mix everything thoroughly without adding water to let the meat release its juices naturally. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to intensify the flavours.

After 20 minutes, add enough water to cover the meat, but not too much, as you need a concentrated stock. Cook until the turkey is tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a bowl, as overcooking can ruin it. Continue cooking the beef until soft.

For the peppers, I’ll roast them along with onions, garlic, and tomatoes. This adds smokiness and enhances the flavor. Preheat your oven to 180°C and roast for 40 minutes. If you don’t have an oven, you can do this in a pan. I will explain at the end how to use a pan.

Blend the roasted peppers, garlic, and some ginger until smooth. This thick, flavorful mix will be our stew base. Fry the meat in vegetable oil with onions, thyme, and garlic to build more flavor. Once browned, remove the meat and use the same oil for the Jollof rice.

Fry chopped onions in the oil for about a minute, then add tomato paste. Fry the paste for about 15 minutes until it becomes sweet and pebbly. This step is crucial for a rich flavor. Then, add the pepper mix and more oil if needed, followed by thyme, white pepper, bouillon cubes, curry powder, salt, and bay leaves. Fry for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add washed (not parboiled) rice to the stew and fry for about five minutes. Add the meat broth, ensuring it’s just enough to cover the rice by a centimeter. Cover tightly with foil and a lid, and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, check and stir the rice gently to avoid bringing up the burnt bits. Add more salt if needed, and mix in some butter, chopped onions, and tomatoes. The butter helps replenish moisture and adds richness. Cover again and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.

Your smoky Jollof rice is now ready! It’s perfectly cooked, flavorful, and has that distinct party Jollof taste. Follow this recipe, and you’ll become a Jollof rice expert. If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments. Thank you, and happy cooking!

Note: You’ll need a non-stick, anodised, or cast iron pan—basically, something that won’t stick. Add some oil to the pan and coat the cut side of your garlic to prevent burning. Place the garlic cut side down, then add your chopped peppers, arranging them so they don't overlap.

Cook on low to medium heat—not high heat. High heat will char the peppers too quickly without properly roasting them. Keep the heat low to medium and turn the peppers occasionally to achieve an even char.

This process takes about 30 to 35 minutes, but the end result is worth the time and effort.


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