Don’t be intimated by the name; it’s just our usual tomato rice with an unusual name; cooked usually with a bit of unusual ingredients. Unusual ingredient sounds a bit of exaggeration. Carrots and peas and chicken don’t sound unusual to me, you may ask? Oh! Dear. They do, they do sound unusual in tomato rice. [At least for me]
So, when I sighted upon PJ’s African cooking event and her jollof rice, I knew my blog space was craving for it, quite some time now. [After all, we thrive on the same recipes]. Along with the basic ingredients (of course, rice and tomato), you add nearly any kind of meat, vegetable or spice. There you go. You can call it ‘Jollof rice’ instead of our usual boring ‘Tomato rice’.
Ok. I know. It’s bad. Let’s not compare. Jollof meaning ‘one pot’ is a common dish in west-africa, especially Nigeria. Spices, and sometimes curry powder are added to the rice to give it a unique color and flavor. Healthy, simple and delicious are the terms I can relate to this captivating one-pot rice dish.
[Recipe adapted from What's for eats]
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Curry powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Onions, sliced thinly
2 Cloves Garlic chopped
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Basmati Rice [Washed and soaked for 15 minutes]
2 tbsp Tomato paste
1 can diced or whole tomatoes
1/2 cup Mixed Vegetables[Carrot, peas, beans, Cabbage]
1/2 cup Chicken pieces cubed[Optional].
Salt and pepper to taste
In a wide pan(make sure, its got a tight lid), heat oil, add the cumin seeds, garlic and the masala powders. Fry for a minute. Add the onions and fry till the raw smell goes.
Add the tomato paste, along with the crushed tomatoes and cook for few minutes.
Stir in the vegetables and Chicken if using. Season to taste.
Add water and bring it to boil. Add the basmati rice, and check for salt and spice. Reduce the flame to low, cover tightly and cook for 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the moisture evaporated.
Switch off.Keep the lid closed for another 15 minutes. Serve.
If using a pressure cooker or rice cooker, transfer the contents after adding the basmati rice, and cook accordingly.
Note: I used only peas, just for a lighter meal.