Rice is a staple meal consumed by more than half of the world’s population. It is the most important food crop and it is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is a superb source of complex carbohydrates. Rice could be prepared in different forms. It could be prepared as jollof rice, fried rice, coconut rice, white rice, palm oil rice, etc.
To be honest, one of my favorite meals is jollof rice. Not just jollof rice, but the smoky one - the one they usually serve in Nigerian parties. Most people believe you can’t achieve that kind of jollof rice at home except it is prepared using firewood. However, this is not true as you can prepare this smoky jollof rice with your gas cooker at home.
Cooking is one of the things I enjoy doing and cooking jollof rice gives me joy. One of the foods I can cook best is jollof rice and when people have a taste of my rice, they bite their tongue and want more. Some of them ask me what my secret is and all I do is to walk away and smile.
In this article, I would be unveiling my special recipe for preparing a delicious smoky party jollof rice.
Recipe For Preparing A Delicious Smoky Party Jollof Rice
· Blended Pepper /Tomatoes
· Fresh Garlic / Garlic Powder
· Chicken/ Meat Broth
· Bay leaves
· Spring onions
· Tomato Paste
· Vegetable oil
Steps In Preparing A Delicious Smoky Party Jollof Rice
1. Prepare your chicken/ beef broth: Broth is the water extracted after boiling your chicken or beef. Before boiling your meat, spice it up with onion, curry, thyme, seasoning, and salt. After boiling, remove all the meat and your broth is ready to be used.
2. Blend your tomatoes /pepper: Select your tomatoes and peppers and then wash thoroughly. After washing, blend them.
3. Time to Slice: Wash your onions thoroughly and peel. Slice it into your desired shape and set it aside. Also, slice your green onions after washing them and set them aside.
4. Measure your rice and wash thoroughly: Measure the exact amount of rice you want to prepare and then wash thoroughly. Wash with clean water about three times and set aside.
5. Time to start cooking: Take out a clean pot and place some vegetable oil into it. Allow to heat for a while and then add your onions. Stir gently. After a minute, add some curry and stir for a while. Then, add about two bay leaves and allow to fry.
6. Add the blended tomatoes/ pepper: After adding some bay leaves, pour your blended tomatoes and pepper into the pot and fry for a while.
7. It’s time to add your broth: After the blended tomatoes and pepper has fried for a while, add your broth and stir. Allow it to cook for a while.
8. Add your seasoning: Add your seasoning, salt, thyme, ginger and garlic powder, and some little curry.
9. Add some water: After you have added almost all the ingredients, add some amount of water sufficient to almost cook the rice. This is where the untold comes into play. Don’t add too much water or too little water to the rice. Add a few cups of water and cover for a while. One thing to also note is that you should avoid stirring the rice at this stage. It could make it burn. After adding water, cover and allow to cook for about 30 minutes.
10. Reduce the heat source: During the period of this 30 minutes, ensure you cook on low heat. This is another secret you need to grab.
11. Check the water level: After the 30 minutes have elapsed, check for the water level. If the water has almost dried, it’s time to grab your wooden spatula and start stirring. Stir gently, mixing the sauce and the rice. At this stage, the rice might start burning since there is no water anymore. Don’t worry about this and don’t make the mistake of adding more water. If you taste the rice, you might notice that it isn’t fully cooked. Don’t worry about this also.
12. Add some butter: Take about 2 tablespoons of butter and add to the rice. The amount of butter you should add must be dependent on the amount of rice you are cooking. This is because too much butter in the rice can make it so oily and messy. For 4 cups of rice, you can add just a tablespoon of butter or margarine. After adding some butter or margarine to the rice, spread and stir with your wooden spatula. While the rice may still be burning, reduce the heat to a great extent.
13. Stir as it burns: As the rice burns, stir gently to ensure uniform taste. This is the secret to a smoky delicious party jollof rice. The butter added would also give the rice a great taste.
14. Cover for 5 minutes: After you have stirred the rice to ensure a uniform taste, cover for 5 minutes and allow to cook.
15. Taste to determine if it’s fully cooked: Taste the rice to know if it’s fully cooked. If it’s not fully cooked, cover and allow to cook for some minutes.
16. Sprinkle some spring onions: When the rice is fully cooked, sprinkle some spring onions to give it an enticing look and turn off your heat source.
17. Serve: Your delicious smoky party jollof rice is ready to be eaten. Serve with your chicken, beef, fish, or fried plantain.
So you see, cooking a delicious smoky party jollof rice isn’t as hard as you think. It’s so simple if only you use the right recipe and the right method. Also note that you could spice your jollof rice with other ingredients like rosemary, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, etc. It just depends on your choice. You could also spice it up with vegetables like carrots. Two essential ingredients that make your rice taste like those served at parties are your ‘bay leaf’ and ‘butter’. Don’t miss them out. What makes your rice taste smoky is burning it at low heat.