Jollof Jollof. In the recent months Jollof rice has become the sensation of African cuisine. Famous Chef Jamie Oliver completely botched the “traditional” recipe, at least that’s how most Africans have described his attempt. His recipe “broke” the African interwebs as everyone went up in an uproar. “That’s is not how you make Jollof rice” blah blah blah. I on the other hand, commend the outreach into African cuisine. He was brave in trying out the recipe and I feel like the exposure should be appreciated.
I’m taking it one step out of this box with this recipe since Jollof is normally made with rice. I’m not big on eating rice, so I substituted with quinoa. Jollof rice is to Africans, what Biryani is to Arabs. A must have at every occasion; it is simply a classic. There are a million and one variations of this recipe, including Jamie Oliver’s but this is how I like mine.
It is quite spicy so you can leave out the chili if you have a sensitive stomach. I encourage everyone to try this recipe, my African readers for a healthier alternative to Jollof rice and everyone else who’d like to dip a foot into African cuisine.
Enjoy, Gbemi x
P.s There is a famous superstition that if you stir the pot after you add the rice (quinoa) it will burn. Either which way mine still burns a little, but I think that charred tastes adds the classic Jollof flavor.
Ingredients -Serves 6
3 large tomatoes
2 red chillis
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb sized ginger
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon of tomato paste
½ teaspoon dried chives
¼ teaspoon died thyme
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 pack Knorr seasoning (2 cubes)
2 cups of quinoa, washed.
Add the tomatoes, one onion, garlic, chili and ginger in a blender with half cup of water and process till smooth.
Slice the other onion thinly. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the sliced onions and sweat for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomato paste, stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the blended tomatoes and cook for 10-12 minutes, till the sauce thickens. Now, add dried chive, thyme, turmeric and seasoning cube. Taste and season with slat and black pepper., then cook for another 8-10 minutes.
Add the washed quinoa and cover with one cup of chicken stock. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add water if needed to continue the cooking, till quinoa is soft.
Serve with stewed beef and plantains or as you like.