Jollof Rice Recipe from Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

jollof rice recipe

This jollof rice recipe is from Kate Young. After she read Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah, she just had to try jollof rice. But it was not an easy feat. According to her:

“Having not made jollof rice before, I needed some help. Every recipe I read seemed completely different, so I sought out the advice of a friend. Before I could get a list of ingredients out of her, she noted the following: her family would put different things in it depending on what was in the cupboard, her mum used to chop vegetables into tiny dice and add them to the sauce (to sneak them past her younger siblings), she couldn’t possibly offer specific measurements, and the stock cube should be Maggi if at all possible.”

But she was finally able to come up with something fantastic. So here’s Kate Young’s Jollof Rice recipe, a’ la Americanah.

Jollof Rice: The Recipe

Ingredients
5 small tomatoes (or one tin chopped tomatoes if you can’t find ones that smell like tomatoes)
2 small red peppers
2 scotch bonnet chillies (this is very much to taste – add more or less as you fancy)
1 red onion
Large pinch flaked sea salt
3tbsp rapeseed oil
250g basmati rice
4tbsp tomato paste
2tsp curry powder
1 stock cube (Maggi is traditional)
Pinch nutmeg
1 small red pepper (chopped into small dice)
1 small green pepper (chopped into small dice)

Equipment
Knife
Chopping board
Food processor/stick blender/mortar and pestle
Large frying pan
Medium saucepan
Wooden spoon
Fork

1 Remove the seeds from the peppers and chillies and chop into large chunks. Slice the tomatoes into quarters and remove their seeds. Top and tail and peel the onion, and slice into large chunks. Place these, along with the salt, into the processor/mortar and blitz or pound to a paste. This can be messy. I refer you to Obinze:

He had already told Nigel many times that Nigerian cooking was not cosmetic, with all that pounding. It was sweaty and spicy and Nigerians preferred to present the final product, not the process.

NB. I have had more than one scotch bonnet/eyes incident. I can’t stress enough – wash your hands well once you’ve finished chopping the chilli.

2 Warm the oil in the frying pan, and tip in the paste. Lower the heat and reduce it until thick, which should take around ten minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it sticking.

3 Meanwhile, you should cook the rice. Rinse it three times in cold water, and then add enough fresh water to cover the rice by 2cm. Put it on to boil, reducing to a simmer once the water is bubbling. Allow to cook (with the lid on) until the water has evaporated to the level of the rice. Turn the heat off and leave the rice to steam in the pot while you finish the sauce.

Click the link below for the complete recipe.

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