Jollof Rice Tips? Very necessary right?! So, I got a request from a lovely lady a week ago to add cooking tips to the Blog. I thought long and hard about a subject to start with and thought, why not start with the one food most people struggle with; The elephant in the kitchen, Jollof Rice!
I already have a published Jollof Rice recipe which is quite straightforward on the Blog, click HERE to view the recipe. Do note that this isn’t a Jollof Rice Recipe post, my published recipe is as potent as can be so I don’t need to update it yet, this is just a post to share hints and tips for achieving perfect Jollof Rice. You can apply tips shared here whenever you decide to replicate my recipe.
Quite frankly, my most viewed recipe on the Blog till date happens to the Jollof rice recipe and I’ve had quite a number of feedbacks on it, on the Blog, Instagram, Facebook and personally. Also, since it’s nearly Christmas, I think it’s a good time to share these tips so we can all relax and face our Jollof rice fears once and for all.
There are 7 Jollof Rice Tips in my opinion that one needs to consider in other to achieve the perfect Jollof rice consistency and taste. I’ll take them one at a time.
1) Quality Of Rice Used:
This has a lot to do with achieving the right consistency of Jollof Rice. You’ll need to make sure you’re using a very good brand, preferably easy cook, long grain rice. Opting for a not too good brand will result in soggy, Risotto/ Paella type consistency Jollof rice and God knows I’ll never touch soggy rice with a barge pole. The quality of your rice will greatly determine the consistency/firmness of your Jollof Rice.
Tolly Boy is one brand I can’t get enough of. It’s one of the best out there…
2) Quantity of Bell Peppers, Tomatoes And Tomato Purée:
This is another important tip to consider. Your pepper should be more than raw tomatoes if you want to achieve the reddy Jollof rice colour. Using more raw tomatoes will water down the colour of your Jollof rice. You would need to substitute the rest of the needed tomatoes for tomato purée. Tomato purée is the secret to the signature reddy Jollof Rice colour. So, for every 3 cups of Jollof rice, you’ll need 3 Red Bell Peppers, 2 Small Tomatoes and 70g of tomato purée.
3) The Quality Of Stock Used:
Stock plays a vital role in the preparation of perfect Jollof rice. Whether beef, chicken or turkey stock, it needs to be well seasoned and very rich. Well seasoned stock enhances the taste of Jollof Rice.
4) Quantity Of Water/Liquid Added:
Now, I’m not an advocate of using parboiled rice for Jollof Rice. I believe parboiling takes too much way from the frying time which in turn takes away from the end result. If you would rather use parboiled rice or are comfortable with it, please feel free to continue as such, it’s only a personal thing for me. I digress, I prefer to start off with very little liquid, say, 3 cups of liquid or stew for 3 cups of rice and add more as I go.
5) The Temperature Of Heat Used:
This is so very important cos using very low heat will result in soggy rice while high heat will dry up the liquid faster than the rice is able is soften. Balance is key. The temperature should be moderate, that is medium heat.
6) The Two Secret Ingredients:
The ingredients are as stated in my Jollof rice recipe, they are White Pepper and Butter. With these two ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. White pepper is added along with the spices and seasoning while Butter is added at the end, say a few minutes to doneness. White pepper give Jollof rice its prominent flavour and taste while Butter gives it a rich look and taste.
7) Steam! Steam!! And more Steam!!!
Jollof rice needs steam and not liquid to cook perfectly. You’ll need to trap in as much heat as you possibly can to achieve perfect consistency. Try to use a pot with a very firm and tight lid and if you can, try to cover the rice up with foil paper before covering with the lid. This will help trap in the heat better and cook your rice to perfection without the need for continuous liquid incorporation.
And that’s it really, if you follow these Jollof Rice Tips, then you really can’t go wrong with your next trial.