Welcome to that time of the year when we celebrate the only dish that binds us together as Nigerians and Africans. Jollof rice is a very easy dish to prepare but even easier to mess up if you don’t do it right. Simple errors like overcooking, undercooking and burnt offering are some of the scenarios you should avoid if you intend making that perfect jollof rice. So without further ado, we are thrilled to tell you that the era of soggy jollof rice has come to an end. Enjoy the jolly ride as we highlight the ways of prepping the perfect party jollof rice.
Tomato puree prep.
No doubt tomato paste gives an extra redness and richness; notwithstanding, tomato paste has a tart taste, and using so much of it make it seem like you added a bucket of lemon. It’s such a bad idea cooking jollof rice with lots of tomato paste. However, to get rid of that tart taste, fry the tomato paste for a few minutes in hot oil before adding the rest ingredients.
Allow to rest before serving
Serving meals immediately it is ready is applicable in other types of food, but not for party jollof rice. One of the reasons why this dish is so great is, the smoky aroma. Also, the time spent waiting to eat the meal helps the flavour to infuse better; hence, making the jollof rice taste like the national treasure it truly is. Wait for 10 – 20 minutes after cooking before serving. Good things come to those who wait…lol
Use Quality Rice
To achieve the right consistency of Jollof Rice, opt for a reliable brand of long grain rice. This is because a not-so-good brand might give you a soggy jollof rice and trust us we don’t want that to happen to that delicious naija party rice of yours. If you must go for other lower brands, ensure you wash it properly with hot water rather than parboiling. This is an effective way to prevent soggy finish.
Quantity of Ingredients
This is another important tip to consider. As long as Naija jollof rice is concerned, your peppers (Tatashe and Shombo) should be more than raw tomatoes if you want to achieve a red Jollof rice colour; both peppers are a natural colourant. Using more fresh tomatoes will reduce the colour of your Jollof rice. For instance, a combination of 2 pieces of tomatoes, 1 chilli pepper, 1 red bell pepper and half an onion may not be a perfect combo. The key to an awesome Jollof rice experience is that each grain of rice is saturated in the delicious Jollof sauce. You can substitute the rest of the needed tomatoes for tomato paste.
Have a rich stock
We can’t overemphasize the importance of a rich Stock in jollof rice. First, marinate your protein so that your spices and seasonings can infuse properly. Whether beef, chicken or turkey stock, it needs to be well seasoned and very rich. A well-seasoned stock enhances the taste of Jollof Rice.
Balance is Key! It is very important to balance the heat temperature. Very low heat will result in soggy rice and we don’t want that, also, high heat temperature will dry up the water faster and the rice won’t get soft either. The temperature should be a moderate and medium heat.
Never skip these Secret Ingredients
We know these ingredients are no longer a secret, so, we’ll spill it. They are White Pepper, Euroma Bay leaf and Butter. With a good balance of these three ingredients, you really won’t go wrong. White pepper and Bay leaves are added alongside spices and seasonings when frying the tomato puree, while butter is added at the end; a few minutes before the rice is ready. While the white pepper and bay leaf give your Jollof rice a prominent flavour and taste, butter gives it a rich look and taste.
Steam all the way
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 the perfect consistency. Try to use a pot with a very firm and tight lid and if you can. 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.
Have you got some more perfect Jollof Rice tips you would love to share? Do leave us a comment so we can learn from you. See you soon.
Thank you for stopping by.