Nigerian Palm oil jollof rice
Nigerian Palm oil jollof rice is not usually served at parties, which is really a shame, because it can hold its own flavour wise and aesthetically against any rice dish.
You don’t need as much tomatoes as in the Nigerian jollof rice because you want the taste of the palm oil and spices to be frontal, you don’t want them masked. In fact, some people don’t even add tomatoes to their own but I use tomato paste.
Any type of meat or fish can be used to serve Nigerian palm oil jollof rice. If using stockfish, try to use the mild flavoured type (as used in stockfish pepper soup), so the flavour won’t overpower the dish.
Here, I served the Nigerian Palm oil jollof rice with spiced grass-cutter meat and spicy snail stir fry.
To prepare Nigerian Palm oil jollof rice:
meat dry fish 4 cups rice 1/3 cup (6 tablespoons) tomato paste 1 cup + 2 tablespoons palm oil (separated) 2 large onions 5 cups stock + water 4 seasoning cubes 6 scotch bonnet (fresh pepper) salt 1/4 cup ground crayfish 5g ogili okpei,(ogili isi,dawadawa or iru) 40g scent leaves
Soak dry fish in boiling hot water for 2 minutes, rinse properly in cold water. Remove the centre bone and other small ones as much as you can. Wash meat.
Put meat and dry fish in a pot, season with seasoning cubes, salt and some onions, add a little water and boil. Top up the water when needed, till meat is very tender.
Remove meat from the stock and set aside. Add enough water to the stock to make up to 5 cups or less. The quantity of water really depends on how well done your parboiled rice is. If you are not sure, add less, you can always sprinkle in more later if the rice is too chewy.
While the meat is cooking, wash rice, place in a pot, add enough water to cover the rice by about 1 inch. Boil till about half way done.
Drain in a sieve, run cold water on the rice to cool it down and stop further cooking. Drain in a sieve and set aside.
Chop or slice onions, grind the pepper and soak ogili okpei in very little water to dissolve. Wash and shred the scent leaves.
In a clean dry pot, put 1 cup of palm oil and set over medium low heat. Heat for about 3 minutes. You don’t want to completely bleach the oil, there should still be a some colour in it. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down enough to gently fry the onions before use.
When the oil is cool enough, add sliced onions. Fry till slightly browned at the edges.
Add the chopped pepper and tomato paste, fry for 2 minutes to remove any rawness.
Add the meat stock, dry fish, 2 tablespoons palm oil, crayfish, ogili okpei, seasoning cubes and salt. Stir and bring to a boil.
Add the parboiled rice. Stir and taste for salt and other seasoning.
Cover tightly and cook till very little water is remaining, reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook till water has been absorbed.
Stir and cover to dry out, about 5 minutes.
The meat can be fried, grilled or turned in a tomato stew.
- Cover the pot while bleaching the oil so that the usual pungent smoke from hot palm oil, will be contained in the pot.
- During the bleaching of the palm oil, the oil temperature could rise so much that it catches fire, especially if the pot was not covered. Just turn off the heat and cover very tightly with a pot lid. The fire will go off.
- Be very careful and vigilant when bleaching palm oil.
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