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Party rice | Party food | Niyis

Party rice | Party food | Niyis

Published by Inna on 18th Jun 2021

It’s party rime!!! Ahem (cough) party tice!!! I mean party time! Can you smell it? I can surely do and by the end of this blog you will definitely do as well :) I will try my best to keep this dish a secret for as long as possible before I reveal it, even though it is quite difficult, because this time I don’t have any workarounds for rice… Therefore, you will have to guess what kind of rice I am talking about :)

If you are a Nigerian (or African) or if you know a Nigerian (or African), you definitely know by now that Nigerians (or Africans) don’t joke about their rice! I remember when I first met my husband that he would eat rice (usually with stew) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though, if I am being honest there could have been other reasons for his rice crave :). Such as: 1. me not knowing how to cook any other kind of Nigerian food :)); 2. he was fairly new to his life in Europe and the food might have been still quite weird for him; 3. he could not afford to buy proper Nigerian (African) ingredients to cook something else, because he was just a student - and honestly, buying Nigerian (African) food in Europe is not cheap, but believe me when I say that in Romania it is outrageously expensive (or at least it was when we met). Joke aside, now that all these reasons are out of the way, he still needs his rice at least every other day.

For this specific rice recipe we will need loads of tomatoes and bell-peppers or red pointed-peppers (tatashe), chilli peppers (usually scotch bonnet), onion (or onion powder), garlic powdercurry powder, ginger powder (or even better the actual ginger root), thymestock cubescrayfishbay leavessalt and chicken or beef stock. First we need to prepare the base, which is a ‘sweet’ stew. For this you mix all the ingredients above (except the chicken/beef stock) in a blender until they form a nice, smooth sauce. You then boil it until the water in it is reduced. Meanwhile, you parboil the well washed rice for about 10 minutes. Once the liquid in the stew has reduced you start frying some chopped onions in a separate pot, then add the stew, the rice and the chicken/beef stock. You should leave it covered on low heat for approximately 20 minutes, checking from time to time to see if it needs more water. Don’t forget to allow it to burn a little at the bottom of the pot :) - ah how I struggled with this bit when I first started cooking… Jollof rice (I am sure you guessed by now that I am talking about Jollof rice). That is because, as I was used to, if food burns it is not good. But now, I do get it!!! Nigerian Jollof rice is not at its best if it doesn’t burn a little!

What I like most about this rice is the fact that it is a dish that is common across all Africa. Even though there are a few differences from country to country (there is even a Nigerian - Ghanian war over Jollof rice), the main idea is the same: rice boiled in a tomato stew. This shows how much African countries have in common, but that still each of them have their own ‘personality’.

P.S. You can also use a  Jollof rice seasoning mix for your Jollof rice. It is faster and you still get the same great taste!