…..on food Enthusiasm…. Am I a Jollof rice enthusiast?

If you check my recent Instagram poll, I asked ” Are you a foodie? I have to say, the question was quite responsive. My basic tenet was to capture every opinion on the choices we make while being a food enthusiast. And out of eleven profiles that participated in the survey only seven are foodies while three are not.

I have been asked a lot of times if I enjoy food? My response is always in affirmative. You see, I am a hardcore foodie. I love to eat and I enjoy doing it.

Also, whenever I tell people I am from Nigeria they ask me about the ‘reddish’ or “orange” rice. In my head, I always know the food they were referring to.

They would tell me how they enjoyed it at any African potluck they have attended and would ask me if I find it delicious too (Of course, it’s one of my country’s main dish) why won’t I enjoy it. It goes with the phrase “a party without a jollof rice is a meeting.”

For folks who have no idea on what Jollof rice is, Jollof is a special delicacy that is prepared with rice, blended fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and habanero(if you enjoy spicy food). Also, there is the preparation of grilled/fried fish, chicken or turkey and plantain as side dishes.

You can find this delicacy at any African: Nigerian/Ghana/Liberia e.t.c potluck, event and weddings (Yes!!!! You will find it in surplus). I will add the ingredient at the latter end of this article.

Is Jollof rice my favourite food as a Nigerian?

Nope.

Am I a Jollof rice enthusiast?

I am not a jollof rice enthusiast (yea, I know right. I am a Nigerian so, I should love it), but I try to prepare it once in a while. This is mostly because I ate it too many times growing up in my household (mum loves to make Jollof) garnished with “Ugu” (Pumpkin leaves ) or spinach. Let me tell you a secret about the eastern(Igbo) food we love to garnish our meals with vegetables.

So, the question is why don’t I like Jollof rice that has been a tug of war between African countries?

It’s not a big deal for me, just not my favourite meal.

I eat jollof whenever I see it but its preparation for me is usually the last meal resort. It’s my last option if over the week or month I have run out of ideas on meal prep for the week or month. Then Jollof rice becomes the definite option.

One other reason is the option of adding too many slices of onions in the Jollof. Have I told you that onions in food are a big turn off to my appetite? There you have it (working on it now. hahaha).

How can she not like onions? Onions are totally good for your body and add a particular taste to the meal. Yes, I know but, can you make it invisible in the meal. I will gladly enjoy your meal or any meal if there aren’t any big chopped onions in the food. I will!

Every jollof rice, I have come across in my lifetime has big chopped onions( in most cases) I would have to secretly take out the onions to enjoy my plate of Jollof. And sometimes it gets tiring that I would have to lose interest in eating the food.

I have tried so many times to overlook the chopped onions which stare at me but I couldn’t.

In fact, most of my friends know I am not “onions friendly” except it is blended, crushed and doesn’t exist. (hahaha, please, make it invisible). So, I can enjoy the meal.

Now, wondering if I added slices of onion to this good looking, yummy Jollof rice? Yes, I did,(hahaha, now I have the task to take them out while eating) because you cant prepare a pot of Jollof without the chopped onions ( it has to be in the constitution of cooking Jollof rice).

Moreover, this concept has been passed down from generations to generations. You can’t omit a single procedure and expect the end result of perceiving a tantalizing aroma of Jollof rice cooking or baking in the oven.

So, there you have it, my two reasons for not being a jollof enthusiast. However, I enjoy cooking the meal if I have to make a yummy jollof rice.

Let me answer your curiosity on why don’t I like onions? It tastes bland and funny (puppy look).

Below are My basic Jollof rice ingredients :

– Rice ( 2 cups of rice. Depends on your servings too).

– Red Bell Pepper (quantity of two)

– Tomatoes (quantity of 3-4)

– Garlic( two gloves. You can dice or blend )

– Two big onions

– Coconut Oil( or any vegetable oil)

– Habanero ( if you enjoy spicy food.I added two)

– Bay leaves ( the secret to any jollof rice is the aroma bay leaves bring into your rice.)

– Maggi / Cajun spices

– Salt to taste.

Preparation:

– Wash and chop tomatoes, bell pepper, one onion, habanero, and pour into a blender. Then, blend until all is fine-grained.

– Wash rice and set it on a drainer. Chop the other onion and set it aside. ( you would need it )

– Turn on your burner to medium heat. Place your preferred pot on the burner.

– Add oil. When the oil is relatively hot, pout in your chopped onion and stir for 2 minutes/ until onion is fine-brown.

– More garlic is good so, add some in and continue to stir.

– Next, you add your blended peppers and tomatoes and continue to stir. Yes, keep stirring so your sauce doesn’t get burnt.

– If you enjoy baking, you can also bake your jollof rice ( my opinion is to stick to whatever works for you). Now, in this case, while your sauce boiling, ing, you can start by turning on your oven to 350 degrees.

– add spices to the sauce and keep stirring the sauce.

– Add two cups of water( the trick to a good quality Jollof rice is when you’re cooking two cups of rice, you add two cups of water to bake or cook. If its four cups of rice, you also add four cups of water).

– Now, add your washed rice. First, use a foil paper to cover the pot next to the lid. This way, it helps retain the heat and cooks it well( You can also apply this if you’re using a burner)

– Place the pot inside the oven and set a timer to cook for 35 minutes.

After 35 minutes your Jollof rice should be ready. You can enjoy with two or more side dishes: Salmon/turkey/chicken, Salad, fried plantain.

So, are you a Jollof Rice enthusiast?

A fan of Jollof/reddish/yellow rice?

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