When it comes to jollof rice, we all know there's "jollof :( "and there is "JOLLOF!!! :D :D :D" and the highest grade in Jollof rice hierarchy is the Party jollof rice!!! :D. This is because the party jollof rice is actually tastier than the normal jollof rice due to its unique smokey aroma and taste. No festive season is complete without jollof rice. There was a point in my life when i practically crashed parties just because of the jollof rice....LMAO!. I've turned a new leaf now though (thank you lord!!!) and that was since i got the perfect recipe.
When it comes to the jollof rice, some people would swear it's the fire wood smoke that gives the rice that unique flavor while others would swear its the burning of the rice underneath that gives it it's unique taste. Whichever way, i'm going to show you how to recreate the party jollof rice right in your home without the firewood of course. For jollof rice, you can use the Stock of any meat such as: Beef stock, Chicken Stock, Turkey stock e.t.c. The Original party jollof rice basically doesn't require vegetables as we use at home so this is optional though when i was done, i added some boiled green peas. 

How to cook Jollof rice (Nigerian party style recipe):
•Total time:
Over an Hour
•Misc:          Serve Hot
•Serves:     12

• 10 Plum Tomatoes
• 5 Tatashey(Red bell pepper) 
• 3 Green bell pepper
1 liter Liquid Stock (Boiled meat water) i.e. Turkey stockBeef Stock or Chicken stock
• Red Onion
• 5 Cloves Garlic,minced - optional
• 1 tbsp. Dry Thyme
• 1 tbsp. Curry powder
• 5 cups Rice
• Salt to taste
• Vegetable Oil for frying (I used Canola)

Preparation of the stock
Step 1:
 If you are using beef/chicken/turkey,wash and place in a pot. Season with crushed seasoning cubes, salt, curry, thyme and ground/minced ginger,chopped onion and garlic. Boil till tender. Remove the meat from the stock and fry in a seperate pan. View the Original recipes for Turkey stockBeef Stock or Chicken stock Here . Set the stock aside separately and the oil used in frying separately. You'd need these later.

Preparation of the rice

When it comes to preparing the rice before the real jollof preparation, its either you soak it in hot water for some minutes before washing or you par-boil it before washing. This removes the excess starch and prevents the rice from sticking together while remaining firm. Either way, you'd get the same result

Step 2: Wash the rice thoroughly and place in a pot. Add enough water just enough to cover the rice and par boil for 10 mins. Wash the parboiled rice with cold water, drain and set aside. OR Soak the rice in hot water for some minutes, rinse with clean water, drain and set aside.

Preparation of the tomapep puree
Step 3: 
Remove the seeds from the tatashey and green bell pepper and wash well. Wash the Tomatoes, Scotch bonnet pepper (ata rodo) and onion well too. Blend everything to a smooth puree. Pour the Blended puree into an empty iron pot and boil till there's no water left leaving just the concentrated puree in the pot. 

Preparation of the Jollof rice
Step 4:
 Add the tinned tomato paste into the Boiled tomato and pepper puree. Pour the Oil used in frying the meat into the tomapep puree and use it to fry the tomapep puree while stirring constantly so it doesn't get burnt for about 5 mins.

Step 5: Pour the Beef Stock (meat water) into the fried puree and mix. Add the dry thyme, Curry powder, Seasoning cubes (Crushed), Salt to taste. Gently add the parboiled rice into the puree and stock mixture and make sure the stock covers the rice, if it doesn't simply add water to ensure it does. Add the Bay leaves to the pot and cover.

Step 6: Leave the jollof to cook and soften and once you notice the liquid in the pot has almost dried up leaving concentrated tomato puree at the top, turn with a wooden spoon or spatula. At this time, Check if the rice is soft enough and also check for salt and if the seasoning from the stock is enough, if not add the necessary ingredients. If its not soft enough, add some more water and leave to dry up once more till its completely soft. Now you can turn with any type of spoon........Let the Burning Beginnn!!!! P.S: 10-12mins is enough to let the bottom part get charred a bit (please don't burn the whole pot of rice....lol)

Step 7: Leave the rice to Burn underneath till you begin to smell it :D. Once it completely dries up at the top, turn off the burner and open the pot slightly for the vapor to evaporate.Your rice is ready...Serve!

Kitchen notes:
• Don't turn with a metal spoon so it doesn't start burning before its done. Get a wooden spatula ready for this purpose.
• Don't use your beautiful non stick pot for this purpose else you'd be required to scrub the pot with an iron sponge afterwards thereby damaging the pot :D. 

Op-ed pieces are views of the writer and in no way do they represent the views of Volts Africa

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