Lifestyle Choices – Food As You Like It!
I’ve heard arguments between my Nigerian friends and some Ghanaian mates on what country’s Jollof rice tastes better. To be honest, I really couldn’t be bothered so long as it’s cooked to my liking ~ Hot N Spicy.
For my Non-African friends who’ve never had a taste of the infamous Jollof rice, here’s the dinner I made tonight, served with Peppered Cod fillet and vegetables .
Preparing my Jollof Rice: Cooking time – 35 – 40 mins
White Rice – 2 cups serving 3/4 adults; 2 Scotch Bonnet; 1 large red pepper; 1 large green pepper; Vegetable/Groundnut oil; Fresh Thyme; 2 medium-size Red Onions; 4 Plum Tomatoes; Tomato Puree (sometimes I do without the puree); curry powder; sea salt; 3 Bay leaves; fresh coriander; ground mixed Caribbean spices (this has a good blend of flavours which I absolutely love).
Cod/Haddock Fillet – Extra Virgin Oil, (mixed vegeatbles ~ carrots, green peas, red and green peppers), Chilli flakes, Sea Salt, Garlic, Fresh Parsley & Mixed Spice
In a pot of boiling water, pour in the rice and leave for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Move pot with Rice and rinse under cold running water to remove the surface white starch. This is to prevent the rice getting lumpy when cooked and also improves the taste, its freshness and smoothness.
Blend together the plum tomatoes, scotch bonnet, red and green peppers and a bulb of red onion, adding some water to form a loose paste.
Next, pour in about half a cup of oil into a pot and bring to the hub on medium heat. After 2 minutes, add some chopped Onion and fry for another 3 minutes until golden brown. Pour in the blended tomato mix and stir for about 15 seconds.
Next pour in the washed parboiled rice into the pot, adding about 2 teaspoonful each of curry powder and ground mixed spice, bay leaves, half a tub of tomato puree or 4 tablespoonful and stir. Add water until the rice is just covered to about 1 ½ inches. Cover slightly with a lid, turn down the heat and let to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before the water dries up, add the fresh thyme and coriander and stir until herbs infuse with the rice. Continue to simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off and leave on hob, giving a good stirring.
Peppered Cod Fillet ~ Preparation
Get 3 or 4 cod fillets, sprinkle all sides with a pinch of sea salt, chilli flakes and mixed spice. Wrap up in a cling film and seat in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes for flavours to infuse with fillets.
Next pour 4 tablespoonful of Extra virgin oil into a saucepan and heat for 3 minutes on medium heat. Scoop fillets into oil and leave for a minute. Turn on other side using a Spatula so fillets do not disintegrate. Leave for another minute. Next pour in mixed vegetables and sprinkle crushed garlic and fresh parsley onto fillets and reduce heat to low. Simmer for another 4 minutes, carefully turning fillets on 2 minute mark.
Remove Fillets and vegetables from saucepan and serve with Jollof Rice.
Okay, this is my own recipe and one of the ways I enjoy cooking my Jollof. I’m sure there are several variations to making this dish, but I always believe one can experiment with food and can always try something new. Food is Art and there are no fixed rules of defining art. It is what you make of it. So I believe.
- Note – Rosemary seen on plate was not used in the preparation of this meal. For aesthetics only!