You know, for being a guy who’s so pro-rice in the Paleo community, I have relatively few rice recipes out there. Sure, there are a bunch in my cookbook (the Dirty Rice recipe is my favorite), but considering the fact that we eat rice several times a week it should be better represented. So here’s a recipe.
Jollof Rice is a dish originally prepared by the Wolof people of Senegal and The Gambia, which has expanded to the rest of West Africa since. It is characterized by its addition of tomatoes and onions, and is put together in one pot – its other name, Benachin, means “one pot” in the Wolof language.
Wondering how rice fits into a Paleo-style diet? Read a bit about my take on it in this recipe from earlier this year.
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 1 hour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp madras curry powder (or other curry powder)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup (8oz can) tomato sauce
salt to taste
1. Thoroughly rinse the rice (until the water runs clear), then soak in cool water for 1 hour. This will prevent the rice from clumping when cooked.
2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add the peppers and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, curry powder, thyme, and black pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly darkened and soft, about 3 minutes.
3. Strain and rinse the rice, then add it to the skillet. Add the chicken broth and tomato sauce, then taste; it should taste good but a little under-salted (it will get saltier as the liquid evaporates). If you can’t taste any salt, add a little bit, maybe 1/2 tsp at a time.
4. Bring to a simmer then cover and reduce heat to low; cook until the liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes. Listen for a hissing sound coming from the pot to indicate the liquid has evaporated – don’t open the lid! Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
** This rice is often served as a side dish, but other ingredients could be added to make it a main course. For example, you could add bite-sized pieces of chicken thighs when you add the tomatoes.
This rice dish pairs especially well with fish. We ate it with grilled mackerel.
Confession: I forgot to add the tomato sauce when making and photographing this recipe. Your rendition will likely be more orange than the yellow you see above.