Jollof rice is a very popular dish in many parts of West Africa and especially in Ghana and Nigeria. The rice is cooked in a spicy tomatoey sauce and so takes on a lovely orange colour. Sweet peppers and onions cooked with cumin, nutmeg and heat from a Scotch bonnet chilli - oh yes now we're talking!
Of course you use an ordinary chilli for less heat, but it just won't taste the same. Cooked in one pot means it's not only nice and easy, but you have less to clear up too - which is a good thing.
To serve 4 you will need:
To make the Ginger and Chilli base sauce:
2 nice fat garlic cloves - peeled
2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
a fat thumb-size piece fresh root ginger - peeled
1 scotch bonnet chilli - deseeded
You will also need:
a couple of glugs of vegetable oil
2 fat chicken breast fillets - cut bite sized pieces
1 large onion - cut into small dice
1 red bell pepper - deseeded and cut into bite sized pieces
1 yellow bell pepper - deseeded and cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons of tomato purée (tomato paste in the US)
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 good (heaped) teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 Knorr chicken stock cube
300g long grain rice (I always use Uncle Bens as it doesn't stick nor need rinsing)
600ml of water
salt and white pepper to season
an handful of coriander - leaves only roughly chopped
How to do it:
Start by making the ginger and chilli base sauce. Pop the garlic, ginger, Scotch bonnet chilli and the two cans of tomatoes including the juice into a food processor and whiz till it's nice and smooth.
Heat up the oil in a large frying pan. Throw in the onions and over a medium heat whilst stirring. Now add in the bell peppers and continue to cook until soft but not golden. Once that's happened, add the tomato purée and fry for another 2 minutes. Now you can add the cumin and nutmeg along with the chicken and the ginger and chilli sauce base.
Crumble in the stock cube and stir in 600ml of water. Bring to the boil and then turn to a simmer. Add the rice to the pan and cover with tightly with foil or a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Take the lid off and have a taste - season with a little salt if need and some white pepper.
If you feel the need you can of course add a little chilli powder if that Scotch bonnet isn't doing the trick!
Cook for a few more minutes until the the rice is nicely cooked. Scatter over coriander and enjoy!