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Decolonize yo Diet; a Nigerian bust down!

On this second edition of Decolonize your Diet we are going all they way to the motherland,West Africa to create a Jollof Rice & Coconut fried-plantains dish.

Jollof Rice is a popular dish eaten in most parts of West Africa, most notably Nigeria,The Gambia ,and Ghana. Though many of the dishes share similarities, there are variations in the kind of ingredients used.

Alternative names: Benachin, riz au gras, zaamè

It is a vegetarian/vegan dish but it can also be served with your choice of meat.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Serves: 6
Price: $18- $22


For the rice:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 can plum tomatoes 
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chili (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 thyme sprigs 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 60g tomato purée 

For the plantains:

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 plantains, peeled and sliced into 1cm rounds



  • Method
  1. Put the rice in a sieve, rinse thoroughly to remove the starch, then soak in clean cold water for 5 mins. Drain and par-boil the rice for 5 mins until almost cooked, then drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Blend the tomatoes, pepper, half the red onion, the garlic and chilli until smooth.
  3. Finely slice the remaining onion half. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, high-sided pan. Add the sliced onion, bay and thyme, and cook on a medium heat for 8 mins until the onion is softened and aromatic.
  4. Add the spices with 1 tsp salt, cook for a few mins more, then add the tomato purée and cook for 1-2 mins.
  5. Add half the tomato and pepper mix (freeze the rest for future use). Add the semi-cooked rice and mix thoroughly to coat with the sauce. Add a bit more water, turn down the heat, stir and cover with a lid for 5-10 mins until cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the type of rice, so keep checking it. Don’t worry if it catches on the bottom, this will add to the flavour.  Squeeze a lime on top for extra flavor and remove the bay leaves before serving.
  6. To cook the plantain, simply heat the coconut oil in a high-sided pan until hot. Fry the plantain, turning occasionally, for a few mins until soft and golden. Serve with the rice.





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