12 Days of Christmas: Nigerian Party Rice


No celebration or holiday meal in Nigeria, or amongst Nigerians, is complete without one or two of these party rice dishes. Jollof Rice and Nigerian Fried Rice are easy-to-make, yet absolutely delicious rice dishes that everyone will enjoy eating. These dishes are usually never served alone. Most of the time, they are served with sides of fried plantains, a salad/coleslaw and some meat. In order to keep your Christmas meal plant-based, you can substitute the meat with your preferred vegan alternative, tofu or tempeh.

We should mention that our jollof rice is made following an Igbo (Nigerian tribe) recipe which tend to feature visible bell peppers in the final dish. Our fried rice is also a bit paler than that which is more common due to the colour intensity of the stock we used (as we’re not using meat stock or Nigerian chicken seasoning cubes which tend to be a relatively yellow). However, our fried rice tasted like and authentic Nigerian fried rice.

We hope you enjoy our vegan jollof rice and fried rice recipes!

Bon Appétit!


 

Jollof Rice

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

1 Large Purple Onion, quartered

1x 400ml can Chopped Tomatoes (substitute with equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes)

1 Large Red Bell Pepper, quartered

2 Garlic Cloves

1tsp Fresh Ginger, minced

2-5 Scotch Bonnet Chillies (adjust to taste and take out seeds to reduce heat level)

3tbsp Tomato Purée

5tbsp Vegetable Oil

1/2 Large Purple Onion, chopped

Salt (to taste)

1tsp Thyme

2 x 10g Vegetable Stock Cube

1 Bay Leaf

500g Rice, parboiled (preferably, long grain rice)

Water (substitute with low sodium/ 0% salt vegetable stock)

An Assortment of Bell Peppers, chopped (to desired quantity)

Method

  • Blend the whole onion, tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger and chillies till a smooth consistency is formed.
  • Heat up the oil in a medium-large pot and fry the half of the additional onion needed for this recipe until translucent and the edges just begin to turn brown.
  • Stir the tomato purée, salt, thyme, bay leaf and stock cubes into the fried onions and fry it for about a minute stirring often to prevent burning. At this point, the mixture should be noticeably saltier than you would like the final dish to be, but it shouldn’t be overly salted.
  • Pour in your blended mixture and stir to evenly distribute the fried onion and tomato purée.
  • Stir in the parboiled rice followed by enough water to just cover the rice.
  • Raise the heat up on your stove till the liquid in the pot starts boiling then reduce it to a simmer and let the rice cook with the lid on until the rice is cooked through. (N.B. Every few minutes gently move parts of the rice to ensure none of it is sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Also, add more water if needed till the rice is cooked. However, extra water is usually not necessary unless the rice was cooking at a faster rate than a simmer.)
  • 5-10mins before the rice is done cooking, stir in the chopped bell peppers and place a lid over the pot again.
  • Once the rice is cooked through, turn off the heat and give the rice a final stir. For an authentic smoky party jollof taste, you can turn the heat up as high as it can go for a few minutes to burn some of the rice at the bottom of the pot before turning off the heat. Stir the top layer of the burnt (but not black) rice through the entire dish to spread the smoky flavour and scent a bit.

Serve.


 

Fried Rice

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

600g Rice, parboiled (preferably, long grain rice)

Concentrated Vegetable Stock (substitute with stock cubes dissolved in water)

1tsp Curry Powder

1tsp Dried Thyme

1/2tsp Dried Rosemary

1 Bay Leaf

1tsp Fresh Ginger, minced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Large Purple Onion, chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 Red/Orange Bell Pepper, chopped

4 Carrots, chopped or diced

35g Frozen Peas

35g Frozen Sweetcorn

3 Scotch Bonnet Chillies, finely chopped (optional | substitute with 1tsp chilli powder)

125ml Vegetable Oil (less will probably be used, but this is the upper threshold)

Salt, to taste

Method

  • In a pot, combine the parboiled rice with enough vegetable stock to just cover it and cook on high heat till the stock starts to boil.
  • Stir in the curry powder, dried herbs, bay leaf and salt then reduce the heat to a simmer and place a lid over the pot.
  • In a large frying pan or a wok, heat up as much oil as you deem fit followed by the onions and ginger and cook them until the onions are translucent. (N.B. If all your rice can’t fit into your frying pan, divide the vegetables and rice into equal numbers of batches that can fit into your pan before carrying out this step).
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute before stirring in bell peppers, peas, sweetcorn and chillies.
  • Once softened, but not too soft, stir in the rice and stir fry it with the vegetables for a few minutes. Season the rice with a little more curry powder (and more salt, if needed) during this point.
  • When the rice is done stir-frying, transfer it to the pot or dish you plan to serve it from and place a lid over it.
  • If working in batches, repeat the last 4 steps until you have stir-fried all the rice and vegetables.

Serve.

 


 

If you try the recipe, upload a picture of it to Instagram with the hashtag #lickyourplaterecipe or tag @lickyourplates_ and @sammysingally.food so we can have a look at it and like it.

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