Jollof rice with kelewele

80 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Cook: 80 mins

Jollof rice is the most famous dish to come out of West Africa and is beloved for its smoky, fragrant and warming flavour. Lerato’s recipe contains smoked paprika to recreate the traditionally smoky taste (without the need for any actual fire) and it comes topped with kelewele, a Ghanaian dish of spiced plantain. Courtesy of Lerato Umah-Shaylor.

  • Vegetarian

Ingredients

Jollof rice

  • 300g of Tilda Easy Cook Long Grain Rice, thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400ml of vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Kelewele

  • 2 plantains
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of ginger, grated
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet chilli
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh thyme, leaves picked

Jollof purée

  • 5 ripe tomatoes, or 400g passata
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli, (blended, or pierced and dropped into the pot for less heat)
  • 2 tbsp of ginger, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 chillies, roughly chopped

Cook

  1. Begin by preparing the kelewele. Cut about 1.5 cm off the tips of the plantain. Make a lengthways incision into the skin and peel the plantain. Halve lengthways, then slice into 1.5–2cm chips.
  2. Prepare a marinade by blending all the remaining kelewele ingredients, reserving some of the thyme sprigs for a fresh garnish. Add the plantain chips to the marinade and leave to sit for 20 minutes while you prepare the jollof.
  3. Make a purée for the jollof rice. Blend all the ingredients together, then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide saucepan and add the purée. Cook on medium heat for up to 20 minutes, until the purée is reduced and drier in texture.
  4. Add the dry spices and smoked paprika to the purée, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rinsed rice, stock, salt and bay leaf.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  6. Stir the rice well and add a little more water if needed, to completely submerge the rice. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
  7. Check the rice regularly, carefully pushing the grains from the sides without stirring in order to check for water. Jollof rice needs to be cooked slowly with lots of steam – only add a little water at a time if it dries out. It is okay if it burns a little, as this will help to infuse even more smoky flavour into the rice, and someone will enjoy eating the burnt bits. Overall, it should take no more than 30 minutes to cook.
  8. In the meantime, place the marinated plantain chips on a baking tray with as little liquid as possible. Bake for up to 30 minutes, checking at 15-minute intervals. Once cooked, they should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  9. To serve, fluff the jollof rice with a fork and top with the crisp kelewele. Scatter over a few thyme leaves to garnish.

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