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Jollof Rice

This flavorful variation of a West African favorite includes brown rice, tomatoes, onions, peppers, broth and seasonings. Thanks to the OSU Extension African Heritage Work Group for this recipe.
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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 to 60 minutes
Makes: 8 to 9 cups
Nutrition Facts: View label

Ingredients

2 cups brown rice (see Notes)  
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice or 3 cups chopped fresh tomato  
1 medium onion(any type), chopped  
4 cloves garlic, chopped  
1 large red bell pepper, chopped  
1 small hot pepper, chopped or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (see Notes)   
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil   
1 teaspoon turmeric   
1 teaspoon thyme   
2 bay leaves (optional)   
2 Tablespoons tomato paste   
2 ½ cups low-sodium broth (any type)   
2 cups chopped leafy greens such as kale, chard, collards or cabbage   
¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Wash hands with soap and water. 
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add brown rice and boil gently for 15 minutes. Drain rice and set aside for step 5.
  3. While rice is cooking, put tomatoes in the blender and blend until smooth. Add onion, garlic and peppers and blend until smooth. If you do not have a blender, chop or mash the vegetables into very small pieces. 
  4. Heat oil on medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Stir in blended vegetables, turmeric, thyme and bay leaves, if desired. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the sauce thickens and is reduced by about half. 
  5. Add tomato paste, broth, greens and rice to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover pan and cook for about 15 minutes. 
  6. Remove lid and stir. Remove bay leaves, if used. If liquid remains, cook on low for another 5 to 10 minutes with the lid off. 
  7. Turn off heat, cover the pan and let sit for 5 minutes. 
  8. Uncover and sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve warm with cooked beans or grilled chicken and a tomato-cucumber salad. 
  9. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

  • Try jalapeno, serrano or another pepper you like. For a mild flavor you can omit the hot pepper.
  • No brown rice? Use long-grain white rice. Add uncooked in Step 5.
  • No fresh leafy greens? Use ½ to 1 cup frozen greens instead.
  • Try adding other spices such as ginger, smoked paprika or nutmeg.
  • Freeze tablespoons of extra tomato paste on a plate until hard. Transfer to a labeled freezer container to use for other recipes.

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