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Let’s cook party rice!

By Maria Diamond
28 December 2019   |   4:15 am
Prsent an occasion without rice on its menu varieties, and I will show you a failed celebration. Why? It is consumer friendly and accommodates tasty condiments...

Jollof rice

Present an occasion without rice on its menu varieties, and I will show you a failed celebration. Why? It is consumer friendly and accommodates tasty condiments that make it one of the most enjoyed meals in most part of the world.

This is why without doubt; rice, in its varieties might be the main dish you want to serve your family members and guests for the New Year celebration, and of course with exotic chilled wine.

A typical Nigerian chef or caterer would do kitchen wonders with this cuisine.

However, there is a general believe that the taste of rice prepared for parties is different from homemade rice due to the extra condiments added to the party-rice that may not be immediately available for homemade cooking.

So, for the New Year celebrations, why not treat family and guests to the taste of these finger-licking party rice recipes that would make them come asking for more!

Jollof Rice
Ingredients (quantity may differ)
•Vegetable, Groundnut or Soya oil
•Butter
•Fresh tomatoes
•Tomato paste
•Red onions
•Red bell peppers (tatashe)
•Crayfish
•Habanero pepper (scotch bonnet). Put as much or as little as you want, depending on how spicy you want your rice.
•Long-grain parboiled rice
•Chicken stock
•Seasoning
•Salt
•Cayenne pepper and black pepper
•White pepper
•Bay leaves
•Curry powder
•Garlic or onion powder
•Ginger
•Thyme leaves

Note: The quantity of spices depends on your preference. Be sure to use your judgment and avoid adding too many spices.

Method
•Heat oil and butter in a pot on medium heat and throw in some chopped red onions. Allow the onions to fry until the redness starts to slightly fade off.

•Pour in your tomato paste and let it fry with the onions. Make sure to stir the paste consistently to avoid burning. Do this for about 10 minutes, or until the paste fully fries in the oil. Add in your crayfish for an extra tasty flavour.

•Blend some tomatoes, onions, habanero peppers, and red bell peppers together until you achieve a smooth consistency.

•Pour in the blended mixture into the pot and fry it together with the tomato paste.

•Add all your spices except salt and mix. Cover the pot and allow the tomato to fry in the oil. Add more oil if necessary. You really want to let the tomato fry for about 20-30 minutes to remove the sour taste, so make sure you don’t rush this process. Be sure to continuously stir the mixture to avoid burning.

•While your tomato is frying, wash your parboiled rice. Make sure to get rid of as much starch as possible by washing the rice until the water used becomes very clear. This helps to avoid the rice from sticking together when cooking.

•Once the tomato is done frying, add your chicken stock to the mix and taste to see if it requires any salt. Add salt if necessary and mix.

•Then add your washed rice and mix it together with the fried tomatoes. Turn down the heat to the lowest on your burner and cover the pot. Preferably, cover the pot with aluminum foil before putting on the lid just to make sure the heat stays within the pot without escaping from the lid hole.

•Allow the rice to cook for about 30 minutes

•After about 30 minutes open the pot and properly combine all the ingredients together. Cover the pot again, and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the rice has fully blended in with the mixture. Serve with grilled or fried chicken or meat.

Fried Rice
Ingredients:
. Long grain white rice (washed and drained)
. Large green peppers
. Small cabbage
. Onions
. Green beans
. Carrots
. Chicken stock
. White pepper
. Vegetable or groundnut oil
. Curry powder
Seasoning and salt to taste

Method
. Chop the carrot, cabbage, green pepper and green beans. Parboil or wash rice with salt to extract the starch, and then cook in your chicken or meat stock (add water). Cook until almost tender then set aside. Put a clean frying pan on fire. Add oil and onion to the pan. Stir for a minute then add the carrot and green beans. Stir for another minute. Add the cabbage, green pepper, white pepper, curry, seasoning and salt to taste (try to keep it a bit spicy). Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the rice to the mix, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with grilled or fried chicken or meat.

Basmati Jollof Rice
Ingredients:
. Basmati rice
. Blended roasted red bell pepper- tomato mix
. Green bell pepper, chopped for garnishing (optional)
. Medium red bell pepper, chopped for garnishing (optional)
. Onions
. Avocado Oil (or any cooking oil of choice)
. Home made chicken or meat stock
. Minced garlic
. Grounded nutmeg
. Ground ginger
. Curry powder
. Dried thyme
. Bay leaf
. Seasoning
. Salt to taste

Method
. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat up oil in a saucepan and add chopped onions and minced garlic till fragrant. Stir in the blended roasted pepper mix; add seasoning (ground ginger, curry powder, dry thyme, ground nutmeg, bouillon powder and salt to taste). Allow to cook on medium low heat for about 2 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent burning. Add the meat or chicken stock to the sauce, stir, taste for seasoning, adjust accordingly, and then turn off heat.

Transfer washed and drained rice to a roast pan. Pour in the sauce and stir. Taste again for seasoning and adjust accordingly. (It should taste slightly salty don’t worry the rice will absorb it and would be just right when cooked.) Add the other half of the chopped onions and chopped red and green bell peppers (if you’re using). Stick in the bay leaf. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, place on the lower rack of the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until all the moisture has been absorbed. Check if it’s cooked and turn off the oven and leave rice covered in the oven for another 5 minutes. Bring out from oven and fluff out with your wooden spatula. Serve with chicken, moi moi, plantains and salad.

Ofada Rice And Stew
Ingredients:
. Ofada rice
. Green bell peppers (chopped)
. Red bell peppers (chopped)
. A couple of pieces of unripe habanero peppers (Atarodo), chopped
. Red onion (chopped)
. Assorted meat (goat meat, shaki, ponmo, beef)
. Virgin palm oil
. Seasoning cubes
. Salt to taste
. Locust beans (Iru)
. Crayfish

Method
Wash the rice and parboil for 5 minutes. Drain the water using a sieve, wash again and put the pot back on fire, add salt to taste and enough water to cook the rice till it’s done.

Ofada Stew:
To prepare the Ofada Stew: Wash and blend all the green and red bell peppers, unripe habanero peppers, onions, and set aside.

Blend the crayfish and locust bean using a dry mill, or you could pound them using a pestle and mortar. Wash all the assorted meat and cook them until they are properly done and set aside. In a separate pot, pour in the blended pepper and cook until all the water dries up (this should take about 20 minutes on medium to high heat). Place a clean dry pan on medium heat, pour in virgin palm oil and allow bleaching for about 15 minutes (the time may vary depending on your cooker and amount of oil. It will get smokey, so make sure the kitchen is well ventilated.

Allow it to cool down for about 2-3 minutes, thereafter add in the blended pepper, blended crayfish and locust beans and fry until the oil floats to the top. Add the cooked meat and give it a good stir. Add salt to taste, seasoning cubes and stir. Leave to simmer for another 2 minutes on low heat, and it’s ready to be served. Serve with plantain.

Spiced Chicken
Ingredients:
•Brown sugar
•Soy sauce
•Fresh ginger root
•Chopped garlic
•Hot sauce
•Salt and pepper to taste
•Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into strips
•Vegetable oil

Method
Mix together brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken strips.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens between 8 to 10 minutes.