Jollof rice (INVENTED IN NIGERIA… argue with yo mama) is a very easy dish to prepare but even easier to mess up if you don’t do it right. I have not included things like over cooking, undercooking and burnt offering type scenarios. That will be addressed in my “10 Reasons Why You Should Never Step into a Kitchen” article. Let me know if you’d like to read that.
So, without further ado here are my 10 reasons for your Jollof woes and my attempt to help you fix them:
You are not using enough tomato/pepper blend
You blend 2 pieces of tomatoes, 1 chili pepper, 1 red bell pepper and half an onion and hope to make enough rice for a small wedding. Ko le werk. The key to an awesome Jollof rice experience is that each grain of rice is saturated in the delicious Jollof sauce.
Your tomato blend is rubbish
Your onion to tomato ratio is 1: 50, you can’t even be bothered to buy fresh pepper, so you use ata gungun, again, Ko le werk!
You are attempting to bulk up your rubbish tomato blend with tomato puree
Not only is your tomato blend sinful, the quantity is too small, so you attempt to bulk up with 19 sachets of tomato puree; and the fact that this will even make the rice neon red is a huge bonus for you abi? Epic fail! The acidity from tomato puree will murder you rice before it gets on the plate. Don’t do it!
You are too lazy to fry off the tartness from the tomato puree before adding other ingredients
By all means use tomato puree to help you get that extra redness and richness, but the tartness of the puree especially in large quantities will make it seem like you added a bucket of limes. Try frying off the puree in oil for a bit to get rid of the tartness. You will still get the lovely colour and richness without the sour taste.