Jollof Rice with Fried Plantains

Jollof rice is a well-loved one-pot rice dish in popular in many West African countries, including Nigeria. It is made by cooking rice in a flavorful tomato and pepper puree.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Red Sauce:

2 cloves garlic

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped

One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced

1 seasoning cube, such as Maggi

1/2 small habanero pepper

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

Kosher salt

Jollof Rice:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 habanero pepper

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 1/2 cups jasmine rice

Fried Plantains:

Vegetable oil, for deep frying (about 4 cups)

2 ripe sweet plantains, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

Kosher salt

Directions

  1. For the red sauce: Put the garlic, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, ginger, seasoning cube, pepper, tomato paste and curry powder in a blender. Puree until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the red sauce puree and cook until dry, 30 to 45 minutes. Season with salt. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. For the jollof rice: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mince the habanero to a paste with some salt. Heat the oil and habanero paste in a medium pot over medium heat. Sweat the habaneros slightly, then stir in the tomato paste. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to toast and turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the Red Sauce and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Once boiling, and some salt and cover the pot and transfer to the oven until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, about 18 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the oven, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Cover and let sit, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and set aside.
  5. For the fried plantains: Fill a medium straight-sided skillet halfway full with oil. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
  6. Working in batches, fry the plantains until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove from the oil and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt to taste.
  7. To serve: Spoon the jollof rice into a large serving bowl and top with fried sweet plantains and extra red sauce.

Cook’s Note

Use ripe plantains (almost entirely black on the outside). These are much sweeter and less starchy compared to the green plantains.

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