Jollof Rice, adapted from various websites
There is a fair amount of mentions of Nigerian (and American) food in Americanah, but the dish that popped up again and again was Jollof Rice. My googling revealed it is a common but special Nigerian dish that can be both an "every day" kind of thing or celebratory. I pieced this version together from various I found on the web, taking a little from here or there, based on what sounded good to me.
1 pound parboiled rice
1 14 ounce can of tomato puree/crushed tomatoes
1 onion, quarted
3 cloves of garlic
4 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced, putting aside about 1 cup and dice this portion.
1 hot pepper of choice, seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 chicken bouillion cubes - Maggi recommended a lot, I used Goya.
- Note on parboiled rice: wash the rice with cold water. Then put the rice in a pot with twice as much water as rice. Bring to a boil, then turn hit down and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the rice, now it is ready for this recipe.
- Put the tomato, onion, garlic, most of the red pepper and hot pepper into a blender and puree.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Pour the puree into the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so to develop deeper flavor.
- Add the rice, 4 cups of water, the bouillion cubes and the thyme to the pot and stir.
- Cook on medium heat until the rice is cooked, about 30 minutes or more. Stir every 15 minutes.
- When the rice was ready, I stirred in the diced peppers for some color.
- I garnished this with jalapeno, but any herbs etc... would be good.