Vegan Jollof Brown Rice (Nigerian)

Growing up mixed-race, I have been connected to my Nigerian and Irish heritage from the moment I was born. Both cultures are rich, vibrant and fascinating – from the history to the music, fashion and food. One food that was always present from my Nigerian side was jollof rice, whether it was at a family gathering or a church meet-up. In recent years, I have found my own way to make jollof and adapted it to make it plant based – I have also started using brown rice to make it healthier. (Choose whichever rice you want, they all taste just as good!) I don’t usually measure my ingredients or seasoning but have put exact measurements below for the sake of convenience.

Below is my recipe for vegan jollof using brown rice, please use this as a guide and feel free to tweak it to your preference.

Ingredients:

  • One red bell pepper (chopped)
  • Two medium sized onions (chopped)
  • One scotch bonnet (remove stalk)
  • One tin of plum tomatoes (400g)
  • Brown rice (350g-400g – or use any rice of your choice)
  • One tablespoon of all purpose seasoning
  • One tablespoon of curry powder
  • One tablespoon of tomato puree (optional)
  • One teaspoon of thyme
  • Maggi (as much as you like)
  • Around two tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • 500ml of boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Chop up your red bell pepper and two medium onions. Also remove the stalk from your scotch bonnet.
  2. Get a blender and add the chopped red bell pepper, around half of the onions, the scotch bonnet and your tin of plum tomatoes. Blend the ingredients together to create a tomato stew. Leave to the side.
  3. Weigh out your rice and wash it until the water runs clear. Put it on a medium heat for around 15-20 minutes to parboil it.
  4. Heat up your oil in a pan and then add your leftover onions. Once the onions are frying, add your all purpose seasoning, curry powder, tomato puree, thyme and maggi – mixing it into the onions.
  5. Get your tomato stew mixture and add it to the pan. Stir it into the onions and seasoning, once well combined, leave on a medium heat for 10-20 minutes.
  6. After 10-15 minutes check your rice and if it’s part cooked, take it off the heat and drain the water – leave to the side. Check your stew mixture and then add your rice to it. Combine the rice and stew and mix it so that it is evenly proportioned.
  7. Add your vegetable stock cube to 500ml of boiling water and mix it until it’s dissolved. Then add the vegetable stock and water to your rice and stew. Make sure the water covers all of the rice so that it can finish cooking properly. Leave on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Check your rice periodically and stir it if you need to – taste it to make sure it’s cooked and then plate up and enjoy. 🍴

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