DVees take on Jamie Oliver’s Jollof Rice recipe

We are taking a different approach to the #jollofgate scandal….. by trying Jamie’s recipe step by step.

 Jollof Rice - Jaime Oliver Recipe

To be honest we can’t believe the uproar over the Jollof Rice recipe– it is clear that it is Jamie Oliver’s twist on West African Jollof Rice, he didn’t call it authentic jollof rice… don’t even think anyone really has the authentic Jollof rice recipe as with all recipes it has evolved and has passed down from generation to generation. Traditional Jollof uses palm oil and crayfish, the Senegalese add all sorts of meats and vegetables. Long grain rice is typically used but nowadays people use basmati for their jollof. At Dvees sometimes we cook ‘typical’ jollof which is long grain rice cooked in a tomato pepper base, sometimes we add coconut cream or add chargrilled roasted vegetables, with garlic prawns and smoked chicken.

We love contemporary Nigerian cuisine; our signature is ethnic cuisine with a twist. For example, our afrotea is the classic English afternoon tea with a West African twist, perhaps we should expect a backlash and lots of abominable comments from the English for daring to go there.

Jollof Rice - Jamie Oliver

West African food is the least experienced in the world so if Jamie Oliver decides to put a twist on Jollof rice and publish his recipe…we are still perplexed as to why this is sacrilege but first let’s critically assess Jamie’s Jollof Rice recipe:

 Imposter ingredients:

  1. 1 tsp ground coriander – [DVees: acceptable as just used to season the chicken]
  2. 1 tsp ground white pepper – [DVees: acceptable as just used to season chicken]
  3. 600g cherry tomatoes, on the vine – [DVees: not typical but used to garnish rice]
  4. A bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stalks finely chopped – [DVees: not typical. Parsley is a herb that is widely used as a garnish or used to flavor stews, vegetable, chicken, fish and meats dishes in Mediterranean and Middle eastern cuisine]
  5. 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve – [DVees: not typical at all. “Lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over”, for garnishing maybe, not sure we would be squeezing lemon juice over our beloved Jollof, possibly on the chicken :)]

 Ingredients proportion:

  1. Garlic – we would typically use 1 clove or no garlic at all compared to the 6 cloves that is used in Jamie’s recipe.
  2. Onions – we would typically probably use 2 onions compared to the 4 onions that is used in Jamie’s recipe.
  3. Peppers – we would use double the amount of scotch bonnet peppers that Jamie uses and add a red bell pepper (tatashe).

 Cooking process:

  • A key deviation is that he does not blend the vine-ripe tomatoes with the scotch bonnet chilli and onions which means that the rice is not cooked in a tomato pepper base and resembles Spanish tomato rice instead.
  • Also Jollof rice is typically seasoned with salt, bay leaves, thyme and curry. And lots of stock cubes, we personally think West Africans need to wean themselves off stock cubes loaded with MSG however this is a story for another day.

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Taste: The rice has a wonderful rich flavor. This is amazing considering that salt, ‘maggi’ or ‘Knorr’ stock cubes are not used to season the rice. The beautiful aroma and flavor are as a result of the lashings of garlic, onions, parsley stalks sautéed before the tomatoes and rice are added to be cooked in the saucepan. Cooking juices from the chicken and parsley leaves also add deep flavor.

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Verdict: In essence there are two ingredients that are real imposters: parsley and lemon. The proportions of tomato, onions and garlic are atypical and the rice is not cooked in a tomato pepper base however it is an excellent twist to Jollof rice. It does not taste like typical Jollof, but it is what it is, a twist to West African jollof: a delightful version that tastes like fresh Garlic & Herb Tomato Rice & Chicken. West African food is rich, captivating, bursting with spice and flavor and alien to the rest of the world, Jamie’s recipe has triggered conversation…. so lets live and let live.

Our love affair with food has always been partial to contemporary Nigerian food hence our tag line ‘Shakara Cuisine’, which is probably why we are camp #indefenceofjamieoliver.

 *Shakara Cuisine [sha-ka-ra] 

  1. Elaborate and skilfully prepared ethnic cuisine with a modern twist.

We look forward to more food conversations with other Africans and the rest of the world.

DVees

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Crème of Peppersoup shots

This Crème of Peppersoup soup gets served in shot glasses for fun and aesthetics (serious shakara).

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Nigerian peppersoup is an aromatic, intensely flavoured soup made with a blend of native African spices which is good for the body and soul; warming and comforting. It is better than any cold/flu medicine, no joke!

People say it is not really peppersoup if the hot delightful soup doesn’t make you cry and sweat at the same time, this may be true but you know there are also different expressions of food…… So today we bring you beautifully presented peppersoup which won’t make you cry but would definitely have you marvelling at the flavours and wanting for more. So make the soup on a cold night which is every night these days and you will be better for it or serve it at your next dinner party – perfect entrée for that 5 course meal you have been planning to make for your loved ones J

Recipe

4 cups of water
2 teaspoons of pepper soup spices*
2 crayfish/chicken/beef/vegetable stock cubes
1 teaspoon of dry pepper (hot chilli) – more or less according to taste
Sea salt to taste
Crème fraîche
Chopped chives to garnish

Method

  1. Pour water in a soup pot, add pepper soup spices, stock cubes, dry pepper and the lemon grass stalks if using. Allow to simmer on low heat till it comes to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir well to combine and gently simmer to allow the flavors develop.
  3. Taste-test the soup for salt and spice, add more salt to taste or more pepper as desired. If too spicy for your taste, add some chicken/vegetable/beef stock.
  4. Strain the soup using a strainer, add 2-3 dollops of crème fraîche and stir really quickly
  5.  Divide soup among small cups or shot glasses and garnish with freshly chopped chives

* You can make your own pepper soup spice blend if you have access to the native spices or you can buy pepper soup spices from any African shop or from www.dvees.com/shop or better still Kitchen Butterfly has a suggested mix for non-Nigerians and Nigerians who don’t have access to the traditional spice mix.

Non-traditional peppersoup spice blend

60g aniseed pepper

50g coriander seeds

50g cumin seeds

50g fennel seeds

30g whole black peppercorns

25g cloves

50g allspice

50g dried ginger

25g ground cinnamon

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Plantain Pancakes with Summer Berries

Madeleines & Macaroons are to France as Speculoos & Praline Cookies are to Belgium

Chocolate & Apfelküchlein are to Switzerland as Amaretti & Tiramisu, Gelato are to Italy

Spotted dick & Bread and butter pudding are to England as ____________are to Nigeria

Do Nigerians do desserts??? Of course we do, it might not be customary but we do desserts!!!! We have had this conversation so many times trying to convince people which is why we relished the challenge to come up with a dessert recipe for Afrolems Christmas Countdown… also helps that we love food, we love ethnic cuisine with a twist and we love Afrolems…. 🙂

We pondered for a bit on what we could make and then we thought Plantains!!!!!! Ripe Plantains are a starchy and sweet vegetable which can be used in savoury or sweet dishes so we thought it was the perfect main ingredient.

Plantain Pancakes served with summer berries Recipe
Ingredients
1 ripe plantain – mashed up
1 Cup of Plain Flour
2 egg
1 cup of milk
1.5  tsp of baking powder
2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
A pinch of sea salt
Butter or oil for frying

Method
Mash plantains in a bowl with a potato masher until puree
Add remaining ingredients and stir until fully combined
Heat skillet over medium-high heat, add oil.
Pour batter into the frying pan until your pancake is the desired size.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until each side is golden brown
Continue with remaining batter, adding oil to your pan as needed.
Serve with berries and cream or maple syrup or strawberry sauce or chocolate sauce or whatever you fancy really

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Smoked Salmon Plantains

Smoked salmon plantains – beautiful moreish little morsels of a Nigerian inspired canapé – easy, impressive and perfect for post Christmas Entertaining

Steps to assembling your smoked salmon plantain canapé

  • Serve the fried plantains on a warm plates
  • Add a tablespoon of cream cheese or creme fraiche
  • Top with slices of smoked salmon
  • Garnish with chopped chives
  • Serve.

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Fragrant Thai Basil Rice with a hint of coconut

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Inspiration for this rice came in August. DVees (my sisters and I) had worked hard on a wedding favours order, we went to bed at 8am and were back up at 10am tying little pretty bows.

When we were done we decided to order Thai special fried rice and king prawn curry. The king prawn curry was lovely but the special fried rice was eerrr… a disaster. The funny thing was the rice was actually lovely but it was so fresh – it was made with fresh tomatoes, green onions, juicy prawns and coriander – it was great but it wasn’t what we wanted.

We were upset because we really wanted the unhealthy version, I mean it’s called ‘fried’ rice for a reason and we had even ordered ice cold coca cola which we don’t usually drink to ‘wash’ it down, clearly the proprietors of Robin Hood Thai had a different idea and to be fair to them their food was lovely, tasted like it was a freshly cooked home meal, it just wasn’t the greasy takeaway we were expecting.

Anyhow after we got over our disappointment, the rice became an inspiration for a dvees dish with a twist off course – ours has a hint of coconut and scented Thai Basil with mushrooms, prawns and hot chilli sautéed in garlic butter – fresh et al but still hard to resist I tell ya.

RECIPE

Ingredients
1 onions – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1 bunch of Green onions – finely sliced
100g of mushrooms – finely sliced
1 scotch bonnet pepper – roughly chopped
10 cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
250g of king prawns (raw)
40g of butter
400g of coconut milk
2 spoons of sun-dried tomato paste
500g of rice
2 cups of water
3-4 Thai Basil leaves

Method
1. Parboil the rice with water and coconut milk in a pot.
2. Melt butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add sun-dried tomato, garlic, onions, mushrooms and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
3. Add king prawns and cook until pink
4. Add prawn and veg mixture to the parboiled rice, add Thai basil and simmer for 20mins or until rice is soft
5. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Enjoy

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