Monday, October 24, 2011

Gambia: Jollof Rice

Here is yet another dish from my exploration of West African cooking. This will also be linked up with this month's Cook Around the Globe event. Different versions of Jollof rice are known in all West African countries. I chose this one because I had all the ingredients at home, it's very quick & simple to prepare, and it reminded me a little of some rice dishes that HubbyGrouch's mother sometimes prepares (and I thought he liked them). When I mentioned the latter point after dinner, he told me that he was never very fond of those dishes - so much for that. I thought this dish was a great week night dinner because of it's simplicity and easy preparation.


3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined & halved
2-3 tbsp peanut oil
2 tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups mix vegetables, diced (e.g. peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
cayenne pepper
1 cup rice
2 tbsp tomato paste

Heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and brown on all sides, 3-4 minutes. Add all vegetables, thyme, and season with salt, pepper & cayenne pepper. Turn heat to low. Mix rice with tomato paste and add to the chicken and vegetable mix. Add about 1 cup of water. Simmer until all liquid is soaked up, stirring frequently. Add shrimps after 7 minutes. Add more water, if needed, to finish cooking the rice. The finished dish should be moist but neither too dry nor too saucy.

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