This mixed veggies jollof Basmati rice stands for everything I think good food should be. Now what do I believe are the qualities of good food? Since one's eyes eats a meal before it ever gets to the mouth, then I won't be wrong to believe that food has to be pretty and attractive as well as delicious. I know there are some dishes that may not look attractive or pretty yet super delicious like the ofada sauce or Frejon ? Those are exceptions to the rule but generally we all agree that pretty and delicious makes you wanna dig in.
Let me illustrate that further, If there are two dishes on the table, Dish one horrible looking but delicious, Dish 2. Pretty looking but horrible tasting. Dish 2 will go down first not because people like the food in fact most people would taste and throw it away. Yet when you walk in you will see that dish 2 is almost gone and you think to yourself, this is the sweeter dish and you go ahead and make the same mistake others before you made. Even if both dishes are delicious, you will observe that the more attractive dish would be the first to go. I think that's why fried rice was always the first rice dish to finish those days while I was growing up not necessarily because it tasted better than the Jollof rice.
You get it right? ?. Now let's get back to this mixed veggies Jollof rice. Prior to relocation I usually made my rice dishes with regular parboiled long grain rice. But since I started using Basmati Rice I have found it difficult using my good old regular parboiled. Don't get me wrong the regular parboiled rice I use is perfect but the Basmati Rice just kind of looks more chic, or should I say sleek. Call me vain if you want ?? All I know is that If the regular parboiled rice comes out pretty and delicious, Basmati definitely comes out prettier and delicious.?
The festive season is upon us. Why not delight your family and friends with this delightful dish. I promise it is finger licking good. C'mon we are talking about jollof rice here ?
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Mixed Veggies Jollof Rice
- 6 cups Basmati Rice (washed properly and drained.)
- 9 oz /255g tomato paste
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- ½ large green pepper (chopped)
- 1 large red bell peppers (chopped)
- 1 habenero pepper (chopped)
- 1 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
- 2 cups mixed veggies (thawed)
- 1 cup of cooking oil
- Salt/ bouillon to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 1 finger of ginger grater or 1 tablespoon ginger powder (optional)
- 8 cups of liquid. (chicken stock or a mix of chicken stock and hot water.)
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4
- Heat up cooking oil and sauté onions and crushed garlic till fragrant.
- Spoon in the tomato paste as is and stir and add in all spices and herbs listed continue to stir and allow to the paste to cook till it looks dry but not burnt. Takes about a minute.,( please stir continuously to prevent burning. )
- Turn off heat then add chopped green bell peppers
- Pour half of the liquid ( chicken stock or a mix of chicken stock and water.)
- Transfer drained rice to a roast pan or a disposable aluminum steam pan and mix in the sauce.
- Add the other half of the chicken stock and stir. See recipe notes 1
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Add the green peas, and mixed veggies cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
- Put in the oven and allow to cook for 50 mins to 1hr. By this time all the liquid should have been absorbed and rice fully cooked but not mushy.
- Allow to rest in the oven for about 2 mins
- Bring out from oven fluff the rice out and serve immediately.
- The size of the pan used determines the level of liquid above the rice before baking the rice if you use a large pan the liquid may just rest at the level of the rice. If you use a small pan the liquid may rice up to 1 inch or more above the level of the rice
- Leftover can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Not sure you will have any though but what I am sure of is your family and friends will definitely go for a seconds
This recipe pictures have been updated.