As a full-grown adult, how are you still making soggy, tasteless or half-done jollof rice? Your ancestors would be ashamed, dear. Here are eight hacks to elevate that semi-white rice you’ve been cooking.

Measure things out

I know we talk about adding ingredients as the spirit leads, but jollof rice is nobody’s mate. You can see people like Sisi Yemi measuring the ratio of tomatoes to pepper, and you’re there forming chef. Better click any of these jollof rice videos and pick a recipe.

Try crayfish

Crayfish is an underrated ingredient that more people need to try. Add crayfish to anything and get an instant earthy taste that takes you back to eating jollof rice in the village — maybe it’s the Igbo babe in me talking. But crayfish will save your jollof rice when all hope is lost.

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Add green, yellow and red peppers

With jollof rice, you have to find what works for you. One hack I’ve found is to add green, yellow and red peppers to my tomato and pepper mix. Compared to ata rodo, they aren’t as spicey, and they help tone down the tangy taste of tomatoes. 

Add stock to your tomato and pepper blend

Blend your ingredients with meat stock rather than water. Less water allows more flavour from the ingredients to come through; stop drowning all the flavour in water. Also, add some ground garlic and ginger if that’s your jam.

Cover the pot with foil to soften your rice

Please, stop pouring water every time you open the pot. Lower the heat, cover the bottom of the lid with foil paper to trap the steam and the rice will get soft. Think of it like making moi-moi, the steam is what actually cooks it. 

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Use the same oil to fry everything

How much flavour gets into it is what separates basic jollof from party jollof. Next time, fry your meat first, then use the oil to caramelise your onions and fry your pepper mix. This important process forces the spices from your meat and onions into the oil and makes the rice taste better.

Add charcoal

Yes, dear. We know the charcoal taste from firewood bangs, but who has the energy? I tried this hack that made my jollof rice come close to the taste, so you’re welcome. Just wrap one charcoal in foil paper and put it in when the rice is almost ready. If you don’t know where to find charcoal, sorry.

Just buy the rice

The reality may be that making jollof rice is not your thing. Order from Iya Sukirat and rest.

ALSO READ: “I Pay ₤60 to Eat Jollof Rice in Germany” — 9 Nigerians in Diaspora Talk About Nigerian Foods They Miss



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