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Jollof Rice

Jollof rice
Jollof Rice

4 cups uncooked long-grain rice
5 to 6 cups stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef) or water, divided
6 medium-sized fresh plum/Roma tomatoes, chopped, OR a 400-gram tin of tomatoes
6 fresh, red peppers, seeds and ribs removed
3 medium-sized red onions (1 sliced thinly, 2 roughly chopped), divided
1 to 2 Scotch bonnet/habanero peppers
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon (dried thyme)
2 dried bay leaves
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook rinsed rice for 15 minutes in lightly salted water before setting aside.

In a blender, combine tomatoes, red peppers, chopped onions, and chilli pepper; blend until smooth, about a minute or two. You should have roughly 4 cups of blended mix.
In a large pan, heat oil and add sliced onion. Season with a pinch of salt, stir-fry for a minute or two, then add the tomato paste, curry powder, dried thyme and bay leaves. Stir for another 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato-pepper-chilli mixture, stir, and set on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes so the mix cooks and the raw taste of the tomatoes is gone.
Add the stock to the cooked tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of butter, and then add the parboiled rice. Stir, then cover with a heavy lid. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stir again after the 15 minutes then cook for another 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Don't be afraid to add some more stock or water—by the half-cup, stirring gently—if you find it a bit hard.
When it’s cooked, take off heat and remove the cover of the pot. Put a tea cloth over the top and cover with a lid allowing it to steam for another 20 minutes. Finish by stirring through some butter and serve.

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