Baked Jollof Brown Rice

30 Jan

There are many variations, but it seems to be a staple throughout most of Africa. Fairly similar to Spanish rice (in fact, to make Spanish rice, you could use the same recipe, just omit the bell peppers and/or carrots, sub oregano for thyme and cumin for tumeric). As with most African recipes, it is traditionally spicy, but I have omitted the spice for the sake of my children.

This was a big hit with the kids. It was a pretty big hit with me, too. It was super flavorful, healthy, and once it was in the oven it took space off the stove and countertop (this was my first attempt at baking rice, so that was quite novel). I had reduced the water from the various recipes that I had adapted it from, but it was still a bit mushy, so I will reduce it a bit further next time.

Makes about 10 cups, enough for 4-6 as a main dish or 6-8 as a side dish
1 Tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
(spicy to preferences – scotch bonnet chilis are traditional, or cayenne)
2 c uncooked brown rice (I used a long grain Jasmine variety)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 1/3 c 3 c un-chicken or veggie broth (I used Harvest Vegetarian Chicken Flavor Bullion that I got from My Thanh)
1 c frozen peas

-Preheat the oven to 375′.
-In a dutch oven on the stovetop, heat the oil.
-Saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes to soften.
-Add the carrots and garlic and sautee another minute.
-Stir in the salt and spices, then tomato paste and then brown rice and saute for another 3 minutes, until rice begins to brown and absorb some tomato color.
-Add in the broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.
-Turn off heat, put the lid on, and slide the pot into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.
-Turn off the oven and wait ten minutes before removing from the oven.
– Fluff with a fork, stir in the peas and adjust seasonings if necessary.

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