Friday’s Google Doodle features jollof rice, a popular West African cuisine with roots dating back seven centuries and which has prompted violent rivalries between neighbouring countries.
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The dish, a combination of long-grained rice, stewed tomatoes, onions, peppers, and regional spices, is commonly served with fish as an evening meal, but it’s also appreciated at other times of day, with chicken, beef, or goat substituting for the fish. The animated Doodle for Friday depicts the popular one-pot meal being made one item at a time, including the desired central meat.
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Here’s how to make the delicious recipe:
There are several varieties of West African Jollof rice, including Nigerian, Senegalese, Liberian, and Ghanaian jollof rice.
-1 pound (475g) of cored and roughly diced plum tomatoes (approximately 3 medium tomatoes).
-Stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped two medium (7-ounce; 200g) red bell peppers or two red shepherd peppers (see note).
-1 medium red onion, roughly chopped (8 ounces; 225 grammes).
-1/4 of a stemmed and seeded Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
-355 ml of Nigerian stock, 1 1/2 cups
-1/4 cup (60 ml) split of neutral oils as peanut, vegetable, or
-3 dried bay leaves, 1 medium (8-ounce; 225g) red onion, thinly sliced
-2 teaspoons of curry powder made in the Caribbean or Jamaica (see remark), plus more if necessary
-Thyme, dry, in two teaspoons
-Freshly ground black or white pepper, sea salt, or both
-30g of tomato paste in 2 teaspoons
-3 teaspoons (12g) of divided unsalted butter (see note)
-355 ml of Nigerian stock, 1 1/2 cups
-2 cups (400g) of rinsed Golden Sella basmati or long-grain rice
-1 plum tomato, cut in half and thinly sliced into half-moon shapes (four ounces; 120 grammes).
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1) To make the stew base, puree the tomatoes, red pepper, onion, Scotch bonnet or habanero, and stock in a blender jar. For about 2 minutes, blend until a smooth purée forms. This will produce little about 5 cups (1.18L).
2) The stew foundation should be transferred to a 3-quart saucepan or saucier, partially covered with a lid to prevent splatter, and heated to a rolling boil. Cook for 30 minutes with the heat at medium-low, occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom to achieve a reduction of half (about 2 1/2 cups; 590 ml). Heat has been removed; set aside.
3) For the Jollof Rice, heat 2 teaspoons (30ml) of oil in a 4- or 5-quart pot or Dutch oven until it shimmers. Add the bay leaves, curry powder, dried thyme, a generous amount of salt, and a generous teaspoon of black or white pepper along with half the onion slices. For about three minutes, while stirring, cook the mixture until it smells good and the onions start to soften.
4) Add 2 teaspoons (8g) of butter and the tomato paste and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring constantly, or until the tomato paste darkens. Stir in the leftover stew base, partially cover the pan with the lid to stop spills, and cook at a gentle simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
5) Over high heat, stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more curry powder if you prefer more flavour (the curry powder should come through pleasantly but not be overpowering, though this is a question of personal taste).
6) Rice should be thoroughly mixed in and sauce should be distributed evenly. Cover the pot with two pieces of foil or parchment paper, crimping the edges to seal, and then place a lid on top (this will trap steam to lock in the flavour and aid cooking). After 20 minutes, turn down the heat to the lowest setting, uncover the pot, and gently stir the rice to disperse it. Recover the lid once again, and simmer the rice for a further 15 minutes, or until it is nearly tender but still has a hard bite. Cover the rice and cook it for a further 5 minutes if it’s still moist or undercooked.
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7) The remaining 1 teaspoon (4g) butter, the remaining onion slices, and the tomato slices are all combined and thoroughly mixed.
8) Turn off the heat, cover, and let the food stand for 10 minutes. Serve.