Since the 2010s, jollof rice has become increasingly popular and internationally made. So how can we not bring you one of the best West African food recipes? It just won’t do! Jollof rice is one of the easy one-pot meals that allows people to add their own twists. And best believe we have one of our own. We have transformed jollof rice into one of the best plant-based foods, so those leading a plant-based lifestyle enjoy it too. We know vegan African food isn’t too popular, but we’ve got you. Prepare your taste buds for the best jollof rice recipe!
The goodness of West African food recipes
This isn’t the first time we are looking for the best plant-based foods in West Africa. The flavours from Western African countries are full of vibrant colours, inventive alluring seasonings, native spices, fruits and vegetables you may not have heard of. And although meat is popular, vegan African food and good meatless meals do exist. Jollof rice is more commonly eaten because the ingredients are less expensive, especially if you do not add meat, but that does not make it any less tasty. We have a whole category dedicated to foods from the West of Africa; indulge in new textures and creative flavours.
Today, we are looking at the best jollof rice recipe. Jollof rice is popularly known as Nigerian cuisine, but it is loved by many West African cultures and goes by other names. Examples are benachin and riz au gras. The name ‘jollof’ originates from the Wolof people. They are found in North-Western Senegal, the Gambia, and South-Western coastal Mauritania. Jollof is a mix of rice, vegetables, tomatoes, onions, tomato paste, spices, and meat(plant protein in our case).
Easy one-pot meals are bound to be popular, but the flavours that this best plant-based food dish brings together have made it climb the ranks. Do you think this recipe reigns supreme over other rice recipes? You can try this Liberian Dry Rice or Spiced Tofu Fried rice (made both in the West and East of Africa) for comparison. Nah, you be dey judge oh!
What does jollof rice taste like?
Other West African countries prepare it differently. Some use only tomatoes for the red colour while others use palm oil for its red colour. This plant-based jollof Rice tastes moist without the rice being soggy, with a slight sweetness from sauteed tomatoes, carrots, and onions, light spiciness and a smoky flavour thanks to the shiitake mushrooms. Abundant plant protein comes from seitan, brown rice, and mixed vegetables. Rabbit food where?
Nutrition in easy one-pot meals
One-pot meals are loved because most of them cover all nutritional groups. In this best jollof rice recipe, the rice brings carbs, as well as protein and fibre. The tomatoes and vegetables added to this dish bring in a lot of vitamins. For example, vitamin B6 which keeps your nervous and immune systems healthy. Vitamin C is another important antioxidant. According to research, it protects cells from molecules that can encourage the onset of diseases like heart disease.
We dive more into the benefits of eating rice for specific dietary needs. If you’re a newbie to making rice, we offer some useful tips in that article. And when you’ve made this jollof rice recipe so many times you can’t stand the sight of rice anymore (if getting tired of jollof rice is even possible), you can find alternative grains to substitute with. Whole grains are easy to incorporate into one-pot meals. And like we say in the article, they include benefits like fibre that aids in digestion and helps lower blood sugar levels. Some are also full of phytonutrients and antioxidants that fight inflammation and discourage chronic diseases.
One-pot meals are also great because bringing all the flavours together can help you reduce costs on fancy ingredients to glam up your meals. If you’re looking for more cheap ways to be a vegan, we provide practical beginner-friendly food strategies that might just save your wallet.
The best jollof rice recipe coming up!
Are you ready to dance to the rhythm of West African food recipes goodness on your tongue? Now that you know a little about the history of jollof rice, you may have a greater appreciation for it. Feel free to add your own special twists to make this recipe your own, and share it with friends and family too. Food does really bring us together.
For more amazing vegan African food recipes, subscribe to our free newsletter. For now, you can enjoy this recipe. From our kitchen to yours.
- 2 TBSP Avocado Oil
- Quarter Onion
- 1 Garlic
- 3 whole Chillies
- 6 oz Tomato paste
- 2 cups of Brown rice (use any type of rice or grain)
- 86 grams Soy protein
- 116g Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1.5 cup Veggie broth
- ½ cup water
- ½ seasoning cube
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp pink salt (regular white salt is ok)
- 1.5 cup frozen mixed veggies
- To kick start this vegan African food, in a deep pan, add 2 Tbsp of Avocado oil (High heat oil). Place the heat on low to medium. You could use olive oil but heat must be on low throughout until Step 9.
- Dice a quarter onion, and add the diced onion, garlic and three whole chilies to the pan to add some great flavor to the best jollof rice recipe. Do not dice the chilies unless you are prepared for 10/10 fiery heat. Leaving them whole allowed a little spice to leak from the pepper which tamed the heat to 3/10.
- Next, add 6 oz of tomato paste and stir in order to combine everything. Do not cover pot, cook for five minutes on low heat. Stir from bottom.
- Then, measure two cups of rice. Wash the rice and soak for 10 minutes. Note, if you use white rice or a tougher grain the soaking time could be less (white rice) or more (if you use grains like kamut, freekeh or bulgur)
- Wash the plant protein. If you are using store bough fresh tofu please wash it too. Tip, pan fry the fresh tofu to golden brown on each sides to add texture.
- Then, add in 86 grams of the washed and hydrated Soy protein. I used dehydrated soy protein so before I cooking with it, best to hydrate it.
- Measure 116 grams of Shiitake Mushrooms. Soak the Shiitake and cut as desired.
- Add the mushrooms in order to enhance the smoky flavor. Note, as you sautéed the tomatoes paste mixture, you will get smoky flavor from the burnt part of the paste which is at the bottom of the pot.
- Drain the water from the soaked rice and add to the cook pot in tomatoes & shiitake mixture.
- Next, add 1.5 cups of veggie broth.
- Add half a cup of water. If you use white rice, at this stage reduce the water by half since white rice cooks faster and doesn't need too much water to cook.
- Add half a seasoning cube to bring this best plant based food to life, and increase the heat to medium, leaving the mixture to boil for 10 minutes covered.
- After 10mins, add the soy protein
- Add 1.4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of pink salt to set this meal apart from the other easy one pot meals.
- Next, add 1.5 cups of frozen mixed veggies.
- Mix in well, taste, and add seasoning as desired.
- Cook for 15 - 20 minutes on low heat.
- Serve this yummy meal while hot and enjoy one of the best west African food recipes!
In search of a delicious option from the list of easy one pot meals, this vegan African food, home to West Africa is your top contender!
Give this best jollof rice recipe a go and be sure to share your pictures with us on our social media @Humveg.
Do not forget to share this yummy recipe with a friend!