In Liberia, rice… is life. It features in most popular African recipes, particularly in West African food recipes. In fact, there is a saying there: “If you haven’t eaten rice today, then you haven’t eaten”. Serve it ‘dry’ (without sauce), pour stews/sauce over it, OR grind it into rice flour to make country breh (bread) or rice porridge. You just have to eat rice in some form Ooo. Furthermore, when perfectly paired, rice is the best plant-based food diet for beginners. Feel free to sample most of these here and sign up for our newsletter for more. Today, we’re preparing Liberian chuck rice and gravy aka check rice. We go tell you what is chuck rice. And don’ worry, dis chop no har’ to make… your belly go thank you too.
A Taste of Liberian’s Best Plant-based Food
In most West African food recipes, stew/gravy can make or break a dish. This, considering that locals serve starches bland as they will take on the taste of the gravy. This Liberian specialty has a bit of variation. Molokhia and spinach sauce make the rice less bland and somewhat slimy. Some households will only make this dish on Sundays, that is how special it is for many Liberians.
So, what is chuck rice? Simply put, check rice is a mix of rice and jute leaf.
Think- Mexican cilantro rice… same look but different ingredients. Liberians serve it as a side dish to accompany other dishes. It is one of the popular African recipes loved in Liberia and West African countries. And you’ll love it too not only because it is healthy and easy to prepare. But also because its texture and flavor are unforgettable.
Simple Ingredients Bring out the Best in a Dish
First, our Liberian chuck rice and gravy is 100% plant-based. We mixed white rice with quinoa for a kick of protein and dietary fiber. You can make it healthier by using brown rice as white rice is less nutritious. Quinoa is one of the best plant-based food. Research shows that it not only contains complete protein but also high fiber. The fiber in quinoa helps with cholesterol and blood sugar levels which lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In addition, we made a green sauce with jute leaves and spinach puree. Experts call these two a nutritional powerhouse. They both are leafy green and are jam-packed with beneficial nutrients that may protect our bodies from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. You can find jute leaves in powder form, frozen or canned. Mix your cooked rice with the green sauce to make chuck rice.
However, if you are unable to find jute leaves, you can still make this healthy feast using a mix of blended okra and spinach. We served it with red gravy (find the recipe here) to make one of the most deliciously healthy West African food recipes.
Now that you know what is chuck rice, go on and make this hearty Liberian comfort food. And make plenty to share!
Ingredients FOR THE GREEN RICE
- 14oz Green Molokhia
- 2 cups Jasmine Rice
- 1 Cup Quinoa (optional)
- 1 cup Frozen Spinach puree (optional)
- Red Gravy Ingredients
- Check out previous video tutorial https://humblevege.com/best-tomato-gravy-with-cassava-eddo-and-plantain/)
- 1.5 yellow onion diced
- 7 cloves garlic mince
- 2.5cups broth
- 6-12 oz. of tomato past
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 TSBP habanero pepper
- Salt & pepper
For the Red Gravy
- Pour one-third cup of oil in a cooking pan.
- Add at least seven cloves of garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add one and a half diced onions to the pan.
- Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add 6 to 12 ounces of tomato paste and mix well.
- Add only a pinch of salt or as per your taste.
- Add one tablespoon of habanero pepper to enhance your gravy’s flavor.
- Sprinkle some black pepper and stir well to let the spices blend in thoroughly.
- Then, add two and a half cups of broth and bring it to a boil. Simmer the gravy for about 3 minutes.
For the Green Rice
- In a large bowl, measure 14 ounces of palava sauce (Green molokhia sauce). If fresh, pureee it. If Frozen, thaw it and proceed to use. Sometimes the frozen Molokhia leaves are whole so if that is your situation, thaw it and proceed to blend it. If the frozen jute leaves is already finely diced, proceed to the next step.
- In a separate bowl, measure 4 ounces of frozen spinach,. Place this in a blender and add a little vegetable broth to make it easy to blend. Blend together to create spinach puree.
- In a clean saucepan, at medium heat, add your palava sauce/jute leaves/molokahi into the pan. This allows the extra water to be reduced.
- As the water reduces, go ahead and add your palava sauce. If you do not have palava sauce, you can use fresh/frozen okra and spinach, heat up in a pan and blend it, and you will have your alternative palava sauce.
- Allow the spinach and palava sauce to simmer for about 3 minutes and set aside.
- Next, take precooked cook 2 cups of jasmine rice and 1 cup of quinoa (optional) and mix the two together.
- When cooked, place the rice and quinoa combination in a deep wide bowl.
- Next, add your palava sauce to the rice while it is still hot, add the palava sauce little by little, ensuring you mix well.
- Your green rice is ready to eat. Enjoy this with a side of red gravy.
As one of the popular west african food recipes, home to Liberia, Liberian chuck rice and gravy gives a nostalgic feeling of precious childhood memories as one delights in this meal. It is easy to make, and will have your tastebuds doing a jovial happy dance.
Be sure to share your pictures of how your Liberian chuck rice and gravy turns out with us on our social media @humveg.
Feel free to leave a comment and share this yummy recipe with your friends!