On our menu, today, is the popular delicacy, Palm oil rice. This meal is also known as Palm oil jollof rice or Native jollof rice. Palm oil rice is prepared by the different ethnic groups in the country and these ethnic groups have different styles of making it and different names for it as well. Amongst the Efik-Ibibio for instance, this food is known as Iwuk Edesi. Amongst the Yoruba, it is called Iresi Elepo while the Igbo refer to it as rice Igbo.
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This heartwarming meal is prepared with native spices. While meat is not necessarily a must-have ingredient in making this food, dry fish or smoked fish or both must sha sign attendance; that’s because they give this meal its authentic flavour and taste. Before I show you how to make this food, let me quickly say that while most people use ugu leaves to prepare Palm oil jollof rice, I prefer to use scent leaves. That’s because it infuses its unique aroma to the food thus giving me the classic native taste that I find absolutely delightful.
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How to Prepare
For me, the first step in making this food is to parboil the rice. For this, you’d need a pot that is sizeable enough to cook the food from start to finish. Rinse the pot and add water to it; then, place it on medium heat to boil. Rinse the rice thoroughly. Let me mention at this point that the rice I’m cooking is the long-grained variety which we call foreign rice. So, no long thing is involved in cleaning it. But if you’re using any of the native varieties, Nwanne, calm down and pick out stones and dirts from your rice before rinsing it or boiling hot water to cook it else you won’t enjoy this food at all.
When the water starts boiling, add the rice to it. Let it boil for ten minutes. Take the pot of rice off the heat and pour the content into a clean sieve. Rinse the rice and set it aside for later use.
Peel, rinse and dice the onions. Rinse and blend the pepper, locust bean and the crayfish. Rinse and debone the smoked fish and the dry fish. Pluck, rinse and slice the vegetables. Set all ingredients aside for later use.
Preheat the palm oil on medium heat. When it’s hot, add the diced onions. Let it fry till it softens. Add water to the pot; the quantity should be enough to finish cooking the rice. Please note that the reason I’m adding water at this point is that I’m not cooking with meat and as such, I do not have meat stock.
Add the smoked fish, the dry fish, the blended pepper, crayfish and locust bean to the pot. Also, add the seasoning cubes and salt. Allow the content of the pot to come to a boil. This will allow the flavours to be well combined. Once this objective is achieved, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning, if need be.
Afterwards, scoop out the smoked and dried fish. Then, add the parboiled rice, cover the pot and allow the content to cook till it’s ready. Stir the rice with a wooden spoon. Return the smoked and dried fish to the pot. Add the scent leaves and if you have original Palm oil, that correct one that doesn’t have a sticky taste, (the type you can enjoy white yam with), add one cooking spoon of that palm oil to the rice. Stir the food and turn off the heat. Then, serve, enjoy and come and testify.
Featured Image Source: The Pretend Chef
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