That side of rice at dinner is about to get a lot more interesting. Kwame Onwuachi, the former Top Chef contestant who recently opened Kith and Kin in Washington, D.C., shares his recipe for jollof rice, a Nigerian dish amped up with dried crayfish, curry powder and habanero chile. It’s flavorful and spicy with vibrant color, thanks to a mix of puréed tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Recipe adapted from Kwame Onwuachi, Kith and Kin, Washington, D.C.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder
1 teaspoon dried crayfish
10 garlic cloves
3 Maggi beef bouillon cubes
2 medium plum tomatoes, cored and diced
1 red bell pepper—stemmed, cored and roughly chopped;
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 habanero, stemmed
3 tablespoons red palm oil
3 cups purée
4 cups basmati rice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 cups water
1. In a blender, purée the ginger, curry powder, dried crayfish, garlic, bouillon cubes, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion and habanero until smooth.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the palm oil over medium heat. Add the purée and bring to a simmer. Slowly cook until most of the liquid has reduced and the sauce has developed a sweetness, 20 minutes.
3. Add the rice and salt, and cook, letting the rice begin to absorb the purée, 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook, covered, until all of the water has absorbed and the rice is fully cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork, then serve.