A delicious West African meal. A great way to use up seasonal veg and provide a tasty thrifty meal. This version using fresh tomatoes and green beans is a great way to use local and seasonal food in the summer. Tinned tomatoes and frozen beans work well out of season.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Jollof rice

  • 4 tablespoons of oil (rapeseed or vegetable)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic glove, finely chopped
  • Herbs and spices - 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of coriander powder, 2 teaspoons ground allspice, 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh thyme, 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 400 grams of fresh vine tomatoes (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato purree
  • 1 veg stock cube – mix in with 800 millitres of water. Reserve 100ml for step 2.
  • 360 grams of basmati rice (2 cups)
  • A big handful of fresh green peas (frozen if it’s not the summer time)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Big pinch of salt
  • Big pinch of pepper
  • Red chilli to garnish (optional)
  • Spring onion to garnish (optional)

Salad

  • 4 carrots – washed and grated
  • Half a head of lettuce – washed, dried and sliced thinly
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Handful of fresh parsley – finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method

  1. Fry the onions in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium heat. Then add the ginger, garlic, lemon zest and all the spices to the pan and fry for a further 1 to 2 mins. If the spices start to stick add a splash of the stock water to the pan and mix in.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, 100 millilitres of veg stock to the pan and mix till combined. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Once its boiled reduce down to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Add some of the reserved stock to the pan if it starts to stick.
  3. Add the peas, basmati rice and the rest of the stock to the pan, stir until well combined. Increase the heat till it starts to gently simmer. Place the lid on top and let it cook for 15 mins, do not lift the lid!
  4. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and let it finish cooking for another 10 mins.
  5. While you are waiting prep your salad. Prepare all of the vegetables and place in a large bowl.
  6. Add all of the seasoning to the bowl and combine thoroughly.
  7. Serve the jollof rice hot with your side salad and top with red chillis and spring onion.

This recipe was provided by Chef Ngwafu of Cracking Good Food for In Our Nature in Manchester.

Food savvy tip

Cooking with seasonal and local ingredients is a great way to keep your meals delicious and with a lower environmental impact.

How to eat seasonally in the UK - a month by month guide