Rice!

To say that rice is as old as man, will definitely not be an understatement! This is due to the fact that this staple food has been eaten for generations untold.

Rice has been a staple food for thousands of years in Asia, China, Africa, South America, Spain and Italy, as well as other parts of the world.

It is said to have a similar structure to wheat, and when it is milled, the outer layers are removed and the valuable nutrients are lost.

As  a steady Nigerian staple food, it is not a seasonal phenomenon. This is because every home takes rice at least once a week.

jollof rice
jollof rice

This carbohydrate enriched food appeals to men and women alike, young and old, children and adults and so on ! Infact, there is no discrimination.

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Rich in starch and carbohydrate, it can be eaten anywhere and without much stress. it has, however, become boring for some people who only boil and eat it with stew. These have lost the rich savour and pleasure of the food. If you belong to this category, you need not worry, the recipes below show that there are other pleasant ways to relish your rice.

This starch enriched grain is believed to have originated from Asia; mostly from China, Pakistan and India

                 Types of Rice

There are many types of rice in the market, sample some of them;

Brown rice – is the only rice that its indigestible husks are not removed.

White rice is the type whose husk, germ and outer layers have been removed. Often the grains are polished with glucose or talc to give a gleaming white appearance. However  reports say this process usually takes away much of the protein, b vitamins and most of the minerals from the rice. Although a popular myth say there is no difference etween rown and white rice!

Rice flakes – are processed rice which have been power-flaked for quick and easy cooking. These flakes however come in different colours!

Converted rice – is the unmilled grain that  is treated with steam under pressure, which forces the vitamins to be carried to the centre of the grain. It can then be milled without any loss of vitamin nutrients.

Rice polish is the bran which is removed when the rice is milled. It is a very good source of vitamin b and can be worked into biscuits, pancakes etc., and used as a meal stretcher with meat, fish or poultry.

 

 

Rice flourthis is made from the by-products of the milling process, including some bran, ground into fine flour. It is very rich in b vitamins.

Wild rice was said to be wildly grown for centuries by the North American Indians and is now grown commercially, often in artificial ponds. Wild rice is  said to be very expensive and nutritionally very superior.

 

It is pertinent to note that to get the best from your rice, it is better and usually stored in a cool, dry place. When stored in a covered container, it can last up to six months.

Below are some mouth watering delicacies!

Different dishes like fried rice, made – in – Nigeria jollof rice and a host of others can be prepared with any of these grains. Rice can also be used as a cooked cereal-type dish, eaten with meat, fish and vegetables.

Puddings and cakes are not left out., sit back, read and off practice in your kitchen!

 

Ofada rice with ofada stew

Recipe for 4 servings

5 cups of ofada rice

Salt and seasoning to taste

10 fresh tomatoes

5 fresh atarodo [pepper]

5 fresh tatashe pepper

2 large onions

2 cooking spoons palmoil

Garlic and ginger to taste [optional]

5 large pieces of cow skin [ponmo] diced

Assorted meat and intestine [shaki, round about, etc]

3 shawa smoked fish [optional]

2 wraps of locust beans [iru]

Method

Check the rice for stones, wash with hot water, parboil and cook until tender. Make sure it’s not too soft, thus ensure the water you use in cooking the food is added little by little.

While the rice is cooking, wash, season and cook the assorted meat until tender. Wash the tomatoes, peppers, ginger, garlic and one of the onions. Pour into a blender and blend slightly, make sure the puree is not smooth, just pour the tomato mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Wash and slice or dice the other onion, set a pot or saucepan on fire, pour in the palm oil, add the onion and the tomato – pepper mixture, the seasonings to taste and other ingredients, including the locust beans. Stir and allow cooking for 10 minutes. Check for taste and serve on the ofada rice. To get the best result and a lovely aroma, wrap the rice in moi – moi leaves. A cup of cold water will not disappoint you.

 

                      Fried rice

 

Recipe for 3 servings

2 cups of rice [parboiled]

4 fresh carrots [diced]

3 fresh green peppers

1 cup green peas

1 cabbage [sliced]

1 cup fresh soft maize or canned sweet corn

2 spring onions [sliced]

1 white onion [diced]

2 cooking spoons groundnut oil

½  teaspoon each of curry and thyme

1 cup liver [cooked and diced]

salt and seasoning to taste.

 

Method

Pour the groundnut oil into the pot and fry the onions as well as the other ingredients. Don’t forget to add the maize and the liver, including curry, thyme, seasoning and salt to taste. Allow simmering for four minutes before adding the rice in sprinkles, stir and add a little water at a time and cook until properly done. You can serve with chicken or fresh fish.

 

Ofe akwu na ‘abaka’ rice

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Recipe for 5 servings:

2 big cups of palm kernel (akwu)

1 big onion (crushed)

1 tin tomato (optional)

4 dry fish (mangala)

2 smoked fish (titus/mackerel)

12 pieces of dry meat

½ cup crayfish (ground)

4 pieces of cameroun pepper or ½ tablespoon of dry ground pepper

1 cube of locust beans

Seasonings and salt to taste

1 bunch of basil leaf (shredded)

OFE AKWU

Preparation:

Cook the palm nuts without adding salt. Cook until tender, remove from heat, drain and pound until the fleshy part of the kernel is extracted from the nut. Transfer into a big bowl and pour warm water over the nuts. Rinse and extract the oily water, strain and add to the pot, discarding the nuts and chaff. Leave to boil and cook for 30 minutes.

OFE AKWU 2

Meanwhile, wash the dry fish, smoked fish and dry meat properly. Add to the boiling pot. When the stew is slightly thick, add the crayfish, onion, pepper, salt and seasonings to taste; including the locust beans. Stir and simmer until the delicacy is no longer watery (if watery, add the tomato puree) before adding the shredded basil leaf. Stir and serve warm with the cooked abaka local rice.

          Shrimp rice

SHRIMP RICE

Recipe for 3 servings

3 cups of rice

1 onion [chopped]

1 teaspoon curry and thyme

3 fresh peppers [chopped]

5 fresh tomatoes [chopped]

1 cooking spoon groundnut oil

½ kilogram croaker fish or any other [fried]

4 large carrots [shredded]

Salt and seasoning to taste

 SHRIMP RICE2

Method

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Parboil the rice, drain and set aside. Using the oil, fry the onion, tomatoes and shrimps. Add the salt, seasoning and other condiments, stir everything properly and add to the parboiled rice. Do not stir the pot, just hold the two edges of the pot and shake gently but vigorously. Allow cooking until tender and a bit crispy, reduce the heat and simmer until the water is dry. Remove from heat and serve, garnished with shredded carrots and fried croaker fish.

   Curried rice

CURRIED RICE

Recipe for 4 servings

4 cups rice [parboiled]

1 cooking spoon groundnut or vegetable oil

2 teaspoon butter

1 big onion [chopped]

2 tablespoons  curry

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon ground dry pepper

4 tomatoes [sliced]

1 kilogram chicken [cooked and stir-fried]

Salt and seasoning to taste

Method

melt the butter in a pot and add the oil. When hot add the onion, curry, thyme and all others except the tomatoes. Add the chicken with its stock, especially as the stock will be the water that will cook the rice. Allow to cook for 5 minutes before adding the parboiled rice. Stir once, and cover the pot. Cook until the food is ready.  As soon as it’s ready, the colour of the food will be pure yellow. Serve warm with the sliced tomatoes.

            Rice pancake PANCAKE

Recipe for 3 servings

2 cups rice flour [sieved]

2 eggs [whisked]
3 large bananas [ripe]
2 fresh peppers [chopped]
1 cup warm water
1 onion [chopped or sliced]
Salt and seasoning to taste
2 cooking spoon vegetable or groundnut oil

 

Method

peel the bananas and cut into small pieces. Pour into a blender; add a little water and blend into a purée. Pour into a bowl; add the rice flour, onion, pepper, salt and seasoning to taste, including the whisked eggs. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Meanwhile, heat few drops of the oil in a saucepan, scoop the mixture into the pan, and allow it to cover the surface of the pan, fry until slightly brown on both sides. Do the same with the entire mixture, remove from heat and serve warm with cold tea enriched with either chocolate or milk.

Rice with chicken carrot soup

Recipe for 5 servings

4 cups of rice

5 joints of chicken

4 green peppers [diced]

8 large carrots [diced]

1 teaspoon curry and thyme

1teaspoon ground ginger

½ ball of garlic [ground]

8 big fresh tomatoes [sliced or diced]

1 cooking spoon vegetable oil

3 fresh peppers [chopped]

Salt and seasoning to taste

Method

wash and boil the rice and set aside. Wash, season and fry the chicken in the oil until quite brown. Quickly add the chopped onion, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, garlic, ginger, curry, thyme, salt and seasoning to taste. Cook for a while, stir and simmer for few minutes. Serve fresh and hot over a sizzling plate of rice.

 

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