THE ORIGINAL NIGERIAN COCONUT JOLLOF RICE:
The original Nigerian coconut rice is not only cooked with Nigerian exotic original spices but cooked with the fresh unadulterated coconut milk! In this article, I'm going to show you the unique way the Nigerian coconut rice is cooked.
EXTRACTION OF COCONUT MILK FROM FRESH COCONUT FRUIT:
I can tell you with impunity that Nigerians are the best coconut rice cooks in the world. I feel excited to write about this dish.
First, Nigerians don't cook coconut rice with stale coconut milk in cans bought from the supermarket or corner shops. They extract the milk right from fresh coconut fruits.
During my early days in Nigeria, members of my family always compete on who will cook the best, nutritious and delicious coconut jollof rice every two Sundays. I must be sincere, I won the competitions several times until I left home. How do you go about the extraction of milk and cooking of coconut jollof rice?
First, we gather as many fresh coconut fruits as possible. We can even employ some boys to climb the tree and pluck the best of the best of coconuts which are matured and have dried covers. These are easily plucked. We remove the shells to bring out the coconut seeds. Then we crack the seeds to bring out the coconuts. We then wash them and grate them by using home made pierced slab of tins with several perforations like the cheese graters in civilized world.
Normally we use two coconut seeds. We utilise the natural milk or water of the coconut as well. After grating, we add a small quantity of water and then mix for a few minutes. With a sieve, we separate the milk or juice and the chaff from the grated coconut. I personally do not throw away the chaff because I always use the chaff to prepare mouth-watering vegetable salad or another excellent meal.
I do this by mixing it with salt and pepper and spices to dry boil and fry fluted pumpkin leaves, spinach and pieces of goat meat,and chicken and this when cooked will equally serve as an accompaniment to the Nigerian coconut jollof rice.
The fresh coconut milk once separated from the chaff is poured into a clean bowl ready to be used in cooking the rice.
RECIPES/INGREDIENTS FOR COOKING UNIQUE NIGERIAN COCONUT JOLLOF RICE FOR 4 PEOPLE AND 4 SERVINGS:
1..2 fresh coconut fruits( to be cracked and seeds grated to extract the milk or juice in addition to the natural coconut water).
2.. 4lbs of meat (Goat and chicken) cut into pieces and boiled to be added into the cooking pot for the jollof coconut rice.
3.. 2 large onions (sliced or chopped and fried along with tomatoes)
4.. 2 desert spoonful of vegetable oil (to stir fry meat as well as spinach, fluted pumpkin leaves and the coconut chaff). + another 4 spoonful of veg. oil to fry the meat and ingredients for the coconut jollof rice.
5.. 4 large fresh tomatoes (chopped) + ground fresh chilli peppers
6.. 1 small quantity of ground crayfish + mixed herbs and spices+ salt to taste.
7.. 4 cups of long grain brown rice( Brown rice is rich in essential nutrients than white Basmati, Jasmine or any other white rice.
8.. Seasonings include at least 1 of maggi, beef oxo or knor cube to be added to the cooking.
Once all these ingredients are assembled, the cooking is fairly very easy. The first step, is to stir fry the meat, in onions, including the chopped tomatoes until they are brownish.
The second step, is to wash the brown rice thoroughly but not to remove the starch contents. While the cooking pot is on the stove, gently lower the flame and carefully pour the washed rice and the coconut juice into the pot and mix for a few minutes and allow to boil.
As soon as the rice and the coconut milk have boiled for at least 20 minutes, then follow up by pouring the fried stew of goat meat and chicken into the boiling rice, mix and stir intermittently for all to blend.
Finally, check if the water is enough, if not add a little and then add all the other ingredients including the herbs, spices, salt and pepper and seasonings to boil for another 20 minutes. Be careful how you stir the jollof coconut rice. You can then taste your cooking by eating a spoonful of the meal.
Never allow the rice to be waterlogged or allow to dry! Like I have always said, it pays to be patient and a creative cook because there is an art in cookery! Allow the cooking another 10-15 minutes to simmer and then you can congratulate yourself for cooking Nigerian unique coconut jollof rice.
Nigerian coconut jollof rice is special, original and unique! You can't mistake the taste of a great dish cooked with washed hands as the Igbo people say: "Nni akworo aka si!"
Make no mistake about this, Nigerian coconut jollof rice recipes is not a ten minutes hush, hush cooking!. It is much more than that because it calls for a lot of cooking artistry, judgement and unique preparations.
This unique delicacy is not eaten every day in Nigeria but at least once or twice a month depending on the family healthy eating habits. It is a Sunday lunch or dinner meal for both family members and their respected guests. Yes, it is an ideal once a month lunch, dinner meal or cuisine loved and enjoyed by all Nigerians. Nigerian coconut jollof rice is super loaded with nutrients and it is always a balanced diet.
In addition to the coconut jollof rice, as I mentioned, I always add an accompaniment and that is in the form of stir boiled and fried spinach, fluted pumpkin leaves and pieces of goat, lamb or chicken pieces fried with the chaff (roughage) from the grated coconuts.
This shows you that nothing is wasted once you use original coconut fruit, seed and milk! This is the special, luxurious, superb; original and unique Nigerian coconut jollof rice second to none! Traditional Nigerian foods!