Nigerian Proverb: Fine words do not produce food
With over 170 million people, Nigeria is the post populated country in Africa – that’s nearly 2.5% of the world’s population. It is estimated that there are up to 500 ethnic groups in Nigeria, with the three main groups being Igbo, Hausa and Yuroba.
From the late 1960’s to 2000 Nigeria saw a number of civil wars and military coups, greatly affecting security and economy in the country. Now the economy is one of the fastest emerging in the world and GDP is ranked 30th in the world. Since 2000, Nigerians have taken part in democratic elections with the March 2015 election largely hailed as the fairest yet.
For over a decade terrorist group Boko Haram have been operating in Nigeria killing over 12,000 people, and committing large scale atrocities; including the mass kidnapping of 276 school girls in 2014. Despite Nigeria having the second largest economy in Africa, malnutrition and poverty are strife. Action Against Hunger estimates that 1 in 4 Nigerian children suffer from acute malnutrition.
In 2014 Action Against Hunger helped 2,807,302 people through their Child Development Grant Programme.
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Jollof rice is probably the epitome of West African cuisine. Both Nigeria and Ghana claim it as their own and variations are found throughout the region. The name Jollof originally comes from the Wollof people of Senegal, whose version of this dish is known as Ceebu Jen (see my blog post on Senegal!), the dish spread throughout with travelling tribes and quickly secured it’s place as a favourite across the region.
Jollof rice is the ultimate party food – big, hearty sharing food. Here’s my version:
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 4 cups of Egyptian rice (or any short grain rice)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 carrot
- 3 scotch bonnets
- 2 Maggi stockcubes
- 4 tablespoons of palm oil
- Blitz a whole onion, a couple of small carrots, scotch bonnets (as many as you like) and garlic in a mini chopper.
- Add the chicken to hot palm to brown then remove and add the onion, chilli, carrot and garlic mixture. Turn the heat right down to sweat.
- Once softened add tomato puree and cook slightly then add rice and cook for five minutes to ten minutes or once the grains become white.
- Return the chicken to the pan.
- Add chopped tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Crumble in 4 small cubes of maggi – seriously don’t skimp it’s traditional!
- Once mixed through top with boiled water to just above the rice and chicken.
- Simmer until chicken has cooked through and the rice has a little bite.
- Serve with extra hot sauce!
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