Jollof Farro

The Dr Oz 28-Day Shrink Your Stomach Challenge has opened my eyes to some ingredients I have never used before and since they are all healthy options, I was very excited to try them using new and existing recipes. I grew up eating mostly Nigerian food; you see I was born in Nigeria, moved to the UK when I was a teenager and then to the States when I got married. Farro is a completely new addition to my pantry. I can’t remember coming across farro in Nigeria and even when I moved to the UK, it wasn’t popular among the community of people I knew or places I visited. Which brings me to my recipe :-). One of my favorite food is Jollof Rice, a dish I have eaten almost every other week since I was a child, so I decided to make Jollof Rice using farro instead of rice so I guess I could call it, Jollof Farro.

For those of you who don’t know, Jollof Rice is a West African dish, it is basically rice cooked in red tomato stew (I can hear some West Africans going sacrilege…just rice cooked in stew! lol). Now, I am not even going to go down the road of where Jollof Rice originated from (Gambia, Wolof, Jolof, hello??? 🙂 ). Believe me, this can be a fierce debate amongst West Africans, don’t even start on which country does it best…all I will say is that there are many ways of making Jollof Rice in West Africa and it is a party favorite.

So here’s my Jollof Farro for the 28 day challenge, which we will be having for dinner :-). It takes about 1hr 30mins to prepare this dish. I have reduced the amount of cooking oil normally used when cooking this dish and gone with olive oil for a healthy option. My husband and I really enjoyed the Jollof Farro and have agreed we will be eating it again after the 28-Day Challenge.

Ingredients, Serves 4

8oz Farro
14.5oz Peeled Whole Canned Tomatoes or 6 to 8 Medium Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Small Scotch Bonnet Pepper (half pepper deseeded for those who don’t like it hot/spicy)
1 Small Yellow Onion
1 Knorr Cube (two cubes within)
½ tsp Sea salt
½ tsp Thyme
¼ tsp Curry
5 tbsp Olive Oil

Method

In a blender, add tomatoes, bell pepper, scotch bonnet and onion and blend until smooth. Next, empty the blended contents into a medium sauce pan over low heat. Allow the mixture to boil down to remove the excess water; this will take about 30-45 minutes (tip – cover the pan and don’t turn the stew to until all the water is gone to avoid the stew splashing which could burn the skin).

Once the water content is gone add about five tablespoons of olive oil, knorr cube, sea salt, thyme, curry and tomato paste. Allow to fry for about 10-15 minutes.

Add the farro into the saucepan with the tomato stew. Add a cup of water to the saucepan and increase the heat to high; once Jollof Farro starts to boil, bring the heat back down to low and allow to cook for 35 minutes or until the farro is tender.

Serve with Broccoli, Coleslaw or Garden Salad and if you want the Nigerian feel, serve with Moin Moin or Plantains with Chicken, Meat or Fish…Enjoy

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