Midday Fix: Jollof, a traditional one-pot rice dish popular throughout West Africa

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Carlos Cruz, Executive Chef of The Promontory


  • The Promontory’s Executive Chef Carlos Cruz, along with partner Afrofusion, welcome some of Chicago’s best African restaurants for the second annual Jollof Wars — a one-of-a-kind food festival and competition centered around Jollof, a traditional one-pot rice dish popular throughout West Africa made with rice, tomatoes and goat meat or beef.
  • On September 16th from 2-8 P.M., (The Promontory - 5311 S Lake Park Ave W, Chicago, IL 60615) in Hyde Park.  Hyde Park’s hearth-centric restaurant, bar and concert venue, gathers neighborhood favorites as they each prepare to face-off with an original take on Jollof for the chance to earn bragging rights as the Jollof Wars champion.
  • Participating restaurants include:
  • Set to a lively soundtrack of beats curated by Afrofusion’s collection of the city’s top Afrobeat DJs, this event is a unique opportunity to celebrate African cuisine and music as The Promontory and Chef Cruz continues their commitment to providing Hyde Park’s diverse community with an array of exciting and engaging culinary and cultural offerings.




Jollof Recipe


2 cups Jasmine Rice (or par cooked rice)

4 cups chicken stock (or water)

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1inch knob of ginger, sliced

2 bay leaves

1ea shallot (or red onion), sliced

1ea cherry bomb pepper (or habanero)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp tomato paste

2ea red tomato

1ea green bell pepper



1 ripe plantain

Jollof Base Process:
Char on a grill red tomatoes, cherry bomb peppers and green bell peppers.

Place peppers in plastic bag to steam.

Peel and de-seed bell peppers

Peel and de-seed cherry bomb peppers

In medium pan add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Heat pan and add shallots, ginger, and garlic.
Fry until golden brown.

Gather tomatoes, peppers, bell pepper, garlic, ginger and shallots and puree in a blender.

Jollof Rice Process:

In a medium pot at low heat place vegetable oil

Add Jasmine Rice

Add tomato paste

Toast rice and tomato paste until slightly brown

Add jollof base mixture

Add chicken stock

Cover with lid for 20mins

Uncover for 5mins to cook excess moisture


Peel plantain

Cut in ½ inch rounds

In skillet add 1 cup of vegetable oil

Heat oil on medium low until pan is hot

Shallow fry plantains until dark brown and caramelized.

Serve on top of rice


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