Recipe: jollof and plantain arancini from Chuku's

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Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 00:00

Emeka and Ifeyinwa Frederick, brother and sister behind Chuku's, a Nigerian tapas restaurant, share their recipe for the popular West African dish, jollof.

‘Jollof rice is a popular dish across Nigeria and the rest of West Africa and is made by steaming rice in a seasoned tomato and red pepper purée. It’s loved passionately by Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike, and everyone will tell you their mum or auntie makes the best pot.

‘To stay out of the debate, Chuku’s put our own special twist on it by swapping rice for the superfood quinoa. Here’s another food fusion - jollof and plantain arancini, with the superfood boost coming this time from the nutritional moringa powder, found in Nigeria.’

jollof and plantain arancini

Africa Utopia - Jollof Rice and Plantain Arancini - Chuku's
This recipe makes eight arancini, and serves four.
ingredients, for the jollof rice
  • 200g parboiled long grain rice
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli (or to taste)
  • thumb-size piece of fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt to taste
ingredients, for the arancini
  • 300g cooked jollof rice
  • Jollof (tomato and red pepper) purée
  • 1 plantain, diced and fried
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp Aduna moringa Powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices of multiseed bread
  • 750ml vegetable oil
  • chopped Scotch bonnet chilli to garnish
  • handful of rocket to garnish


To make the jollof rice:

  1. Blend together your plum tomatoes, red bell peppers, onion, Scotch bonnet and fresh ginger
  2. Pour in a large pot and cook down your purée until it becomes a thick paste. Then cover with 50ml vegetable oil and fry for 10-15 minutes until the purée begins to separate from the oil
  3. Now add your thyme, stock cube and salt to taste. Take out half of the tomato and pepper purée and set aside for later
  4. To the remaining purée in the pot, add your parboiled rice and remaining oil
  5. Pour water over the rice, so the two are level, then cover the pot with a lid
  6. Put the pot on a low to medium heat and steam cook the rice until all the water has disappeared - by then it should be ready.

­To make the arancini balls:

  1. While the rice is cooking, set out three bowls. In the first add the flour and moringa powder, in the second beat an egg and in the third add homemade breadcrumbs made by blitzing the seeded bread in a blender
  2. Once the rice is cooked, scoop out warm jollof rice from the pot into a fourth bowl and add the purée that was set aside. Mix together, so that the rice becomes sticky like the texture of risotto. The softness of the warm rice and the purée moisture is needed, so that the rice can be moulded into arancini balls. You’ll have made more jollof rice than you need for this arancini recipe, so you have plenty for a chef’s snack!
  3. Scoop out a tablespoon of jollof rice onto your palm and flatten with your fingertips. Place a dice of plantain on top. Add another scoop of jollof rice and mould into a round ball. Sit the moulded arancini onto a plate
  4. Repeat the process until the bowl of rice is empty
  5. Dip the balls one-by-one into the moringa-flour mix, then the egg and then into the breadcrumbs, making sure they are well coated
  6. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep saucepan and place on a high heat, ready to deep fry the arancini. Make sure the oil is no more than halfway up the saucepan to ensure it doesn’t bubble over once hot. Test the oil by dropping in some breadcrumbs – if they sizzle and float, it is ready for frying
  7. With a perforated spoon, dip the arancini into the hot oil and fry for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer onto kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil
  8. Garnish with rocket, chopped scotch bonnet chillies and serve with a portion of fried plantain (dodo).



Every weekend, from Friday to Sunday, you’ll find fantastic street food creations from around the world at Southbank Centre Food Market.

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