from: Western Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering
Riz Senegalais (Senegalese Rice)
Senegalese Rice is a slightly simplified version of Ceebu Jën, with an English name. In Senegal, there can be new variation of this fish and rice dish every day, depending on the cook's preferences and what is available at the market. It is not necessary to use all of ingredients listed in this recipe, choose what you like. There are three essentials: (1) rice (2) fish, prepared as described; and (3) tomato, onion, and other vegetables. Include whatever ingredients you like: use a lot of different vegetables for a big dinner, or just a few for a simple meal. The French word riz (rice), pronounced "ree" rhymes with the English word "key".
What you need
- several cups of rice
- stuffing mixture:
- one or two sweet peppers (or bell peppers) (green, yellow, or red); chopped
- one onion or two leeks or several scallions, chopped
- garlic, minced (optional)
- a small bunch of parsley
- hot chile pepper, cleaned and chopped (optional)
- two to three pounds of fish: whole, filets, or steaks; cleaned (sea bass, hake, haddock, sea bream, halibut, or any similar firm-fleshed fish)
- one cup vegetable oil
- two onions, chopped
- three or four tomatoes (peeled if desired), whole
- tomato paste (optional)
- one or more of the following root vegetables and tubers:
- carrots, chopped
- sweet cassava (also called manioc, yuca, or yucca) tuber; or potatoes, chopped
- yams (sweet potatoes are not the same, but may be substituted), chopped
- one or more of the following leaf and fruit vegetables:
- cabbage, chopped
- one or two sweet peppers (or bell peppers) (green, yellow, or red); left whole
- one squash (any kind will do) or zucchini, cleaned and chopped
- eggplant (aubergine, or guinea squash), peeled and chopped
- chile pepper, cleaned and chopped
- cayenne or red pepper (to taste)
- black pepper
What you do
- Cook rice in the normal manner. While the rice is cooking continue with the rest of the instructions.
- Combine the stuffing mixture ingredients. Chop, mix, and grind them into a paste. A small amount of water or oil can be added. (Use a food processor if you have one.) Cut a few slits into the fish. Stuff the slits with the mixture.
- Heat oil in a deep pot. Fry fish on each side, until nearly done. Add onions and fry until tender. Add tomatoes, cover, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
- Remove fish and set it aside. Add the whole sweet peppers and the root vegetables and tubers to the same pot in which the fish was fried. Add water to halfway cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Then add the leaf and fruit vegetables. Add water only if necessary. Adjust seasoning. Place fish on top, but not in liquid. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
- When all the vegetables are nearly done, carefully remove the tomatoes and a cup of the broth and place them in a separate pot. Add the cooked rice. Stir to mix tomato into rice, continue to heat and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. (A spoonful of tomato paste could be added to the rice at this point.)
- Place rice in the center of the serving dish. Scrape some of the crust from the bottom of the rice pot and put this over the rice. Put the fish on top of the rice, and surround it with the vegetables. Garnish with the rest of the parsley. Any remaining cooking liquid from the vegetables can be brought to a boil and served in a separate bowl as a sauce. Enjoy your dinner, you deserve it.
- Serve Ginger Beer or Green Tea with Mint with your meal or afterwards.
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