As part of our Celebrate Community series, we are celebrating the rich cultural diversity of our very own staff members at Mississippi Market.

Ebele has worked in the human resources department at Mississippi Market for three years now. Originally from Nigeria, Ebele has lived in Minnesota with her family for the last five years. She has a strong love of food and cooking, especially spicy food! Ebele shared with us a recipe for Jollof Rice. It is a dish that is eaten in many West African countries but is very popular in Nigeria – so popular that you will find it at virtually every occasion!



  • 2 ½ cups long-grain rice
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • ½ medium habanero pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1 ½ cups water


1. In a blender, combine tomatoes, habanero pepper and bell pepper; purée.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Next, stir in the blended vegetables and bring to boil, stirring occasionally.

3. After 10 minutes of boiling, add the tomato paste, salt, curry powder, garlic powder, bouillon cubes and thyme. Add the water and bring mixture to a boil again.

4. Stir in the rice until well mixed, and then reduce the heat to low.

5. Cover pot and let cook until rice is al dente, about 35 minutes. Allowing the rice at the bottom of the pot to char a bit will add a hint of smokiness to the dish.

6. Jollof rice may be served with sweet fried plantains, boiled, roasted, broiled or grilled meat or fish, coleslaw, or roasted vegetables. For a nutritious vegan option, boil 1 cup of dry black-eyed peas in a separate pot for about 35 minutes, and add the beans at step 5 above. Increase the amount of water used to 2 cups, rather than 1 ½ cups.

View previous posts in this series

Celebrate Community: Libya
Celebrate Community: Yemen
Celebrate Community: Iran
Celebrate Community: Syria
Celebrate Community: Sudan
Celebrate Community: Iraq
Celebrate Community: Somalia