African-style white rice

White rice is a staple all over the world, and many different cultures have their own way to prepare it. There is the classic way of following the package directions, or even getting minute rice and making it in the microwave. However, there is a certain way regular rice can be prepared to make it even better. In this post, I’ll discuss how this white rice is made, as well as why it’s called African-style.

What ‘African-style’ white rice is

I call this rice ‘African-style’ white rice for a couple reasons. First, is to differentiate it from regular white rice. This is still white rice, but has a few small changes and additions that make it unique. Simply, this is not just a post on how to cook regular white rice; if that’s what you’re looking for, just simmer 1 part rice in 2 parts water.

Secondly, this is African-style because it’s the taste and texture rice is like what I’ve had in Ghana. Likewise, whenever rice is prepared in an African way, this is usually the taste and texture I notice. My husband, who grew up in Africa, is the one who introduced this method to me.

How to make ‘African-style’ white rice

This version of white rice is not anything crazy, just a few tweaks to make ordinary white rice pop. Here are what changes can be made to take regular white rice to the next level:

Add oil

Growing up in America, adding oil to white rice was never something I saw done. Of course it is done in a dish like fried rice, but that is a separate thing altogether. Some people do add butter, I suppose, but to me that changes the taste. Whatever type of oil you use is typically fine; I usually go for olive or avocado oil. Per 1 1/2 cups of rice, I add about 1 Tbsp. oil.

Add salt

This was another thing that seems obvious to me now, but not something I even considered before. Salt brings out the flavor of the rice, while not changing it into something else like butter would. Per 1 1/2 cups of rice, 1 tsp. of salt is the perfect amount to make the flavor pop.

Use jasmine (or basmati) rice

Just like with jollof rice, many people there have their own preferences of which type of rice is best. The two most popular types I know of are jasmine and basmati. I prefer jasmine, as basmati is too long for my liking and I find jasmine to have better flavor. To make your rice truly African-style, however, either of these two choices is better than the standard long grain version.

Reduce water

This is the real key of the perfect texture of the African-style white rice. I’ve heard that some Americans like Minute rice because of the texture, which is something they can’t replicate when making rice on the stove. Reducing the water gives the rice that perfect texture so it’s fully cooked but not at all fluffy. There are two methods I recommend to get good results:

– Method #1: Rice cooker method –

The simplest way to reduce the water is to look at the marks. I typically eyeball it, and it depends on how many servings I’m making. The more servings means the lower below the line I will fill it. Below is typically where I will stop for 2 servings of rice.

Rice cooker white rice
The level of water for rice cooker

– Method #2: Stovetop method –

This method I am more unfamiliar with, as I never cook white rice on the stove. I recommend reducing the suggested water 2-3 Tbsp. per 1 1/2 cups of rice, but again, I haven’t tried it.

So that’s it! African-style white rice is by far my favorite way to cook white rice. It is especially delicious when served with dishes like egusi stew or red beans and rice.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Joëlle Brooke Tanenbaum

    Here in Hawaii we use the rice cooker, literally every home has a rice cooker. Jasmine rice is so good but my mom used Basmati or brown rice, sometimes wild rice, local people here use Calrose which is basic white rice. I buy Jasmine, put in the rice, wash it well: cold water, massage, pour off, repeat until mostly clear, then add water above the rice: I don’t know how to measure by cups for rice, we learn as kids by knuckles. So 1st knuckle of middle finger is how much water- put finger on top of rice in a couple of places & water should line up to the 1st knuckle of middle finger. I go a little under it to the line under my knuckle because I don’t like sticky rice too much.
    I add in a little salt like 1 turn of the grinder for the pot. Sometimes herbs: Italian seasoning, fresh basil, cilantro, cumin, saffron, seasoned cracked black pepper, I’ve used all of those, sometimes coconut oil like 1 Tablespoon for the pot (appx. 3-4 c of rice). Seasoning it works but then I can’t save rice unless in the fridge, even then it tastes different later. If I add seasoning I use all of it.
    Stove top: same measurements as rice cooker. I bring up to a fast boil then drop heat by 1/2, cover, it starts bubbling again, I stir making sure nothing is stuck on the bottom, drop heat by 1/2, cover, don’t bother for like 20 min, lift lid, see pock marks/holes, cover, off the heat, wait about 15 min, lift lid & use spoon to fold in air. All pau. Go buy rice cooker

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