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Best Rice Dishes from Around the World

  1. Jollof Rice (Nigeria)

The origin of jollof rice is credited to the Wolof tribe of the Senegambia region. but has spread across the entire West Africa. The Nigerian version is prepared by frying in vegetable oil a mix of vegetables that includes fresh puréed tomatoes and blended smoked peppers, combined with freshly washed rice and topped off with herbs, like bay leaves, onions, curry powder, salt, and mixed seasoning. This delicious dish is incomplete without an accompanied choice of meat, either fried, boiled, or grilled. Usually served with salads and fried plantains as side dishes, a first taste of jollof will certainly entice you. 

  1. Rice and Peas (Jamaica)

Rice and peas are a Jamaican staple and a favourite in the Caribbean islands. The dish is prepared with rice in coconut milk mixed with red beans, and spices, along with herbs, like scallions, garlic, and peppers. The rice and peas can be cooked on a stove or baked in the oven, the choice is yours. Serve it with the famous Jamaican jerk chicken for an unforgettable eating experience.

  1. Pilau (East Africa) 

Pilau has East African, Turkish, and Indian origins, and is prepared in different methods in each region. The East African version is traditionally prepared with fragrant rice cooked in well-seasoned chicken or beef broth, combined with a variety of aromatic spices to infuse more flavour. You can serve this rice dish with chicken or beef. 

  1. Chinese Fried Rice (China)

Looking for something easy and flavourful the whole family can enjoy? Fried rice is your best bet. This iconic dish is one of the easiest rice dishes to make. Fried rice can be made with freshly boiled or leftover rice, fried eggs, various sauteed vegetables including peas, carrots, and broccoli, and topped off with soy sauce. It can be prepared in 15-20 minutes.

  1. Biryani (India)

Biryani is a South-Asian dish. It can be prepared with your choice of vegetables and meat. Traditionally, cooking biryani requires layering the meat at the bottom of the pot, and covering it with rice and spices like saffron, herbs, and oil. 

  1. Traditional Mexican Rice (Mexico)

The next destination on our list of best rice dishes around the world is Mexico, where traditional Mexican rice is an all-time favourite among the locals. This internationally recognized dish is prepared with a variety of accessible ingredients and can be prepared in less than an hour. Serve it with Mexican staples like carne asada or chicken enchiladas for a sumptuous experience. 

  1. Gallo Pinto (Costa Rica)

Gallo Pinto is a rice dish that can be served with any meal. It is prepared using herbs, vegetables, and spices like onions, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, and bell peppers sautéed in oil, and garnished with bacon for an extra flavourful boost. 

  1. Paella (Spain)

Paella is one of Spain’s most popular dishes, particularly in Valencia, the Spanish region it originated from. Paella is cooked using a paella pan for best results, and is an easy dish to make. Only high quality ingredients can be used to make the perfect paella, including Spanish round rice, saffron for flavour, and fresh seafood. Before you boast about making the perfect paella, it must have a slight but beautiful burn at the bottom of the pan. 

  1. Jambalaya (Louisiana, US)

Jambalaya originated in Louisiana in the southeast of the United States. Rice and meat are the staple ingredients needed to prepare this dish. It can include a variety of meat and seafoods such as turkey, venison, oysters, crawfish, duck, or smoked sausage and chicken. This dish has been around for generations and is considered to be one of the most adaptable dishes; it can be prepared with a variety of ingredients as well. 

  1. Tahdig (Iran) 

“Tah-deeq” as it is pronounced in Iranian means “bottom of the pot” in Persian. It got its name from the reference to the crispy golden crumbs of the buttery cooked and fluffy rice at the bottom of the pot. This rice dish is infused with tomatoes, potatoes, and saffron-flavored yogurt. It is usually served with bread.

Chinenye Emezie | Staff Writer

Winter 2023

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