Jambalaya !! Does that name ring a bell? If it does not ,then do not worry .Just note it down as an incredibly easy to make one pot recipe ,that will save your precious energy on a weekday and rather impress your guests if cooked as part of a dinner party menu.Jambalaya is a French word that literally means ‘jumbled’. This is a rice dish with a great mix of strong flavor and textures.I got to taste this wonderful rice dish at a friend’s place.I was so impressed ,that soon I had to try out my own take on the recipe.Jambalaya is a Creole dish of Spanish and French influence and is very similar to the Spanish paella.Meat in the form of chicken or pork sausage are the common ingredients for
the traditional non vegetarian take on the dish,but I believe dodging out on the meaty ingredients won’t do this incredibly spicy and flavorsome dish much harm. Nutrella or tofu can be wonderful vegetarian substitutes for this dish . The ‘holy trinity’ of this dish are bell peppers,onion and celery.Red,yellow,green and pink! I am a sucker for natural color in food.I believe if the food looks naturally beautiful,half the battle is over.I cooked and created a stock
of the vegetables and sausage,added the raw rice and then let it cook in those flavors till done.I added the seasonings and the tomato puree towards the end ,to give it a nice sour-spicy effect,but you are free to add it while cooking the vegetables and the meat.The best part of the dish is that it’s extremely versatile,so you are free to choose and swap your protein,chicken, prawns,sausage,tofu and so on or even customize the heat in the dish according to your taste buds.Feel free to put your own stamp!
- 3 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
- 1 onion,diced
- 3 ribs celery,chopped
- 1 red bell pepper,cored and diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper,cored and diced
- 1 green bell pepper,cored and diced
- 1-2 green chili or jalapeno peppers,seeded and finely chopped (depending on taste)
- 5 cloves garlic,mined
- 2 lb pork sausage ,sliced in rounds
- 80 gm pureed tomato
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4th teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt,to taste
- 1 and 1/2 cup rice of your choice
- 3 cups stock or warm water
- 2 table spoon of spice mix of a teaspoon each of ground black pepper,red pepper flakes,dried oregano,cumin powder powder,coriander,dried thyme,paprika powder- all crushed and mixed together
- a handful of parsley,finely chopped (optional)
- Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a large deep vessel at medium heat.
- Add bay leaf and minced garlic,saute for a while.
- Add onion, bell pepper and celery.Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the sausage slices,combine with the vegetables by stirring .
- When the sausage changes color to,add the rice.
- Add the spice mix and the pureed tomato.Give it a good stirring to mix and combine all the ingredients well.
- Add the stock or water,reduce heat to medium.Cover it , let it simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is well cooked,stirring in between to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Check and adjust the seasonings
- When the extra moisture has evaporated you can add your choice of a hot sauce if you prefer to have really spicy and hot Jambalaya.
- Remove from heat and garnish it with chopped parsley.
- Serve hot and enjoy!