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Food bloggers and chefs team up with Tolly Boy Rice

RECIPES FOR SUCCESS: Kezia Eniang of Kezia's KookBook

THE FESTIVE season is around the corner, and just like you Tolly Boy Rice is all set for the Christmas season. This year, they spoke to five prominent food enthusiasts to get a sneak peek into their Christmas menus and pick up some tips for making your Christmas meal truly stand out.

As expected jollof rice was on top of the list for many of our foodies. Patti Sloley, who runs a successful pop-up restaurant and writes a popular blog called Patti’s Menu said:

“Christmas holds so many wonderful memories for me, growing up in west Africa; the incredible sound of church bells and mum dressing us all up in our Sunday best. The emphasis wasn't so much on presents but more on lots of delicious food to feed the family.

“Each Christmas, I cook up a mix of both traditional and western dishes and jollof rice always features on the menu. Another must-have is big pot of Nkaakra (a traditional light and spicy broth-like soup) bubbling away, the aroma brings back fond memories of Christmas growing up and mum’s cooking.”

Patti makes her own version of the classic jollof rice, adapted from her mum’s recipe and her top tip is adding in cuts of lamb for its fragrance and flavour. She describes jollof rice as:

“One of the best rice dishes – ever! Often a centrepiece at parties, I can’t imagine a celebration without jollof!”

Patti isn’t the only one with an appreciation for jollof. Bintu Hardy - a busy mum of two who shares her passion for food in her popular food blog, Recipes from a Pantry, said:

“The word Christmas means one thing to me: jolloff rice and stew. To tie in more with the Christmas festivities I use turkey instead of chicken, and sneak a few cranberries into the stew.”

Adding to the festive inspiration Kezia Eniang – the food enthusiast behind Kezia’s KookBook spoke about her favourite rice meals during Christmas. She shares:

“One of my favourite recipes for the Christmas time aside from our beloved jollof rice is the delicious and aromatic seafood coconut rice. Its rice simmered in coconut milk; flavoured with delicious herbs and spices with the addition of shrimps and vegetables. Simply delightful and always a crowd pleaser!”

In case you are looking for other rice meals to incorporate into your Christmas table this year, Chef Malcolm Riley (his sweet potato curry is pictured above) from The African Chef share his rice dish for the festive season said:

“I enjoy Christmas, when all the food is in the oven and I watch the kids open their presents! Christmas for us is about sharing and good food with my added spicy twists. This year I’m planning sweet potato and coconut rice, with grated zest of lemon, finished with coriander and served with authentic African spicy jerk pork.”

For some it may be jollof, for other fried rice but no matter how you make it for Thelma Egbe – the brain behind Thelmz Kitchen rice is an important part of her African roots. She said:

“Christmas is the only holiday where I get to have all my family members eating from the same dining table. Being Nigerians we cannot celebrate any festive period without a rice dish, once you are born you have a life time contract with rice!

"Though jollof rice is the most well-known dish, different countries have theirs made differently. My favourite Christmas dish is Nigerian style fried rice, a delicious, colourful and very inviting dish. Food is a very important to my African heritage as it gives me sense of belonging.”

Understanding how important rice is in making that festive spirit more wholesome Tolly Boy said:

“We have been a part of the British Africans culinary journey for decades, and whether it be jollof rice, fried rice or rice with stew, we are always there to make Christmas more sumptuous and wholesome.

"No matter what you choose to cook, from simple steamed rice to accompany spicy stews to expertly crafted baked rice dishes, Tolly Boy Rice will cook perfectly each and every time. Satisfied families mean happy mum’s and happy tums, young or old."

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