Tired of Sunday Rice? Three Exciting Alternatives to try.

Jollof Rice - Best food for dinner in Nigeria

Always thinking of meals to eat on Sunday or festive day other than rice?  In this article I will show you some meals you can substitute for rice.

How do Nigerians eat rice?

Rice is a staple food in Nigeria. Nigerians eat rice in various forms; Jollof rice, Fried rice, Coconut rice or cooked white and paired with tomato stew, pepper soup or any other sauce of choice. 

The Hausa’s also eat rice in the form of swallow- Tuwo Shinkafa, and as mini pancakes-Masa.

As further proof for its versatility and availability, there is a common Nigerian adult mantra  “there’s rice at home.” Parents say it to their kids and very recently young people say it to themselves to avoid spending outrageous amounts on food — fancy food. It loosely translates to “save your money and go eat at home.”

Common rice alternatives

It can get very boring to have rice every now and then. So, here are other foods you can try instead of rice on Sundays and other festive occasions. 

1. Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Italian-American dish consists of spaghetti, tomato sauce and meatballs, but you can make it with a Nigerian twist. 

It is perfect for Sundays because it is innovative and tasty. 

Spaghetti is a common substitute for rice but combining it with meatballs as in this recipe, gives the special/festive feel.

Ingredients for making spaghetti and meatballs:

  • 500g Mincemeat 
  • 5 medium Tomatoes
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet
  • 1 Medium Onions
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Puree
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Cooking Spoons Vegetable or Olive oil
  • 1 Inch Ginger Root
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • Handful  Chopped Basil/ Scent leaf
  • Bigmama Beef Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • Salt to Taste

How to prepare the spaghetti

  • Place a medium pot on medium heat, add enough water to cook the Spaghetti, when it boils, add the spaghetti, a dash of oil (optional), and salt to taste. 
  • Boil for 9-10 minutes, don’t cook your spaghetti to be too soft. 
  • Run under cold water and leave to drain in a colander.
  • Blend the Tomatoes, Red Bell Pepper, Scotch Bonnet, Onion, Ginger, Garlic cloves till smooth and then set aside.

How to prepare the meatballs.

  • Season the mincemeat with Bigmama Beef Seasoning,  Garlic, Ginger, half of the Curry and Thyme and Salt to taste. 
  • Combine thoroughly, then add the Breadcrumbs and the Egg and Mix properly.
  • Roll the Mincemeat into balls the size of a half fist.
  • Drizzle the frying pan(preferably non-stick) with oil, place on medium heat, and fry the Meatballs till brown on all sides.
  • Pour the oil you used for frying the Meatballs into a bigger pot, then add the remaining Cooking oil. 
  • Place the pot on medium heat, when it’s hot, add remaining minced Garlic, chop the remaining half Onion and add to it. Stir fry  for 2 minutes…
  • Next, add the Tomato Purée. Stir and leave to fry for 5-6 minutes or until the Purée starts to taste sweet…
  • Now add the blended Pepper mix, the White Pepper, Black Pepper, Bigmama Chicken  and or Beef Seasoning, the rest of the Curry Powder and Thyme and Salt to taste. 
  • Combine thoroughly and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
  • Transfer the Meatballs into the Stew, combine thoroughly, leave to cook for 15-20 minutes…

When the spaghetti has cooked properly, combine it with the meatball sauce and serve.

Photo: Sisijemimah

2. Yam or Plantain with Peppersoup

Pepper Soups can be the exciting twist to the regular and routine Sunday rice. 

Pairing them with Yam is both innovative and interesting. Your family will definitely love it. 

You can read this post on how to make different kinds of Peppersoup with Bigmamaspices.

3. Pan Fried Potatoes

Potatoes(Sweet and Irish) are so good and full of meal potentials but don’t make much appearance in Nigerian cuisine.

This is such an exciting meal that can make your Sunday as special as rice would have.

Ingredients for making Pan Fried Potatoes
  • 4 Irish Potatoes
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers(Tatashe)
  • 1 small sized Onions
  • 2 tablespoon Tomato and Pepper Puree 
  • Salt to taste
Image credit: Sisiyemmie
How to Prepare Pan fried Potatoes
  • Peel and chop Potatoes into chunks. You may divide a medium sized potato into six and a small one into four.
  • Wash and boil with salt for 12-15 minutes, be careful not to overcook.
  • Chop bell pepper and onions 
  • Drain cooked potatoes and set aside
  • Drizzle pan with Vegetable Oil
  • Stir fry onion and pepper till tender to build flavour, set aside.
  • Stir fry Potato till it’s crispy on the edges. Frying in little batches, gives the best results.
  • Set Potato aside after frying
  • Stir fry Tomato and Pepper Puree 
  • Add Bigmama Beef Seasoning
  • Add the Fried onions and bell Pepper
  • Add the Potatoes and combine properly
  • Stir fry for 2-3 minutes and serve with grilled chicken or any protein of choice.

Bigmama hopes you try any of these delicious meals. If you do, please tag us on any of the social media platforms.

As a caveat, if you are ditching rice for health/diet reasons, then you should try Basmati rice, Bulgur, Quinoa, Couscous and Brown rice.

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