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Forget Jollof! Go for Lerato’s Green Fried Rice for The Guardian

As I said in yesterday’s live tweetchat hosted by The Guardian, my cooking is inspired by family, the season and my environment. Mr. Tomato (my husband) inspired this recipe as I sought to make white rice healthier after watching him gobble up freshly cooked rice straight from the pot. I knew that despite our pantry filled with a variety of brown and wild rice, white rice would be a tough one to let go of.

Brown rice is full of fiber that keeps you fuller for longer


I hope this recipe for Green Fried Rice will encourage us to eat more greens and for Nigerians suffering the high price of tomatoes, this could be the next best thing, leaving Jollof rice for special occasions now that tomato is the new truffle!

Although this recipe was created in my home in England, for my family in Nigeria, it has become a great substitute for Jollof rice which is a popular West African dish similar to the Spanish Paella, cooked in tomato sauce.
Nigerians are currently suffering the tremendous hike in price of tomatoes as well as other foods of up to 700% as a result of high cost of transportation due to fuel scarcity and increase in petrol prices, insurgency in the Northern region & the growing tomato crop infestation caused by an exotic pest called, Tuta Absoluta. Such a basic and daily ingredient is now a luxury and the people have to adapt to cope with the current crisis and this Green Fried Rice is my delicious solace.

This is a great dish to customise as you can substitute crayfish for shrimps, moringa for your favourite herbs, spinach for kale, and much more. Make it wonderful by making it your own. With Green Fried Rice, the goal is to incorporate more greens into rice meals.
Could this be the new Jollof rice for Nigeria, for West Africa?

See my recipe in The Guardian

Green Fried Rice with Spinach & Moringa

Cooking time: 3 minutes                            

Feeds: 6 – 8 people


1 medium pot cooked rice

2 tbs of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp dry pepper

2 chicken / vegetable stock cubes

1 tablespoon ground crayfish

4 handfuls chopped efo tete / spinach

1 handful moringa leaves

1 handful chopped spring onions

Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the minced garlic. Cook for a minute under low heat to extract the oils from the garlic. Avoid burning by stirring. Turn up the heat to medium and add the washed and chopped greens – spinach, moringa and spring onions. Stir and leave to cook for a minute.
  1. Add the dry pepper, stock cubes, cray fish and stir again. Add salt if needed. I always say, make sure to taste as you cook to avoid using too much salt. Carefully scoop the cooked rice into the pot of greens, and stir until you have successfully mixed all the contents properly. Cover the pot to allow the rice and greens to continue to steam. Take the pot off the fire.
  1. Remember, our goal is to substantially reduce the quantity of rice by adding the greens, so try not to mix in too much white rice before it turns more white than green. Now enjoy the best rice of your life.

Make my recipe yours and share your photos with me and other food lovers on Instagram @lerato_tomato & twitter @LeratoTomato


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