In the past Africans were considered to be intellectually incapable of domesticating rice and technologically unable to develop its complicated irrigation system. Instead, scholars contended that the Portuguese introduced the crop from Asia as well as the irrigation techniques needed for growing it.
However botanical and historical evidence (some dating back to 1068),demonstrate that Africans in Upper Guinea developed "an elaborate food production system that displayed acute knowledge of landscape gradient, soil principles, moisture regimes, farming by submersion, hydrology, and tidal dynamics, and the mechanisms to impound water and to control its flow" long before European contact. This knowledge enabled Africans to produce rice in three distinct ecosystems. The upland or rain-fed system was reliant on precipitation; the inland swamp system was dependent on high groundwater levels. The tidal floodplain method entailed situating rice fields on tidal waterways, which could require the construction of sizable levees and extensive and elaborate irrigation systems.
It is such a wonder that what was considered true yesterday becomes false today. We are continuously evolving...re-discovering,breaking myths...and even sometimes creating new ones ...I love being alive!! I love this Earth and all she houses.
Inspired by this, I decided to make a dish from the continent of Africa; and what better way than to use rice in my dish. Rice with a little of past English influence on the continent(and a little of my influence too) !
Egyptian Chicken Rice
1 cup ground beef ( I skipped this, as I do not eat beef)
1 cup diced chicken fillets( I used chopped chicken sausages instead)
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 jar finely sliced mushrooms (any)
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp red chilli-garlic paste
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup raw rice
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
In a deep pan, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds.
Once they splutter,add the onions.
Once the onions sweat, add the tomato paste, red chilli-garlic paste, ginger powder, bell-pepper,mushrooms, and chicken (and beef, if using). Saute for a minute.
Add the soy and worcestershire sauce. Add the raw rice and mix well. Add the salt and water.
Seal with the lid and cook for 20-30 minutes, till chicken/beef is tender and rice is cooked.
Serve with slivered almonds and sour cream/yougurt (if desired).