a bunch of vegetables and other savory bits cooked with the rice in a single pot. In Burkina Faso they call it riz gras, the French term for fat rice, and it combines eggplant, chiles, and other vegetables in a spicy, West African-style tomato sauce. Naturally, we used Fatou Ouattara’s Akadi Spicy Sauce for our version of the dish. Ouattara moved to Portland from the Cote d'Ivoire, and her sauce gives the riz gras a distinctly West African flavor.
For the shopping list
jalapeno chile, chopped
cloves garlic, chopped
small eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
medium sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
vegetable broth or water
From the kitchen
Dutch oven or large saucepan
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the onion, jalapeno, garlic, eggplant, and sweet potato in 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt over medium heat until the eggplant turns translucent, about 25 minutes.
Add the jar of Akadi sauce, 1 cup rice, and 3 cups broth (or water), stir well, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Don’t stir if you’re hoping for a browned, slightly crispy layer of rice on the bottom of the pot.
This mushroom chili with West African flavors was inspired by the food in a high school cafeteria in the 1960s, but don’t hold that against it.