Chef Kwame Onwuachi's Jollof Rice with Jerk Rack of Lamb and Marinated Gooseberries

30 minsPrep Time
30 minsCook Time

1 hrTotal Time


For the Red Sauce:

  • 3 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (128g) tomato paste
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 (2in/5cm) piece fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Maggi seasoning cube
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons habanaro hot sauce

For the Jerk Paste and Lamb:

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) soy sauce
  • 1 bunch green onions, whites chopped, greens reserved for garnish
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeded if desired, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • Leaves from 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1/3 cup (83ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 2in/5cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Canola oil, for greasing the grill
  • 2 (about 2 pounds each) full racks of lamb, frenched

For the Jollof Rice:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (237g) basmati rice
  • 1 habanero pepper, diced
  • 1 cup (240ml) red sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Gooseberries:

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pint (340g) gooseberries, halved

For Serving:

  • Reserved scallion greens, thinly sliced on bias
  • Chopped fresh parsley


To make the red sauce: In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the oil and blend until smooth. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the contents of the blender, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the water from the tomatoes has cooked out of the sauce, about 10 minutes. Set aside. 


To make the jerk paste and marinate the lamb: In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the lamb and blend until smooth. Coat the lamb well with jerk sauce and reserve in a zip-top bag or bowl. 


To make the rice: Heat the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the rice and toast it for about 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the habanero and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the red sauce and salt and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the water and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for 10 minutes. 


To cook the lamb: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) and prepare a sheet pan with foil and a roasting rack. In a large pan, add 1.5 tablespoons of oil and set heat to medium-high. Once oil is shimmering, sear the lamb on all sides to a deep golden brown - do one rack at a time unless there is sufficient room for both. Once seared, transfer lamb to sheet pan and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove lamb from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.


To make the gooseberries: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, oil, and salt. Add the gooseberries and mix gently to coat.


To serve: Fluff the rice and spoon it onto a large serving platter. Slice the lamb and place on top of the rice.  

Recipe from Mixtape Potluck by Questlove © Ahmir Khalib Thompson

Recipe courtesy of Kwame Onwuachi

Published by Abrams Image

Mixtape Potluck