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Topic: Nutrition - September 11 2023
Chiaka Ogbogu’s Favorite Nigerian Recipe

USA volleyball player and VIS League Mentor Chiaka Ogbogu shared her favorite Nigerian recipe with us. She says this recipe has been passed down in her family for several generations, and it always makes her feel at home when she is traveling around the world with Team USA.

By: Morgan Mulligan

VIS Creator™

Chiaka Ogbogu

VIS League™

Topic: Nutrition

September 11 2023


Yield: 7½ cups rice

2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 5 ounces each)

½ medium Scotch bonnet pepper (or use a habanero pepper), stem removed

½ medium onion, roughly chopped

3 small red bell peppers, roughly chopped (about 5 ounces each)

½ cup vegetable oil

1½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon curry powder

1½ teaspoons hot ground chile pepper, such as African dried chile or cayenne

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2½ cups medium-grain rice

““It’s my favorite thing to make while overseas to feel like I’m at home.””

Chiaka Ogbogu


Step 1:

In a blender, combine tomatoes, pepper and onions; purée. Pour out half the purée into a bowl; set aside. Add the bell peppers to the purée remaining in the blender and pulse until smooth. Add to the mixture that was set aside and stir to combine.

Step 2:

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add blended vegetables along with the salt, curry powder, ground chile pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaves, ginger and thyme. Bring mixture to a boil.

Step 3:

Stir in the rice until well mixed, then reduce the heat to low.

Step 4:

Cover pot and let cook until rice is al dente, about 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes; if rice is sauce-logged, remove the lid to cook off the excess sauce. If rice seems dry, stir in 1 to 2 cups of water. Allow the rice at the bottom of the pot to char a bit to infuse it with a smoky flavor.

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What recipe reminds you of home? Let us know in the comments!