Jollof Rice in an Underground Bunker

Written by Joshua Idehen

Image by Sylvia Hong

13.04.18

This piece is from our latest print edition: the FOOD issue, which you can buy here.

I’ve already accepted that World War III is inevitable. Trump has to do something to stop his poll numbers from dropping and there’s only so much bluffing Kim Jong Un can do before he thinks ‘well I never wanted to go to San Francisco anyway’. I don’t know where the UK will stand but I can only imagine it’ll be somewhere extremely stupid (see: Brexit). Bombs will be dropped and chaos will ensue. You, a stupid person, will receive government assurances via your timeline, podcasts and TV in your house (ha), council estate flat (ha ha) or Brixton Station Underground (lol all the way to the afterlife). Me, a freakin’ forward-planning genius, will go and find myself a nice bunker. Don’t ask me how. I haven’t got a bunker map of the UK but I am Nigerian and a master of lastminute.com; if I could survive sixteen years under two dictatorships and an IMF imposed Structural Adjustment Program, a nuclear fallout ain’t got shit on me.

Obviously my future bunker (I will find one injesusnameamen) will be full of amenities, food, health stuff, and smart people to do smart shit like administer the aforementioned health stuff, fix the piss-fuelled generator or build a radio that runs off human tears. Understandably, everyone must have a useful skill to be in the bunker. I’ll have to be the bunker poet. There may already be a poet living in the bunker before I get there, and that’s okay. I’ll just make him disappear (don’t ask how) and pretend the mutant rats got to him. Don’t test me, I aim to survive this future. Obviously, man cannot live on poetry alone, and so to endear myself to the group I’ll also be cooking jollof rice.

It will have to be the Ghanaian version because if there are Ghanaians and Nigerians in my bunker clan I know the Nigerians will not care as long as it’s good, but the Ghanaians will murder me in my sleep if I don’t use basmati rice.

To make Bunker Jollof Rice, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Basmati rice (duh, 4 cups)

Chopped tomatoes (2 cans, packs)

3 Maggi cubes

Maggi seasoning sauce

Aromat seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 bell pepper

2 scotch bonnets

Onion

Garlic

Ginger

Vegetable Oil

Supermalt

A full bladder

Chop the onion and save the tears for the radio. Crush the garlic. Chop the pepper and the scotch bonnet (if there are more delicate tongues in your bunker clan, throw away the seeds). Chop the ginger. Add the 3 Maggi cubes. Put it all in a blender with the tomatoes, which you should have already chopped at this point.

Pee in the generator. Start the generator. Switch on the blender, turn all that goodness into a pasty blended mess. Switch on the stove. Put the vegetable oil (and I mean a lot of oil) in a pot and then put the pot on the stove. Add the blended goodness in. Cook on low heat. If you’re cooking on an open fire, then I can’t help you.

Wait. Wait. Stir.

Wash the rice to get rid of the starch (you may have to convince your bunker clan that using the precious little drinking water you have to wash the starch off the rice is totes worth it; if they refuse, this may be the time to grab a baton and stage the coup you’ve been planning). Put the washed rice into the pot. Add the Maggi seasoning sauce and the Aromat seasoning, and 2 bay leaves.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Check to see if it’s terrible. If it’s terrible: throw it away and blame the least useful person for it, like the bunker clan philosopher. If it tastes godly: congrats, you now have enough jollof to feed two Africans for 3 days, or everyone else for a month. You may be slowly dying from radiation poisoning but at least you’ll be living the good life.

Now, wash it all down with a glass of supermalt, and forget your worries as World War III wages on.

This piece is from our latest print edition: the FOOD issue, which you can buy here.