This staple rice dish is found all over West Africa, although many Nigerians claim that their country is its originator. It is cooked in a mixture of hot peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, chicken stock and spices. It comes out a lovely light reddish-orange (from the addition of curry powder) and can be as mild or spicy as you like, depending on whether you leave the hot pepper seeds in or not.
Blend the tomatoes and peppers together. Place the mixture into a saucepan and boil for several minutes until the excess liquid evaporates.
Add the oil to a separate, large pot and heat. Add the chopped onions and saute until soft. Then add the blended tomato and pepper mixture and cook over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato loses its tart taste and the oil rises to the surface.
Remove about 1/4 of the tomato mixture and set it aside.
Add the meat or chicken stock (I used chicken) to the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 5-10 minutes. Add the thyme (use fresh if you can), curry, stock cube and salt to taste. Boil for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the parboiled rice to the pot and mix well. The liquid should be the same level as the rice. If not, then add additional stock or water.
Add the bay leaves, cover the pot and let the rice cook over a low flame. Cook for about 12-15 minutes. There should still be some liquid. Add the ground crayfish and the set aside tomato mixture. Do not mix.
Cover the pot and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Now mix.