Select Saute on Instant Pot and allow pot to fully heat.
Once hot, add oil, onions and peppers and cook until peppers become soft and onions start to become translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add ginger and cook another minute.
Add garlic and rice and toast the rice for about a minute.
Pour in water**, chicken broth or vegetable broth and mix through.
Sprinkle in salt, thyme, paprika, pepper (and tomato powder if using) and mix through.
Stir in diced tomatoes and mix so that the rice is completely coated with the tomatoes, about one minute. (If using crushed tomatoes, DO NOT MIX IN.)
Mix in Bay leaf
Lock on lid and close pressure valve. Cook at high pressure (most machines default to high pressure) for 2 minutes.
When Beep sounds, wait 10 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
Remove lid and gently fluff rice. If you see the Bay leaf, remove it.
Garnish with chopped scallions or fresh flat leaf parsley, if desired.
It is very important to rinse the rice well, so that it does not become sticky and each grain will stand on its own.Instant Pot Jollof Rice can be made with just plain water. To add extra flavor, try using Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base or if you want some flavor and want to keep your Jollof Rice vegetarian, I recommend using a bit of Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian Base.** If using crushed tomatoes, add an additional 1/2 cup of water. Then add the crushed tomatoes in last and do not mix in with the rest of the ingredients..Tomatoes can make or break a recipe. Make sure to use a high quality canned tomato. Fresh vine ripened tomatoes like Jersey Fresh Crushed Tomatoes or San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes are both good choicesJollof Rice can be customized however you like. As each country has their own variation, try exploring with various ingredients,