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Difference Between Jambalaya And Dirty Rice

Rice is a staple ingredient in creole and Cajun cuisine

It is served as main dish, and often accompanied with a sauce. Rice could also be prepared as a one pot dish like jambalaya and dirty rice.

Dirty rice and jambalaya are traditional rice dishes in Cajun and creole cuisine. In addition to the rice, both dishes are made with a variety of meats, vegetables, herbs and spices.

The meats and vegetables used in these dishes are chopped into small pieces and cooked together with the rice.  

Jambalaya and dirty rice are made using similar vegetables and spices, however, the types of meat used in the traditional recipes of these rice dishes differ.

In this post, we talk about the difference between jambalaya and dirty rice.

Dirty rice vs. jambalaya

The main difference between both of these rice dishes is that dirty rice is traditionally made with chicken giblets which includes parts of the chicken such as the liver and gizzard while jambalaya is made with meats such as sausage, andouille, pork, chicken and sometimes seafood.

The meats used to cook dirty rice are more finely chopped or ground into smaller pieces compared to the meats used in jambalaya.

Another way these two dishes differ is in the use of tomatoes. Tomatoes are often used when making jambalaya while the traditional dirty rice recipe does not include tomatoes.

What is jambalaya

Jambalaya is a one pot dish rice dish native to Louisiana.

It is made with lots of meat and vegetables, and all the ingredients are cooked together with the rice as a one pot dish.

Different types of meats are used in this dish, they include sausages, andouille, pork and chicken. Seafood is often added to this dish as well.

The vegetables that could be found in this dish are onions, celery, green bell peppers and carrots.

Long grain white rice is commonly used to make jambalaya although other types of rice could be used.

To prepare this dish, the meats and vegetables are first browned in the pot.

This is followed by adding the rice, seasonings including salt as well as spices, and chicken broth to the browned meats and vegetables, and then cooking everything together.

There are many version of jambalaya using different ingredients, and there are also different ways of making this dish.

However, there are two broad classification of this dish which are its creole and Cajun cuisine versions, also known as red and brown jambalaya respectively.

Cajun jambalaya

Cajun jambalaya makes use of no tomatoes but uses the beef broth.

The beef broth and meats give it its brown color.

Creole jambalaya

Creole jambalaya is made with tomatoes; either fresh tomatoes or a tomato paste could be used.

When tomatoes are used, jambalaya has a red color, and therefore it is known as red jambalaya.

What is dirty rice?

Dirty rice is a staple dish that has both creole and Cajun versions.

It is served as a main dish and could be eaten together with side dishes such as coleslaw.

Dirty rice is very similar to jambalaya. It is also a traditional creole and cajun dish that is made from long grain rice and contains lots of meat and vegetables.

Traditionally, the meats used to make dirty rice are ground pork and chicken giblets.

Chicken giblets include parts of the chicken such as the liver and gizzard of chicken.

The term dirty rice is used to describe the brownish color of the rice, dirty rice is a brownish grey rice as a result of the ground meat and chicken giblets that can be found all around the dish.. 

The meat is ground and browned together with vegetables including onion, celery and green bell peppers.

Long grain rice and beef or chicken broth is then added to the ingredients in the pots, and they are cooked together.

The dish is also seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices.

In conclusion

These rice dishes are a staple in a new Orleans and a huge part of creole and Cajun cuisine.

They could be a main dish eaten alone or in accompaniment with a sauce.

There are many variations of these dishes, some versions may be very different from their traditional recipes.

Although the traditional recipe of dirty rice is cooked with chicken giblets, a lot of other versions of this same dish might make use of a different type of meats.