Earlier in the month, an appearance Queens, New York rapper Ja Rule made on Sirius XM’s Food Talk resulted in a rumor regarding the release of a cookbook from Ja, one that would include various microwave-friendly recipes he utilized while in prison. But in a recent interview with TMZ, The Inc emcee revealed that the cookbook idea was merely a joke between himself, the host of Food Talk (Geoffrey Zakarian), and the shows two guests, Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay.
The cookbook rumor reached HarperCollins, the publishers behind Ja Rule’s upcoming memoir, who expressed interest in publishing what was thought to be the rapper’s next book idea.
“I don’t know how this whole cookbook thing got started,” Ja Rule said during his TMZ interview. “I was on a cooking show with [Geoffrey] and Guy and Bobby Flay, and all those guys were there. And were joking around, talking about what I ate in prison. And I was telling them, ‘Well, I ate such and such and this and that and the third’…Yeah, we definitely cooked in prison. You definitely get to cook in prison. You get a microwave and you get a toaster oven…The cookbook was a joke that me and Jeff and Guy were making. And then all over the media is, ‘Ja’s doing a cookbook.’ So, I guess I’m doing a cook—you know what’s even funnier, HarperCollins hit me yesterday and said ‘Ja, we would love to do your cookbook.’ ‘Cause I’m actually doing a book with them right now. I’m doing my memoirs with HarperCollins.”
While Ja Rule may not be releasing a cookbook anytime soon, he did share the recipe to curry chicken, one of his microwaveable favorites while in prison.
“My favorite dish I used to make while I was locked up was curry chicken,” the rapper said. “Perdue makes these chickens in a bag. Like chicken strips, different flavors and stuff. So, my wife used to buy ‘em for me. I get ‘em. And then on commissary, you’re allowed to buy curry powder, coconut milk. You get onions. You can buy all of these things on commissary. So, now you take the chicken. You put it in the microwave for a little while. You warm it up. Get it nice and warm. Then you cut the onions up; put the onions in, sauté ‘em a little bit. Then you put the curry powder in with a little bit of hot sauce…Then you put that in. You let that sauté a little bit. Then you take it out. You put in the coconut milk. One cup of coconut milk mixed with a tablespoon of tomato paste. You stir it around, put it back in, let it cook. Over rice, curry chicken.”
Upon being released from New York’s Ray Brook Federal Prison in May, Ja Rule had served close to two years in prison. The rapper was initially sentenced to two years, but was hit with an additional 28 months due to tax evasion charges. Fortunately for the I’m In Love With A Church Girl star, his tax evasion sentence was served along with his gun possession sentence.
In an earlier interview with TMZ, Ja Rule shared the details of his experience in prison, specifically his decision to make his own food.
“I didn’t really eat prison food,” he said. “I didn’t go to the chow hall too much. We usually just cooked in our dorm. That’s when we made it, it was pretty decent.”
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