Jollof rice

Jollof rice is one of the most popular dish in Nigeria. Infact, this party delicacy needs no introduction. I present to you recipe for achieving the perfect Nigerian party jollof rice.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes


5 cups of easy cook rice (standard measuring cup)

3 scotch bonnet/habanero (ata rodo)

1 bell pepper (tatashe)

1 400g tin plum tomatoes

1 brown onion

1 red onion

2 fresh tomatoes

40-50g tomato puree

1/2 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil

1 table spoon butter

1 tablespoon Curry powder

1 tablespoon Dried thyme

1 teaspoon White pepper

4 maggi cubes (or any stock cube of choice)

Chicken or beef stock



1) Blend the scotch bonnet, bell pepper, plum tomatoes and red onion. This should give you a rich red colour and about 800ml in content.

Note: If you don’t take spicy food please reduce the quantity of the scotch bonnet.


2) Boil the blended pepper to reduce the water content.

3) Slice the brown onion and the fresh tomatoes and set aside.

4) Wash the rice thoroughly and also set this aside. No need to parboil.

5) Now set on the cooker the pot for cooking.

Tip: One of the secret of getting a good result for party Jollof rice is by using aluminium pot. Remember the iya alases (cooks) use ikoko irin/adogan which is heavy duty aluminium pot for party cooking. Avoid non stick as the burnt part will lift with the rice and not stick to the pot thereby not achieve the smoky flavour popular with party jollof rice.

6) Heat the vegetable oil in a pot for few minutes and add the boiled blended peppers. Let this fry finely then add the stock cubes, curry powder, dried thyme,white pepper and butter. Also add half of the sliced brown onions, half of the sliced fresh tomatoes and the tomato purée.

Notice how I didn’t overload this recipe with spices? I never overload food with spices even for events catering and trust me my food ends up tasting amazing. I know that from feedbacks 🙂

7) After adding the tomato puree the mixture will change colour to a darker and richer colour and the sauce becomes thicker. Leave to fry for another 5minutes and then add the chicken or beef stock.

8) Add 2.5 cups of water  and let it boil. It is important you do not add too much water as doing this will make your jollof rice soggy.

9) When this boils, add the already washed rice. The water level  should be a little bit above the rice. Cover with foil before covering with the pot lid and cooking on low heat.

The foil help locks in the steam and low heat ensures the rice doesn’t burn fast.

10) After about 15 minutes open the pot of rice. At this stage, the rice should be almost cooked and you will see some of the stew nicely settled on the rice. Use a spoon to turn this with the rice while taking care not to get to the very bottom of the pot with the spoon.


11) When you’ve done this, it’s now time to add the remaining sliced onions and tomatoes. I grew up seeing the iya alases and my mum doing this. I reckon it’s done because of the appeal it gives when looking at the jollof rice like most garnishing. If you’d prefer you can add sliced mixed peppers or vegetables at this stage.

*Cover the pot and leave for another 5minutes.


12) Open the pot and turn the rice with spoon. The rice would have burnt  a little. That’s perfectly ok . Afterall, trademark of Nigerian party jollof rice is the burnt smokey flavour😄. Infact it’s best to let it burn to acheive the smokey flavour.

Set the pot down and leave the lid partially open for 2 minutes.

There you have it! Your very tasty, no sogginess, beautifully coloured party jollof rice.

You can serve with sides such as plantain or salad. Enjoy!



32 thoughts on “Jollof rice”

  1. Hey dear I’m in love with your recipes! I have a question for this jollof recipe, I noticed you didn’t add chicken/meat broth is it necessary or I should discard it? Cuz I was told that the broth of meat adds flavour as well. Pls let me know, thanks!

    1. Hello Vanessa, thank you. I definitely use chicken or meat broth in my jollof rice recipe. It’s what I reffered to in the recipe as ‘Chicken stock’

  2. I will surely give this a try. Though I was a bit disappointed that you didn’t include pictures to the recipe.

    1. I apologise for not putting much pictures in this post. It was my first post on the blog and I have come a long way since then. I will make another jollof rice post soon with step by step pictures 🙂

      1. I tried your jollof rice recipe for Christmas and OMG, it came out really perfect. This is the first time I’m getting jollof rice right. My husband really loves it. He’s eaten it over and over again. Thanks for sharing!
        Next to try is fried rice and vegetable curry sauce! Can’t wait to see satisfied look on my family’s faces.

      2. Thank you so much for the feedback. I am glad to hear of your positive outcome. Feedbacks like this put a smile on my face and make it worthwhile blogging. Happy new year to you.

  3. I just tried your way of making the jollof rice and I must say it was spectacular. I am still amazed at how great it tastes. Thank you so much for the recipe and keep up the great work.

    1. Hello Kay, sorry I’m just responding. Hope you eventually got it to soften. Depending on how hard, you only just need to add a little water or cover with foil and let the steam soften it

  4. Seen! A bit diffrent from my stlye(never seem to get the party aroma). So will try this step-by-step and measurement by measurement and see how it goes. Thanks!

  5. Looks good. What’s the diffr between red and Brown onions? I only know of red and white or is white the same thing as brown?

    Please make a post on how you get your chicken so nice and Brown. Thanks

    1. Krystal, white onion is different to brown. White onion has white skin, brown onions has brown skin and red onions, red skin. I will post a pix of all 3 so you can see the difference.

      I also will make a post on the chicken😁

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