Jollof rice ! Nigerian jollof rice is one of the most popular dish in Nigeria. Infact, this delicacy needs no introduction. I present to you my recipe for achieving the perfect smoky Nigerian party jollof rice.
What is Jollof rice
Jollof rice is a popular rice dish in West African countries. It is one pot rice that is popularly served at wedding parties, birthday parties, naming ceremonies and other types of Nigerian parties. There are different variations of West African Jollof rice. There is Senegalese jollof rice, Ghana jollof rice, Liberia jollof rice, Nigerian jollof rice to mention a few. Jollof rice is cooked in tomato sauce with spices. Mostly spicy jollof rice because Africans don’t play with their peppers and heat however it can be cooked to suit preference.
According to Wikipedia, Jollof derives it’s name from the name of the Wolof people. In Senegal and Gambia, the dish is referred to in Wolof as ceebu jën or benachin. In French-speaking areas, it is called riz au gras. ” There are variations to the dish across the region, however jollof has spread along with the diaspora to become the best known African dish outside the continent” .
Nigerian Jollof rice
Nigerian jollof rice is the ultimate African rice dish. No Nigerian party is complete without jollof rice. A Nigerian party without jollof rice is not a party. That is how highly Jollof rice is regarded. Nigerian jollof rice is legendary. If there’s no other food present at a party, you can be sure Nigerian jollof rice would be. Typical charactetistics of Nigerian jollof rice include rich red colour, smokey flavour, seperate grains, full and delicious.
Nigerian Jollof vs Ghana Jollof
The rivalry is very well alive and doesn’t seem it will be ending soon. The social media wars on whose Jollof rice is better, the competitions, the celebrations all comes down to whose jollof rice is better? is it Nigerian jollof or is it ghana jollof ? You all already know which i will go with..don’t you? When it comes to Jollof rice, no one does it better than Nigeria. Nigerian jollof rice is the best !
Jollof rice recipe
This jollof rice recipe is the best jollof rice recipe ever. I have had thousands of reviews and comments from people who have used this recipe and people who i have cooked for using this recipe. When you try this recipe, you will have to agree with the thousands of review. It’s also easy and quick recipe. You will need less than an hour to cook this dish.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Ingredients for Nigerian Jollof rice
Full ingredient list and direction in recipe card at the end of this page.
Easy cook rice (standard measuring cup)
Scotch bonnet/habanero (ata rodo)
Bell pepper (tatashe)
Brown or red onion
Vegetable or sunflower oil
Chicken or beef broth
How to cook jollof rice
Blend the scotch bonnet, bell pepper, plum tomatoes and red onion. This should give you a rich red colour. Set aside.
Note: If you don’t take spicy food please reduce the quantity of the scotch bonnet.
Wash the rice thoroughly and also set this aside. No need to parboil.
In a pot, add vegetable oil, chopped onions and tomato puree. Fry the tomato puree for 3 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid it burning.
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 on 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.
Add in the blended pepper mix, stock cubes, curry powder, thyme and white pepper. Fry for 5 – 8 minutes.
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 🙂
how to cook jollof rice
Add chicken broth, water and let it boil. It is important you do not add too much water as doing this will make your jollof rice soggy.
When this boils, add the already washed rice. The water level should be a little bit above the rice. Stir and 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.
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.
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 to cook for another 5 minutes.
Open the pot and stir the rice. 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 achieve the smokey flavour.
There you have it! Your very tasty, no stickiness, no mushiness, beautifully coloured party jollof rice.
What to serve jollof rice with
You can serve jollof rice with sides like
Tips for making jollof rice
Choose good pot. Aluminium pot is best for smokey party jollof rice.
Once rice goes in the sauce, stir it once and don’t stir again till it’ cooked the bottom until you are ready for it to burn.
Tightly cover the pot If the lid is not use with lid or foil paper tk seal the steam in.
Use good pepper ratio mix to get rich jollof rice
Chicken or beef broth (usw vegetable stock for vegan jollof rice)
Cook jollof rice on low heat
Frequently asked questions about jollof rice
How do i make smokey party jollof rice?
By burning the rice towards the end. It’s the smoke from burning the rice that gives it’s distinct flavour.
How do i make jollof rice red
The colour of jollof rice depends on the pepper base and tomato puree ratio. Tomato puree helps achieve that but be careful not to use too much as it can make your jollof rice taste tangy. With this recipe you get red rich jollof rice
How do i make non sticky jollof rice
Mushy jollof rice happens when you add too much water to the rice. Jollof rice needs mainly steam to cook so be careful not to add too much water. Follow the guidelines in this recipe.
Can i make jollof rice in the oven
Yes. At the stage the rice goes in, pour in oven bowl, cover with foil and bake. Will provide detailed oven jollof rice recipe in another post.
What rice is best to use for Nigerian jollof rice?
Easy cook rice. Long grain rice or golden sella basmati rice. My favourite brands are Tollyboy easy cook rice and Tropical golden sella basmati rice. Tilda is also a good brand.
How to store jollof rice
Leftover jollof rice can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Keep in airtight container or freezer bags, label with dates and freeze. When needed, reheat in the microwave from frozen.
Other recipes you will love
Jollof rice – Nigerian Jollof rice
- 5 cups Rice easy cook or golden sella basmi tice
- 1-3 scotch bonnet
- 3 large bell peppers
- 400g canned tomatoes
- 1 large brown or red onion sliced
- 1 large red onion
- 2 fresh tomatoes sliced
- 150 g tomato puree
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1.5 tbsp curry powder
- 1.5 tbs thyme
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 5 stock cubes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3.5 cups Water
- Salt to taste
- In a pot, add vegetable oil, chopped onions and tomato puree. Fry the tomato puree for 3 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid it burning.
- Add chicken broth, water and let it boil. It is important you do not add too much water as doing this will make your jollof rice soggy.When this boils, add the already washed rice. The water level should be a little bit above the rice. Stir and cover with foil before covering with the pot lid and cooking onlow heat.
- Now add in the blended pepper mix, stock cubes, curry powder, thyme and white pepper. Fry for 5 – 8 minutes.
- 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.
- Add the remaining sliced onions and tomatoes.
- Cover the pot and leave to cook for another 5 minutes. Open the pot and stir the rice. 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 achievethe smokey flavour.
This post was first published January 6 2014, Now republished with few new pictures November 2019. Below are more pictures from 2014.
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