HomeFOOD + DRINKStandard Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe (How To Make)

Standard Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe (How To Make)

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Jollof Rice is widely recognized as a trendy dish in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, where it is known for its distinctive and rich flavor profile. The Nigerian Jollof Rice is renowned for its unique taste, vibrant appearance, and harmonious blend of spices.

It is commonly savored during festive gatherings, family reunions, and noteworthy events. The dish holds significant cultural importance, often sparking friendly debates between Nigerians and Ghanaians regarding the superiority of their respective Jollof rice recipes.

The success of preparing a delicious Nigerian Jollof Rice depends on its ingredients’ specific arrangement. The process involves preparing a tomato stew that is rich and well-seasoned, as well as parboiling rice. These two components are then combined to enable the rice to absorb the delicious flavors of the stew.

If you want to learn how to make Nigerian jollof rice, then get these ingredients ready.

Related: Fried Rice Cake Recipe

Ingredients For Making Nigerian Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe
Image by Freepik
  • 3 Cups of Long-Grain Parboiled Rice: It is essential to use parboiled rice because it can withstand prolonged heating without becoming soggy or sticky.
  • 4 Large Tomatoes: For optimal flavor, it is recommended to use fresh tomatoes.
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers: These chiles give the dish distinctive flavor and color.
  • 2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (or as desired): Scotch bonnets, known for their heat, are a fundamental ingredient in West African cuisine. You can modify the amount according to your taste for heat.
  • 1 Large Onion: Half will be blended with the tomatoes and peppers, while the other half will be fried.
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable or Canola Oil: The onion and tomato paste are cooked in oil.
  • 3 Teaspoons of Tomato Paste: This flavor-concentrated substance adds depth of flavor and vibrant color to the dish.
  • 1 Teaspoon of Curry Powder and Thyme each: Both are necessary seasonings that impart distinctive flavors to the dish.
  • 2 Bay Leaves: They impart a delicate aroma and flavor to the rice.
  • 1 Teaspoon of White Pepper and Nutmeg each: These lend a touch of heat and spice to the dish.
  • Chicken Cubes or Chicken Bouillon: 2. These provide an umami flavor that deepens the overall taste of the Jollof rice.
  • Salt: To taste.
  • 1.5 liters of Chicken Stock: Using chicken stock instead of water adds flavor to the rice. If not available, water can suffice.
  • Cooked Chicken or Other Protein: To serve. Chicken, beef, or fish can accompany the dish.
  • Garnish: sliced onions, bell pepper strips, or minced parsley.

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  1. Preparation of Rice: Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. This process helps to remove excess starch and prevents the rice from clumping together. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Preparation of Tomato Stew: In a mixer, mix the tomatoes, red bell peppers, Scotch bonnet peppers, and half of the onion until smooth. Pour this mixture into a pot and boil it until it thickens into a paste. The process of reducing makes the flavors stronger and takes away the sour taste of tomatoes.
  3. Sauteing Onions and Tomato Paste: Heat the oil over medium heat in a big pot. Dice up the other half of the onion and add it to the pot. Fry it until it becomes clear. Add the tomato paste to the pot with the onions and cook for a few minutes, until the tomato paste is well mixed in. The process of frying removes the raw taste of the tomato paste and gives the oil a taste of onions.
  4. Combining Ingredients: Add the tomato mixture to the pot with the onions and tomato paste once the tomato mixture has been reduced. Stir everything well and let it all cook together. At this point, the mix should have a rich color and smell.
  5. Adding Spices: Put the curry powder, thyme, bay leaves, white pepper, nutmeg, chicken bouillon cubes, and salt in the pot. Stir the mixture well and boil for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

Final Process of Cooking Nigerian Jollof Rice

6. Adding Rice: Add the rice that has already been cooked and stir until all grains are covered with tomato sauce. This helps make sure that each grain of rice gets the flavor.

7. Cooking the Rice: Stir again after adding the chicken stock. The amount of liquid should be the same as the level of the rice. If there is too much liquid, the rice will be mushy, and if there is not enough, the rice won’t be cooked enough. Cover the pot with a lid that fits well, and turn down the heat. Let the rice cook for 30–40 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked. Make sure to stir the rice every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

8. Serving: Once the rice is done, you can top it with things like sliced onions, strips of bell pepper, or chopped parsley. Serve hot with cooked chicken or another meal of your choice.

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Keep in mind that one’s personal preferences can often determine the best Jollof rice. Some people prefer their food very spicy, others with lots of vegetables, while others prefer it to have a smoky flavor from cooking over coal or wood. Feel free to experiment and change the recipe of this Nigerian Jollof Rice to suit your dietary requirements and taste preferences.

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