What is not to love about Nigerian Jollof rice? Rice cooked in rich and well-seasoned tomato sauce. It is quick and easy to make and so delicious. We can agree to the fact that out of every Jollof rice we have around the world, Nigerian jollof rice recipe is the best.
Nigerian Jollof Rice
No Nigerian party is complete without Jollof rice. In fact, there is a popular meme that says no party or meeting is complete without Jollof rice. This rice is very easy to cook and with these simple steps, you are guaranteed the best jollof rice recipe.
There are several versions of African Jollof rice and each one puts their own mark on it. Senegalese Jollof rice recipe contains cabbage, carrot and other vegetables of choice. Ghanaians would add fried meat to theirs but the best recipe of them all is the almighty Nigerian Jollof rice. There I said it!
A well cooked Jollof rice would have the grains separated and not mushy
Jollof rice is an easy one-pot rice dish cooked in a flavourful tomato base and spices like curry and thyme. Some people add nutmeg to theirs, but I don’t use it, while some would also add ground crayfish. This is a no-no for me and we don't use palm oil in cooking the rice too
Nigerian Party Jollof rice is known for its distinct smokiness as it is cooked on an open fire. At home, we cook it on the stove top and leave the rice to burn a little at the bottom of the pan in order to achieve the party smoky flavour. Another quick way to cook Jollof rice is using the Nigerian beef stew recipe as the base for the rice.
What is jollof rice?
According to Wikipedia, jollof rice is a popular rice dish consumed throughout the West African region. Jollof rice is a popular favourite rice dish served at parties with each country putting their own spin on it.
Jollof rice originated from Senegal but it is now popular that the whole world is beginning to accept it. In fact, some food companies are now selling the seasoning which I have my reservations on anyway. Jamie Oliver tried it too but failed woefully at it. Cooking jollof rice is not rocket science because it's very easy to cook. If you know how to cook plain boiled rice easily, then this recipe would be a ride in the park. I used basmati rice for this recipe as it cooks and absorbs water just like long grain rice. The brand I used is called tropical golden sella.
If you want to know how to cook the best and authentic jollof rice, just follow the simple steps and all will be well.
Red bell peppers
Scotch bonnet (use according to preference depending on how spicy you want the jollof rice)
Beef/chicken/vegetable stock (optional)
Seasoning powder (I used jumbo chicken)
Sliced Tomatoes and 1 small onion, sliced for garnish
Salt to taste (optional)
How to make Nigerian jollof rice
Roughly chop the onions, red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet pepper, add to a blender and blend until smooth, pour the pureed pepper mix in a saucepan
On medium heat, boil the pepper mix until it has reduced to half its original size
Wash rice and set aside
Place a larger and studier saucepan enough to cook the rice on medium heat. Add the vegetable and heat until hot, then add chopped onions and fry until translucent (like 2 minutes)
Add boiled pepper mix, curry, thyme, mixed herbs, seasoning and mix to combine. Cook further until oil floats on top of the sauce. (Keep an eye on it and stir in between to avoid burning)
Add chicken/beef/vegetable stock if using and if not add water about 900ml, add bay leaves and continue cooking till oil floats (stir in between so that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Also check for salt and seasoning especially if you are using stock)
Add washed rice into the sauce and stir till well combined. (Your water level should be at least 2cm above the rice)
Reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes (check for salt, water and seasoning) add 100ml of water at a time if need be.
Cover rice with a foil sheet and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Add chopped onions, tomatoes and butter if using, stir to combine and leave the rice to simmer away until tender
Note: It is ok if your rice burns at the bottom of the pan a little… that’s the jollof rice aroma you get without firewood
Tips and answer to a comment.
- Hi Joyce, thank you for stopping by, sorry about the soggy rice. It is very important you know the cooking timing of your rice when making jollof rice or any other kind of rice. I don’t know the brand you use but most basmati rice requires you to be soaked in water for at least half an hour before cooking. The brand I use does not require such and it cooks just fine. I would recommend Tilda or tropical sun (golden Sella) brand if it is available where you live. Regarding the foil, I used it to lock in the steam in the rice so I don’t have to be adding water all the time. Jollof rice cooks better in its own steam that way it doesn’t get soggy. Thanks a lot and I hope this helps. x
- Best Nigerian party Jollof rice recipes are made with raw long grain or golden sella basmati rice. Parboiled rice is a NO-NO.
Nigerian Jollof Rice
No Nigerian party is complete without it. In fact, there is a popular meme that says no party or meeting is complete without Jollof rice. This rice is very easy to cook and with these simple steps you are guaranteed the best Jollof rice recipe. Jollof rice is well loved in the whole of west Africa with each countries putting there own spin on it.
- Sturdy saucepan
- 5 cups uncooked golden sella basmati rice substitute with long grain easy cook rice
- 2 Large red bell peppers roughly chopped
- 2 medium size tomatoes substitute with 400 g canned tomato plum or passata
- 2-3 scotch bonnet pepper use according to preference
- 2 medium onions
- 4 cups Beef/chicken/vegetable stock optional as you can also use water
- 1 cup vegetable oil substitute with sunflower or canola. Nigerians doesn't use palm oil in making jollof rice.
- 1½ tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste also called tinned tomato
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chicken or beef bouillon powder (use as needed) I used jumbo chicken
- 3 tablespoon butter optional
- 2 medium tomatoes and 1 small onion sliced for garnish
- Salt to taste optional
- Roughly chop the onion, red bell pepper, scotch bonnet chilli, slice the tomatoes in quarters. Add the chopped peppers to a blender and puree. Pour the pureed pepper mix in a saucepan.My blended pepper mix yielded about 4 cups before boilingOn medium heat, boil the pepper mix until reduced to half its original size
- Wash rice and set aside
How to cook Nigerian Jollof rice
- Place a larger and studier saucepan enough to cook the rice on medium heat. Add the vegetable and heat until hot, then add chopped onions and fry until translucent (like 2 minutes)
- Add boiled pepper mix, curry powder, dried thyme, bouillon powder and mix to combine. Cook further until oil floats on top the sauce. (Keep an eye on it and stir in between to avoid burning)
- Add chicken/beef/vegetable stock if using and if not add water about 4 cups, add bay leaves and continue cooking till oil floats (stir in between so that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Also check for salt and seasoning especially if you are using stock)
- Add washed rice into the sauce and stir till well combined. (Your water/stock level should be about the same level with the rice)Reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes (check for salt, water and seasoning) add 100 ml of water at a time if need be then stir to combine.
- Cover rice with a foil sheet or parchment paper and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Add sliced onions, tomatoes and butter if using and stir to combine. Check that the rice is not still hard, if it is add about another half cup of water making sure it is well distributed over the rice. stir to combine, cover the rice with foil/parchment paper and the pan lid and leave the rice to simmer away until tender. Turn off the heat, stir the rice and serve with sides of choiceThe foil/parchment paper helps lock in the the flavour and the steam which softens the rice. It reduces the excess addition of water to the rice
Recipe updated with new pictures and complete write-up. Below is one of the pictures uploaded in 2015.
Serve Nigerian basmati jollof rice with a side of choice. Enjoy x
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