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Nigerian smoky jollof rice served with peppered turkey and fried plantain.
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5 from 6 votes

Nigerian Jollof Rice

What is not to love about Nigerian Jollof rice? We can agree to the fact that out of every Jollof rice we have around the world, Nigerian Jollof rice recipe is the best.
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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Nigerian
Keyword: Coconut Jollof rice, How to cook jollof rice, Nigerian Jollof Rice, Party jollof rice
Servings: 10
Author: Ajoke
Cost: £5


  • 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.
  • 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 boiling
    On 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 choice
    The 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



When stirring the rice, do so gently in other not no stir in the bottom bits that may be burnt. 
Check on the rice every 10 minutes and stir to combine. Make sure the heat is well distributed so that the rice can cook evenly. 
It is ok if your rice burns at the bottom of the pan a little… that’s the smoky jollof rice aroma you achieve without firewood. Leave the rice to rest for about 5 minutes before opening the lid.