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+ servings
a plate of rice.

Jollof Rice Recipe

What is world jollof rice day without an authentic Nigerian jollof rice recipe? Let me show you how to make the best west African rice recipe you and your whole family would love.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Nigerian, West African
Servings 8
Calories 481 kcal


  • aluminum pot or a sturdy stainless pot


  • cups golden Sella basmati rice substitute with long grain rice
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon good quality unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 large red onions
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoe substitute with 3 fresh tomatoes
  • ½ tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sliced fresh tomatoes optional
  • 1 cup stock you can use chicken beef or vegetable stock if you are vegan or vegetarian


  • Prep: Slice 2 tomatoes, half of one onion and reserve to garnishthe rice later.
    Please note: The bottom part of the Jollof rice pot burns when cooking it. Cook on low-medium heat
  • To a blender, add roughly chopped, red bell pepper, scotch bonnet, tomatoes, onions and little water to aid the blending and blend until pureed. Transfer the blended pepper to a saucepan and bring to boil on medium-low heat until slightly reduced in size (about 10 minutes) the boiled pepper mix should yield between 2 to 2 ½ cups of pepper mix
    a pan of boiled pepper mix.
  • Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat, add sliced onion and stir until soft and fragrant, add the curry powder and thyme and stir for about a minute to release its flavour.
    sauteing onions
  • Stir the tomato paste into the fragrant oil and cook for about 3 minutes on low heat so it doesn’t burn. Add 1 ½ cups of the boiled pepper mix, chicken stock cube, bay leaves and stir to combine. Reduce the heat and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes.
    a pot of pepper mix and bay leaves.
  • Add the rinsed rice and stir to combine, add water or stock (about 2 cups) and salt to the rice then stir to combine. the amount of the liquid added should be about the same level as the rice or slightly over the rice.
  • Place a baking paper or foil over the pot and cover tightly with its lid, this is just to allow the rice cook in its steam and to lock in the flavours. Cook for another 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Keep an eye so that the rice doesn’t start burning too much at this point.
  • Add sliced onions and tomatoes if using, butter, cover the pot and continue to cook until rice is well done and fluffy. Remove the bay leaves and fluff the rice. Place the lid back on the rice and let it stand for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!


Tips for making the best Jollof rice
  • The first thing that comes to mind is the pepper mix, you can make it spicy or mild but however you want it, make sure that the pepper mix is well fried before adding the rice to it. Otherwise, it would taste like rice cooked in raw pepper or rice concoction which is not what you are aiming for.
  • Your jollof rice would turn out well if you used long grain rice or golden sella basmati rice.
  • Cook the rice on low-medium heat. When it is too low the rice might turn out soggy and too high heat would make the rice burn easily and undercooked.
  • You do not need too much water to cook this delicacy, the rice cooks in the tomato pepper base by steaming for infused flavour. that is why you ensure the pot is tightly covered during the cooking process and use baking paper or foil to trap the heat in the pot while it cooks. If you think the rice needs some water, then add warm or hot water, little quantity at a time
  • Use Nigerian curry powder or curry powder made for a Nigerian kitchen.
  • To make vegetarian jollof rice or the vegan version, skip the stock and use just water. Use vegetable bouillon cubes or powder. You can also skip the butter for the vegan version.
  • Liquid smoke would not make your jollof rice smoky, you need to get the basics right and you would be fine. If you must use liquid smoke, add it at the tail end of the cooking just before you take it off the heat


Calories: 481kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 201mgPotassium: 399mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1797IUVitamin C: 69mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

Keyword how to make jollof rice, jollof rice, Nigerian jollof rice, Nigerian jollof rice recipe
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