Africa Vegetarian Recipes

Capturing The Essence of West African cuisine -Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe

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Introduction to Nigerian Jollof Rice:

Experience the rich and vibrant culinary heritage of Nigeria with a mouthwatering dish known as Jollof Rice. This iconic one-pot meal is a celebration of flavors, colors, and textures, capturing the essence of West African cuisine. Prepared with a base of long-grain parboiled rice simmered in a fragrant tomato-based sauce, Nigerian Jollof Rice is a delight that perfectly balances spicy, savory, and slightly sweet notes. Traditionally accompanied by fried plantains and an assortment of vegetables, this dish is a staple at gatherings and celebrations across Nigeria.


  • 2 cups long-grain parboiled rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, blended or chopped
  • 3 red bell peppers, blended or chopped
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers (adjust to taste), blended or chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked or grilled chicken (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fried plantains and blanched vegetables for serving



  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. Blend or chop the tomatoes, red bell peppers, and scotch bonnet peppers to create a smooth mixture.


  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the blended tomato and pepper mixture. Allow it to cook down for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the oil begins to separate.
  4. Add the thyme, curry powder, smoked paprika, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves to the pot. Stir well to combine the spices with the tomato mixture.
  5. Gently fold in the parboiled rice, ensuring each grain is coated with the flavorful tomato sauce.
  6. Pour in enough chicken or vegetable broth to cover the rice by about an inch. If using chicken, add the cooked or grilled chicken pieces at this stage.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Check occasionally and add more broth if needed to prevent burning.

Final Touches:

  1. Once the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, fluff the rice with a fork and remove the bay leaves.
  2. Adjust the salt and spices to taste.
  3. Serve the Nigerian Jollof Rice hot, accompanied by fried plantains and blanched vegetables. The sweet and caramelized flavors of the plantains beautifully complement the savory richness of the rice.


  • For an extra layer of flavor, marinate the chicken with some of the spices and herbs before grilling or cooking.
  • Adjust the quantity of scotch bonnet peppers and cayenne pepper according to your preferred level of spiciness.
  • You can customize the vegetables you serve with the rice, such as steamed carrots, peas, or green beans.
  • Achieving the perfect Jollof Rice consistency may require adjusting the cooking time and adding more broth if necessary. The rice should be cooked through and slightly moist, not dry or mushy.

Cooking Time:

  • Preparation: 40 minutes
  • Cooking: 40-45 minutes
  • Total: Approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes

Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Nigeria by savoring this delectable Nigerian Jollof Rice dish. Its enticing aromas, bold flavors, and vibrant presentation will undoubtedly make it a favorite on your dining table.

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