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Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice or Jellof rice is a rich and incredibly tasty west African one-pot Meal. It is a very versatile dish, and it is usually made from scratch using Rice, Tomatoes, Pimento peppers, Tomato paste, Scotch bonnet, Onions, Salt, and other spices.
Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice Recipe

Jollof rice is one of the most common West African dishes eaten in the regions of Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cameroun, and Liberia. However, each of these West African countries has their own variation of this meal.  It is inexpensive and easy to make yet, delicious.


How To Cook Jollof Rice

When cooking Jellof rice, building a flavor base is very important. Don’t be in haste to dump your ingredients in the pot otherwise, you will end up with what we call ”concoction”. Each step counts so try to do each of the steps in detail.

  • The inevitable foundation for building up the flavor in this meal is to start by sauteeing the Onions. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes. The next thing is to stir in the Tomato paste. This adds a deep and rich tomato flavor; I simply fry this for another 5 minutes or thereabouts.
  • Add the Ginger and Garlic and cook along with the Tomato paste for another two minutes; Actually, by the time this ready, you will notice it in the smell. If you keep it cooking any longer you might risk burning them.
  • Add my blended peppers. Usually, there is no particular time frame for frying this pepper. I often stop when the sauce becomes really thick and the oil literally floats on top of the sauce. At this point, most of the water is gone and the sauce no longer smells raw. Trust me you will know but just in case, you are still in doubt, I would say maybe 20 to 25 minutes depending on the quantity of water in your blended pepper.
  • Finally, in building my flavor, I add the Thyme, Curry powder, Salt, white pepper (good but optional) and seasoning cubes. Adjust the seasoning at this point if there is a need to. Once the flavor is on point, then, I stir in my Rice. Make sure you stir the Rice properly until you cover each grain of Rice with the sauce. Now add the chicken stock. Give it a brief stir and cover it up with a tight-fitting lid. If your lid is not fitting enough, simply cover the rice with a foil paper before covering it with the lid. This is because Jollof needs a lot of steam in order to turn out well.
  • Once, the rice comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low immediately and continue to cook until the rice is done about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Serve with Fried Chicken, Spicy Grilled Chicken, Grilled Tilapia Fish or Gizzards and plantains.

Jollof rice served in a plate

Nigerian Jollof Rice or Ghanaian Jollof Rice?

Who’s Jollof rice is better?

I don’t even want to go into the issue of the trending Jollof wars, especially between Nigeria and Ghana. All I know is that a good cook will make a good tasting  Jollof Rice. In my own opinion, I think it has to do with the cooking abilities of an individual and not a country. Let me know your opinion. 🙂

What type of rice is best for Jollof Rice?

Though quite a lot of rice types can be used to make Jollof rice. I have used the long grain parboiled rice for this recipe – This rice is soaked, steamed and dried. Then the hull is removed to make parboiled rice. The steaming enables the rice to absorb nutrients and changes the starch so that it cooks into a firmer, less sticky dish of rice than regular white rice. I also have a beef jollof rice recipe that I prepared using basmati rice. You may want to check it out.
Wiki has a very good article on Jollof Rice that might interest you. I enjoyed reading it, you might as well. 🙂

Top View Jollof Rice

How to serve Jollof Rice

We usually serve Jollof with Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Goat Meat,  Fish or moi moi and sometimes with a side of fresh creamy Coleslaw or Nigerian salad. In west Africa, a party such as a wedding ceremony or a naming ceremony is not complete without this meal. It is a sure party pleaser.

My final thoughts on making a great Jollof Rice.

I have another Jollof rice recipe that I made with beef and basmati rice. It’s party style! I took it a step further by roasting the bell peppers before blending and cooking to create the much desired smoky tatse. I’m sure you will love it!

If you are not a fan of this stovetop method or you simply want to be adventurous or perhaps you just like to vary the way you cook Jollof rice. Then, you can try it out. Oven-baked Jollof Rice. You can also check for more delicious Nigerian recipes here.

Other Rice recipes you might want to try:
Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice is a rich and incredibly tasty west African one-pot Meal. This meal is one of the most common West African dishes. However, each of these countries has its variation of this meal.
4.70 from 110 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: African
Keyword: homemade, jollof, jollof rice, rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 People
Calories: 418kcal
Author: Lola Osinkolu


  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 5 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Blended pepper sauce see below
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt or add to taste
  • White Pepper or black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder or 3 cubes
  • 6 Cups Rice Long grain
  • 4 Cups chicken stock
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter at room temperature optional

For the sauce, blend together:

  • 3 Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 Tomatoes Plum
  • 2 Scotch bonnet
  • 1 Onion Diced


  • Heat the cooking oil in a large pan. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Next, add the tomato paste and fry for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, ginger, and bay leaves and let it cook in the tomato paste for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the blended pepper and allow the pepper to cook until the water is reduced entirely and the oil is seen floating on the fried pepper—about 15 minutes.
  • Season with thyme, curry powder, salt to taste, white pepper, and seasoning cubes. Cook for another 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir the rice into the sauce until it is well coated. Then add the chicken stock, stir, and cover with a tight-fitting lid, and then bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once it begins to boil—after about 3 to 5 minutes, reduce the heat immediately to medium-low and steam until the rice is done—about 30 minutes.
  • Add the butter, sliced tomato, and onions, stir together briefly and turn off the heat. Cover it immediately so that the heat remaining in the rice can steam up the vegetables a little.
  • Serve with sweet fried plantains, roasted chicken, or salad.


  • Remove the bay leaves once the rice is done. However, if you can’t find it, don’t be tempted to dig through it since over-stirring will cause the rice to break. Just leave it and remove it whenever you find it.


Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 502mg | Potassium: 506mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1540IU | Vitamin C: 52.3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Top angle jollof rice in pot


You can find me on Facebook and Instagram … I love keeping in touch with all of you. 🙂

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook.#cheflolaskitchen

Recipe Rating


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

When you cook jollof rice, what pot do you recommend using? Based on the photos, it looks like you used a cast iron dutch oven. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Wednesday 24th of August 2022


Wednesday 24th of August 2022

WOW!Am just 13 years old thats what people say about me but what they dont know is that this 13 tears old just got a 100% A+ this recipe is one of the best. its my first time making with no mistakes, although I used substitute ingredients it still came out AMAZING!!!!!! THANKS A LOT CHEF LOLA!!!😋❤️

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Sunday 4th of September 2022

Wow, I am happy with your A+ outcome. You should try more recipes like this, you'll love them.


Saturday 30th of July 2022

Hi Lola,

Am eager to make your version of Jollof rice but am a bit confused about the proportions of rice to water .... 6 C long-grain rice to 4 C stock/water? So the rest of the cooking liquid must be in the 2-ish cups of tomato/pepper blend ... or am I missing something. I feel like a bit of a dope since no one else seems to have questioned this :/



Sunday 24th of July 2022

Hello- Is this recipe spicy? My son is 6 years old and doesn't like spice at all. How can I modify this recipe so that it is not spicy? Also what brand rice did you use, and what oil did you use? Should I use Diva oil or palm oil?

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Monday 25th of July 2022

Silvia, this version of Jollof is not spicy. You can modify it by reducing the scotch bonnet used in the pepper mix. I used the long grain parboiled rice for this recipe, but you can use short grain or basmati rice. Use vegetable oil or olive oil. Don't use palm oil. I hope this helps.