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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

Other Rice recipes you might want to try:

Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice or Jellof rice is a rich and incredibly tasty west African one pot Meal. It is usually made from scratch using Rice, Tomatoes, Pimento peppers, Tomato paste,  Onions, Salt, and other spices. This meal is one of the most common West African dishes. However, each of these countries has their own variation of this meal.
4.66 from 94 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


  • 6 Cups Rice Long grain
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 5 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 4 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Grated
  • 1 Tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1 Onion Medium sized(sliced)
  • 1 Tomato sliced (Large size)
  • 1 Tbsp seasoning powder or seasoning cubes
  • 1 Onion Sliced
  • White Pepper or black pepper to taste

For the sauce, blend together:

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


  • In a large pan, preheat the cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onions and fry for about 3 to 5 minutes or till the onions become soft.
  • Add the Tomato Paste. 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.
  • Season with thyme, curry powder, salt to taste, and seasoning cubes. Leave to cook for another 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice until it is well coated with the sauce. Add the Chicken stock and cover it with a tight-fitting lid, then allow it to come to a boil.
  • Once it starts boiling - about 3 to 5 minutes after placing it on the stove, reduce the heat immediately to medium-low and steam until the rice is done.
  •  Turn off the heat and add the sliced tomato and onions, and stir together briefly. Then, cover it up immediately so that the heat remaining in the rice can steam up the vegetables a little bit.
  • You can serve with Plantains, Chicken, Vegetables or as desired. ENJOY!


Normally, the bay leaves should be removed once the rice is done. However, if you can’t find the bay leaves after the rice is done, 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.
If you choose not to use butter, you will need to add an extra tbsp of Oil


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


Tuesday 19th of April 2022

Hey! Is it possible to use paella rice to make this or does it strictly have to be long grained? Thanks!

Lola Osinkolu

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

Hi A. truth is, I have never tried using paella rice for making Jollof but I believe it will work however with a little tweak to the water quantity. Please let me know how well it turns out if you get to try it.

Arinola Raji

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Thanks my jollof rice turned out perfect

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Friday 25th of February 2022

You're welcome, Arinola Raji. Did you take photos?


Wednesday 5th of January 2022


I love your article and the picture, so I have come to ask for your permission to use your picture on my post in steemit. Thank you

Olusegun Abigeal

Saturday 1st of January 2022

Pls send me your WhatsApp number


Saturday 1st of January 2022

My rice turned out perfect. Thank you for this amazing recipe and guide.

Lola Osinkolu

Saturday 22nd of January 2022

You are welcome, Reine. I’m so happy to hear that! ❤️