Lip-Smackingly Good Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe

Updated on July 18, 2019
Charles Emerenwa profile image

Brian loves food and enjoys exploring various cuisines. He is a keen experimenter in the kitchen and finds cooking therapeutic.

Jollof is popular across West Africa, though each country has its own distinctive version.
Jollof is popular across West Africa, though each country has its own distinctive version.

Jollof Rice: Nigeria's National Dish

Known as Nigeria's national dish, jollof is a fragrant and spicy tomato-based rice dish that never fails to surprise the palate and rev up the appetite. Ask any Nigerian you meet, and they will tell you that they absolutely love this dish and know how to cook it, of course. The dish is eaten in all households throughout the country, and it is a must-have at any and all important events and get-togethers, including weddings, graduation parties, naming ceremonies, etc.

Jollof is popular across West Africa, although each country has its own distinctive version. Many would say that the Nigerian version is the best, but of course not everyone would agree. Either way, be warned that the Nigerian recipe is extremely delicious and can be highly addictive!

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crayfish
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 Maggi beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 habanero, stemmed
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add the ginger, Jamaican curry powder, dried crayfish, garlic cloves, beef bouillon cubes, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, habanero, and tomato purée. Blend until you get a smooth purée without any lumps.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the thinly sliced onion to the saucepan and sautée.
  4. Pour the purée from the blender into the saucepan and bring it to simmer. Add the bay leaf and dry thyme. Allow the purée to slowly simmer in the pan and cook until most of the liquid is reduced (about 20 minutes).
  5. Once the purée has thickened, add the rice and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the purée.
  6. Add 4 cups of water, raise the heat, and bring to the boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer. Cover the pan and allow the rice to cook thoroughly until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked (about 20 to 25 minutes).
  7. Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a spoon or fork.
  8. Serve while it's steaming hot. Enjoy!

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Clockwise from top: Jamaican curry powder. bay leaf, kosher salt, and dry thymeCooking oilClockwise from top right: Tomato purée, onion, fresh plum tomato, ginger, garlic, habanero pepper, and bell pepperBasmati riceIn a blender, add the first 10 ingredients. Blend until you get a smooth purée.Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.Sautée the thinly sliced onion.Pour the purée from the blender into the saucepan and bring it to simmer. Add the bay leaf and dry thyme. Allow the purée to simmer in the pan until most of the liquid is reduced (about 20 minutes).Once the purée has formed a thick consistency, add the rice and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the purée.Add water and raise the heat to bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Cover the pan and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.Turn off the stove and remove the pan. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a spoon or fork.Dish out and serve. Enjoy it while it's steaming hot.
Clockwise from top: Jamaican curry powder. bay leaf, kosher salt, and dry thyme
Clockwise from top: Jamaican curry powder. bay leaf, kosher salt, and dry thyme
Cooking oil
Cooking oil
Clockwise from top right: Tomato purée, onion, fresh plum tomato, ginger, garlic, habanero pepper, and bell pepper
Clockwise from top right: Tomato purée, onion, fresh plum tomato, ginger, garlic, habanero pepper, and bell pepper
Basmati rice
Basmati rice
In a blender, add the first 10 ingredients. Blend until you get a smooth purée.
In a blender, add the first 10 ingredients. Blend until you get a smooth purée.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Sautée the thinly sliced onion.
Sautée the thinly sliced onion.
Pour the purée from the blender into the saucepan and bring it to simmer. Add the bay leaf and dry thyme. Allow the purée to simmer in the pan until most of the liquid is reduced (about 20 minutes).
Pour the purée from the blender into the saucepan and bring it to simmer. Add the bay leaf and dry thyme. Allow the purée to simmer in the pan until most of the liquid is reduced (about 20 minutes).
Once the purée has formed a thick consistency, add the rice and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the purée.
Once the purée has formed a thick consistency, add the rice and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the purée.
Add water and raise the heat to bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Cover the pan and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
Add water and raise the heat to bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Cover the pan and cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
Turn off the stove and remove the pan. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a spoon or fork.
Turn off the stove and remove the pan. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a spoon or fork.
Dish out and serve. Enjoy it while it's steaming hot.
Dish out and serve. Enjoy it while it's steaming hot.

Serving Suggestions

If you are looking to take this amazing dish up a notch, you can pair it with a protein like fried chicken or fish. I hope you enjoy this recipe and love the taste of this fantastic dish—so simple and yet satisfying.

Interesting Facts About Jollof

  • Nigerians and Ghanaians each claim that this dish originated in their country. However, historians have traced the true origin of this dish to the Wolof Empire in the Senegambian region.
  • The name jollof was derived from the Djolof/Jolof tribe in the Senegambian region. Legend has it that the recipe was created by chance, during a period of barley shortage, by a woman who lived near the Senegal River delta. The woman combined rice with fish, vegetables, and tomatoes to create a meal known as jollof, meaning one-pot meal.
  • In addition to Nigeria and Ghana, many other West African nations consider jollof to be an important staple food within their own countries, as well. Some of these countries include Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameroon, Mali, and Togo.
  • Originally, this was almost exclusively a fish-based recipe. Today there are other versions, too; one popular version features chicken.
  • This dish is typically served as part of the evening meal, not breakfast or lunch.
  • African jollof may have been the inspiration for the New Orleans jambalaya of the American South.
  • Jollof has a dance associated with it. (How many foods do you know that have a dance that goes with it? I'm going to guess not very many!)

Step-by-Step Video

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Charles Emerenwa profile imageAUTHOR

        Brian 

        2 months ago from Malaysia

        That's great! I believe you will enjoy the Jollof rice very much. For the chilli, I find that Jamaican curry powder gives the extra kick and flavour to the Jollof rice. You may however substitute it with any other chilli blend. Since, you grow your chilli and make your own blend at home, that would be a fantastic option to use to make this dish.

        The Jollof rice is traditionally served with chicken, but so far, I loved the combination of Jollof rice with fish as well. I have not tried it with shrimp and pork, but I believe it would be an interesting and equally delicious combo.

        Thanks for the suggestion, KonaGirl!

      • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

        KonaGirl 

        2 months ago from New York

        I love rice! This recipe sounds absolutely delicious and I can hardly wait to try it! I am wondering the difference between Jamaican curry powder and any other. Often I make my own blend, depending on the dish. I also grow, dry, and grind my own chilis so if it is a matter of a certain type of chili, I could make my own.

        I know you suggested chicken or fish as the go-with protein, but it sounds like a pork or shrimp dish would also be awesome. If you have another protein recipe that is a good accompaniment to this rice dish, please share and let us know if you do.

        Until then, I have pinned it to https://www.pinterest.com/konagirl/rice-is-my-soul...

      • Charles Emerenwa profile imageAUTHOR

        Brian 

        3 months ago from Malaysia

        Your welcome Liz

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        Thank you. That is very helpful advice.

      • Charles Emerenwa profile imageAUTHOR

        Brian 

        3 months ago from Malaysia

        Yes, Liz Westwood. It is indeed a delicious and tasty dish!

        You may substitute the Jamaican curry powder with basically any standard curry powder blend. Alternatively, you can also use Madras curry powder, but it may have a slight extra tinge of spiciness to it. You may use a 1:1 substitute ratio for your cooking.

        The curry powder is actually used to add a spicy kick to the Jollof rice. If you want a non-spicy version, you can make do without.

        Hope this helps, Liz Westwood.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        This looks like a tasty dish. Can I substitute any curry powder for the Jamaican curry powder?

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)