This Nigerian Jollof Rice is an authentic and flavorful one-pot meal originating from Africa and is enjoyed worldwide. Irresistible rice cooked in tomato and pepper sauce will make your taste buds scream joyfully and ask for more.
What is Jollof Rice?
This originated in West Africa, precisely in Senegal, ruled by the “Jolof Empire.” Also in Gambia and Mauritania. But it’s called Thieboudeinne. Nowadays, it’s a staple dish in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana, but trust me, it’s also enjoyed worldwide. The tomato base may differ, but the cooking method is almost identical.
I wonder if there is an occasion in Nigeria without Jollof Rice. I bet you NONE. My family loves it, especially when served with proteins like beef, chicken and goatmeat. Follow this recipe, and you will become a pro in making Nigerian Jollof Rice.
Check recipe card at the end of this post for detailed recipe and measurements.
- White rice: I used long-grain basmati rice. Make sure you wash the rice very well to reduce some starch.
- Fresh Roma tomatoes: They are very flavorful and perfect for pureeing. They also add to the colour of the rice.
- Tomato Paste: Adds the colour and flavour of the rice.
- Red bell peppers: For colour and flavour.
- Chicken Stock: Makes a protein-rich, flavorful rice. If you are vegan, use vegetable broth or water.
- Onion: Any onion will work for added flavours.
- Thyme for earthy flavours.
- Bouillon cubes and salt to taste.
- Curry powder for deep flavours.
- Water to cook the rice.
- Wash the rice well to reduce the starch until the water runs clear.
- You can also roast the tomatoes, onions and peppers for extra smoky flavour.
- When cooking the tomato stew, fry it until the oil floats to the top. This is to avoid sour and tangy rice.
- Cover the top of the pot with aluminum foil to create steam to finish the cooking process and to make the rice fluffy.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for at least three days. It can also be in the freezer for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge or at room temperature and reheat in the microwave or in a pot.
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- Coconut Fried Rice
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- Ghanaian Waakye (Rice and Beans)
For the Chicken
- 10 Chicken Drumsticks or any cuts
- 1 Salt
- 1 tbsp Seasoning Powder
- 1 tsp Curry Powder
- 3 sprigs Thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ Onion diced
- 2 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
For the Jollof Rice
- 3 cups Rice washed
- 3 Red Bell peppers
- 2 tsp Curry powder
- 1 large Onion diced
- ½ cup Tomato paste
- 4 Fresh tomatoes
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 2 cups Water
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 cup Cooking oil
- Salt and Bouillon to taste adjust according to the broth.
- Leeks or Parsley to garnish
For the Chicken
- Wash the chicken well. Combine the chicken with all the ingredients for the chicken. Mix till well coated.
- Add water and cook on medium heat for about 15- 20 minutes until tender.
- Remove the chicken from the stock and save the stock for later.
- Add oil in a pot, about 2-3 inches deep. Deep fry the chicken for about 10 minutes until golden brown, flipping sides halfway through cooking time.
- Remove the chicken and place it on an absorbent paper.
For the Jollof rice
- Blend the peppers and tomatoes until smooth.
- Add cooking oil into a pot. When oil is hot, sauté the onion until fragrant for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook again for about 3-5 minutes. Add the blended mix, stir well and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Check the pot often and stir so it doesn't burn.
- Add salt, seasoning powder, curry powder, chicken stock and water and stir well.
- Add the washed rice and stir. Cover and let it cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Make sure you check the pot every 5 minutes and add water as needed so it dosen't burn.
- When the water dries, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with aluminum foil and place the lid on it. The residual heat will finish the cooking process and make it fluffy. Let it cook slowly for another 15 minutes untouched.
- Remove foil and lid, use a spoon and stir well because the tomato sauce settles on top of the rice.
- Garnish with the butter and leeks or parsley and stir well.
- Serve the rice with the fried chicken.