Classic Nigerian Jollof Rice


Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of Classic Nigerian Jollof Rice, a beloved dish in West African cuisine. This one-pot wonder is a harmonious blend of rice, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices, creating a richly flavored, slightly spicy, and incredibly aromatic dish that's a staple at celebrations and everyday tables alike.

Classic Nigerian Jollof Rice

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 1 cup (240 ml) per person

Nutritional Profile (per serving)

  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 300 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g


  • Long grain parboiled rice: 3 cups (540 g or 19 oz)
  • Tomatoes, blended: 4 large
  • Red bell peppers, blended: 2
  • Onion, finely chopped: 1 large
  • Garlic cloves, minced: 4
  • Scotch bonnet peppers, finely chopped: 1-2 (adjust to taste)
  • Tomato paste: 2 tbsp (30 g or 1 oz)
  • Chicken or vegetable broth: 4 cups (960 ml or 32 oz)
  • Thyme: 1 tsp
  • Curry powder: 2 tsp
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Salt and pepper: To taste
  • Vegetable oil: 3 tbsp (45 ml or 1.5 oz)

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare the Tomato Mixture: Blend the tomatoes, bell peppers, and scotch bonnet peppers until smooth.
  2. Cook the Base: In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add tomato paste, blended tomato mixture, thyme, curry powder, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook until the mixture thickens and oil begins to separate.
  3. Cook the Rice: Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Add rice to the pot and stir. Pour in the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes.
  4. Serve: Fluff the rice, remove bay leaves, and serve hot.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Rinsing the Rice: Thoroughly rinse the rice to remove excess starch, which helps to prevent clumping.
  • Control the Heat: Adjust the amount of scotch bonnet pepper according to your heat preference.
  • Avoid Stirring: Minimize stirring while cooking to prevent the rice from becoming mushy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I add protein to this dish?

Yes, you can stir in cooked chicken, shrimp, or vegetables for a heartier meal.

What if I don’t have parboiled rice?

You can use basmati or jasmine rice, but cooking times may vary.

How can I store and reheat leftovers?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove with a little added water.