Flavorful Nigerian jollof rice is not only easy to make but also incredibly delicious. It is super simple and will jazz up your dinner table any day of the week.

 

This super flavorful Nigerian jollof rice is cooked in a delightful blend of tomatoes, bell peppers, habanero peppers and seasoning. Also, the addition of smoked paprika adds an incredibly seductive smoky flavor and aroma to this dish. 

 

The amount of habanero peppers to use in your jollof rice is totally dependent on you. If you like it mild, reduce the amount of Habanero peppers and if you like extra heat, add more.  It is totally your choice. 

 

 

nigerian jollof rice

 

A Must Have Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love Nigerian Jollof rice. This recipe is definitely a must try recipe if you like spicy rice. Believe me, Nigerian Jollof Rice will become a frequent dish in your home after making it once.  Your friends and family will go crazy over it.

 

What is Jollof Rice?

Jollof rice or jollof is a one-pot rice dish popular in many West African countries such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Mali. The rice is cooked in a flavourful blend of tomatoes and both mild and spicy peppers.

 

nigerian jollof rice

 The Origin of Nigerian Jollof Rice

Jollof rice recipe itself originates from the West Africa region and multiple countries in the region debate over its geographical origin. 

 

The most vigorous rivalry of them all is between Nigeria and Ghana.  The two rivals not only debate over the origin of jollof rice, but also about which country’s Jollof rice tastes better.

 

Whether Ghanaian Jollof rice or Nigerian Jollof rice, let’s agree that any West African party without Jollof rice is no party.

 

Ingredients for Nigerian Jollof Rice

The full list of measurements is in the recipe box below.

  • Rice
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Onions
  • garlic-ginger paste
  • Habanero Peppers
  • Hot water
  • Salt
  • Seasoning Cubes
  • Thyme
  • Smoked paprika
  • White pepper

 

The ingredients used in Nigerian jollof rice and the recipe may differ depending on the region and household.

 

Also, note that the bright red color is a result of the red bell peppers and tomatoes used in the dish. NOT Food Color!!!

 

Making Nigerian Jollof Rice

  1. Place tomatoes, paprika, and habanero in a food processor and blend till smooth.
  2. Transfer the paste to a medium-sized pot on medium heat and boil until all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
  3. In a separate pot, heat oil on medium heat and add the onion. Stir till lightly golden brown.
  4. Drain half of the onion in a small plate and set aside for later.
  5. Add garlic- ginger paste to the rest of the onion and stir for another minute till fragrant.
  6. Add the tomato paste and fry on medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Follow by adding paprika powder, thyme, bouillon cubes, salt and white pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
  8. To that, add boiled tomato and pepper mixture and stir well. Cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir regularly.
  9. Meanwhile, wash rice thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Drain the water.
  10. Add the washed rice, and hot water to the tomato sauce and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  11. Seal the pot with aluminum foil and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 25 minutes.
  12. Open the pot and gently fluff the rice. Seal the pot once more and steam for another 20 minutes on low heat.
  13. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 to 15 minutes with a covered lid.
  14. After the resting time,  add the reserved cooked onions, fluff the rice once more, and serve.

 

 

 

Why I add hot boiling water to Jollof Rice

Cooking Nigerian jollof rice might be a hassle especially if you are not using a heavy bottomed pot or a non-stick pot. 

Your Nigerian Jollof rice will most likely start burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot when you add cold water and leave that on high heat to come to a boil. 

To avoid the above mentioned, I add hot boiling water, seal my pot, turn the heat to low and proceed to perfectly steam my jollof rice.

 

 

How to Serve Nigerian Jollof Rice

As flavorful, filling and delicious as Nigerian Jollof rice is, it is almost never served on its own. 

However, this Nigerian jollof rice is so tasty and can be served on it’s own or with salad for a vegan version.

Common accompaniments for this jollof rice are:

 

nigerian jollof rice

 

How To Store Leftovers

Properly stored in an air-tight container,  jollof rice will last for 4 days in the refrigerator. 

 

To freeze, transfer to a freezer-suitable air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months. 

 

 

Reheating Leftovers

Like many other leftovers, Nigerian jollof rice can also be reheated but apparently, leftover rice in general may contain a bacterial called Basillus cereus which survives some cooking process.

 

Therefore, we must take precautions to ensure it is safe to eat by properly reheating.

 

To Reheat, transfer the rice to a microwave safe plate. Sprinkle few teaspoons of water over the rice and cover with another plate. Warm in the microwave for 5 minutes until piping hot.

 

Nigerian jollof rice

 

Tips For The Best Jollof Rice

  • For the perfect Jollof rice, make sure you don’t go overboard with your water.  Always remember that rice is best steamed in a bit of water and not cooked in a lot of water. 

 

  • General rule for cooking rice is always 2:1. Meaning, 2 cup of water for 1 cup of rice.  However, I find that to be too much for dishes like Jollof rice, Pilau rice and Biryani rice. 

 

  • My recipe for Nigerian jollof rice always calls for hot boiling water just above the rice.

 

  • For perfect steaming, seal your pot with aluminum foil (to trap the moisture) during the cooking process and cook on the lowest heat.

 

  • The quality of your Jollof rice will depend heavily on how tasty your tomato and pepper sauce is.  So, don’t rush the process.

 

More Tips

  • The amount of water used in this recipe may vary depending on the kind of rice you use.  For example, Parboiled rice or brown rice may need a bit more water and longer cooking time; so adjust accordingly.

 

 

Other rice recipes you might like:

 

nigerian jollof rice
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5 from 14 votes

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Flavourful Nigerian jollof rice is not only easy to make but also incredibly delicious. It is super simple and will jazz up your dinner table any day of the week.
Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Keyword jollof rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Jayne Rain

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Basmati or Jasmin rice
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 1 tsp garlic-ginger paste
  • 2 red paprika
  • 1 habanero peppers
  • 2 ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 seasoning cube
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • hot water just enough to slightly cover the rice

Instructions

  • Place tomatoes, paprika, and habanero in a food processor and blend till smooth.
  • Transfer the paste to a medium-sized pot on medium heat and boil until all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
  • In a separate pot, heat oil on medium heat and add the onion. Stir till lightly golden brown.
  • Drain half of the onion in a small plate and set aside.
  • Add garlic-ginger paste to the rest of the onion and stir for another minute till fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and fry on medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
  • Follow by adding smoked paprika, thyme, bouillon cubes, salt, and white pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
  • To that, add boiled tomato and pepper mixture and stir well.
  • Cover the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat.  Stir regularly.
  • Meanwhile, wash the rice thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Drain the water.
  • Add the washed rice, and hot water to the tomato sauce and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Seal the pot with aluminum foil and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 25 minutes.
  • Open the pot and gently fluff the rice.
  • Seal the pot once more and steam for another 20 minutes on low heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 to 15 minutes with a covered lid.
  • After the resting time, add the reserved cooked onions, fluff the rice once more and serve.

jollof

 

 

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