Main Dishes

Jollof rice

Nigerian Jollof rice is a RICH comforting meal made from rice cooked in a flavor-packed tomato based sauce. For an extra depth of flavor, authentic party jollof is cooked with fire wood which infuses a smokey flavor into the dish and its simply MAGICAL.

Nigerian party Jollof rice is more than a meal, it’s a universal love language for a culturally diverse and beautiful county.

“it’s often said that a party without Jollof rice is a meeting”

Jollof rice simplified!

Jollof rice
Jollof rice

Although a simple and straight forward meal to make, a couple of little mistakes can impact the quality of your jollofrice. So today, i’ll be sharing my top secrets and tips as well as the trick to get a smokey Jollof rice flavor without for nailing the dish every time

“Jollof doesn’t go to the stomach, it goes to the heart.”

Pete Edochie

MY 2 pro tips for Jollof rice:

  1. Using the right pot, Silly as it may sound, the type of pot plays a huge role on the outcome of your Jollof rice and lets just say for this meal, you want to set the non stick pot aside, Grab a good cast iron pot, an iron pot, caldero, aluminum works fantastic! Really any pot that will give you a good burn. That’s what gives it the smokey flavor.
  2. Making the tomato sauce, this requires quite a bit of patience. When frying/cooking the tomato paste, you want to make sure it properly fried so as to get rid of the tangy harsh taste of the the tomato paste.
nigerian Jollof rice and chicken
Jollof rice and chicken

OH SO versatile.

Another amazing thing about this dish is it very easy adaptable to changes. This recipe is made with chicken stock but you can substitute for beef stock, turkey, goat meat, you can even make it VEGETARIAN. Link to my delicious vegetarian jollof here

step by step

Jollof Rice

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, nigerian
Keyword: Jollof, Nigerian jollof
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 400kcal
Author: kikifoodies


For the pepper mix

  • 3 medium bell peppers
  • 5 medium tomatos roma
  • 2 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 medium onion

For frying

  • ½ cup vegetable oil or oil of choice
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 18 oz tomato paste not tomato sauce
  • 2 knorr seasoning cubes or 2 teaspoons crushed bullion cube powder
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • cup rich chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups rice


  • Boil  meat with onion, garlic salt, seasoning cube, thyme, curry. You can use beef, chicken, turkey, goat meat etc. I use chicken for this recipe.
  • While meat is boiling, blend tomatoes, bell peppers, onion until smooth.
  • Transfer pepper mix to a wide pot and boil until reduce(about 15 minutes depending on how much water was used to blend peppers)
  • When meat is cooked, separate from stock, fry grill or air-fry meat until golden brown
  • Wash rice multiple times until water runs clear. Set aside.(see notes on type of rice)
  • In a large wide pot, heat up vegetables oil or oil of choice.
  • Fry chopped onion until onion is translucent and fragrant.Add tin tomato/tomato paste(different from tomato sauce). Fry tomato paste for about 15 minutes until it looks grainy. (Frying the tomato paste gets rid of the tangy taste)
  • Add boiled down pepper mix,season with salt, curry, thyme, bay leaves. fry for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Add meat stock or water. Stir.
  • Add washed rice, cover with foil and allow to cook for about 20 minutes(cook time also depends on the kind of rice being used. See note 2
  • After 20 minutes your rice should be ready. If you want the authentic part jollof taste cook on high heat for the first 25 minutes, reduce heat and let rice absolve the Smokey flavor generated from the Burt to rice. 
  • Open foil, turn rice to release steam. If rice seems dry, add 3 teaspoon of butter, allow to melt with the heat.
  • Serve with chicken, fried plantain and salad.


Note 1: Nigerian jollof is traditionally prepared with long grain parboiled rice. Par excellence rice, golden canilla, zatarain are good brands.
Note 2: covering with foil helps trap most of the steam in the pot. This helps the rice cook with less water and prevents mushy rice.


Calories: 400kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag, mention or DM me @kikifoodies. I would love to hear from you!

How to make Jollof rice(video)

Common problems

Why does my jollof come out soggy? 

Soggy jollof is always as a result of adding too much water. Jollof traditionally cooks with steam that’s why it’s covered with foil or heavy lid pot. Tip: water should be about 1cm above the rice.

Why does my jollof burns and still remains undercooked? Jollof rice burning too much is as a result of super high heat. Reduce your heat to medium at the first stage (first 15 minutes of cooking) then crank up the heat after most of the water is absorbed. 

Why is my so jollof sticky? Sticky jollof could be as a result of:

  1. Type of rice. Some rice types e.g Jasmine and most Asian rice are more glutenous and could result in very sticky jollofrice.
  2. Not washing your rice properly can also cause your jollof rice to be sticky. Be sure to wash until water runs clear. 
  3. Also overcooking the rice could also be the factor.

Inconsistent jollof taste: To avoid this, stick to a recipe. You can use the recipe provided or an adjusted recipe. 

Not red/inconsistent color: Look out for red tomato(ripe tomatoes) and deep red peppers. Use tomato paste as needed. The color of the rice before covering the pot will mostly likely be the color of the rice when it’s cooked. 

Unevenly cooked grains: Consider changing your brand of rice. Some stores or brands mix two or more types of rice. Using this type of rice will result in some grains cooking while other grains remain hard. If using very hard rice, mix the jollof every 10 minutes to help with even heat distribution. 

4 thoughts on “Jollof rice

  1. Mekhija Oku says:

    Please post more on here. I love how much detail is given and how you are able to make according to how many people you will be serving.

    1. kikifoodies says:

      I will. Thank you

  2. Eniola says:

    I used this recipe last Sunday. Boy! My jollof was smoky and sweet it brought back 9ja party rice memories. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!

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