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Closeup on a finished pot of Nigerian jollof rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice

This classic one-pot West African staple is comprised of rice flavored with tomato, peppers, onion, spices, and chicken and beef stocks

Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine African
Keyword How to make jollof rice, Nigerian-style jollof rice, West African recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 7 roma tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 white onion cut into chunks
  • 4 habanero or scotch bonnet peppers or more depending on your preference
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 cups parboiled rice
  • 3 cups chicken and or beef stock
  • 4 cubes chicken and/or beef buillon optional
  • 4-6 ounces tomato paste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/4-1/3 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon powdered thyme
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Add tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, and habanero peppers to a blender with 1/2 cup of water then blend until completely liquified and uniform (about 2 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the rice in plenty of warm water then drain.
  3. Add rice to a pot then pour in oil, tomato mixture, tomato paste, spices, bouillon and stock. Cook over medium flame for about 40 minutes or until rice is cooked through and all liquid has dissipated, stir (to help prevent sticking and burning) and taste-test the liquid and rice periodically.

  4. It may be necessary to add more liquid along the way to prevent the rice at the bottom from burning. The bottom layer of a pot of jollof rice often burns and some believe that the rice tastes best when this happens. As you stir the rice and expose any burnt portions, you can simply discard them.

Recipe Notes

  1. Spice measurements are to taste, which is why tasting as you go is so important.
  2. Jollof rice burns quickly so it is best to use a non-stick pot and cook over medium heat.
  3. As the rice cooks and liquid dissipates, you may find it necessary to add additional ingredients according to your preference:
    1. more oil for moisture
    2. more stock or bouillon for flavor
    3. more tomato paste or sauce for color
    4. Sea salt to your taste