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overhead view of pot of Nigerian jollof rice with wooden spoon.

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Classic one-pot West African staple comprised of fluffy, fiery rice flavored with tomato, peppers, onion, spices, and chicken and beef stocks

Course Side Dish
Cuisine African
Keyword authentic west african recipes, how to make african jollof, How to make jollof rice, how to make party jollof, jollof rice from NIgeria, Nigerian-style jollof rice
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
  • ½ white onion cut into chunks
  • 4 habanero or scotch bonnet peppers use fewer or more depending on your preference
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 cups parboiled rice rinsed
  • ¼-1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4-6 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 cubes chicken and/or beef buillon crushed
  • 3 cups chicken and or beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons powdered 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 ½ cup of water then blend until completely liquified and uniform (about 2 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the parboiled rice in plenty of warm water then drain.

  3. Add rice and vegetable oil to a large pot over medium flame, followed by blended tomato mixture, tomato paste and sauce, chicken and beef stocks, crushed bouillon, white pepper, curry powder, powdered bay leaf, powdered thyme, and sea salt. Stir everything together until uniform.

  4. Cook 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 as you go.

  5. It may be necessary to add more liquid along the way to prevent the rice at the bottom from burning excessively (see recipe notes). The bottom layer of rice in a pot of jollof rice often burns, which is where the smoky flavor comes from. 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 if you don't want them in the rice.

Recipe Video

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