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The Traditional Jollof Rice

Growing up, I looked forward to Sundays in my home because I knew that was designated jollof rice day, unless it was someone’s birthday or special occasion then jollof rice would be served on another day of the week. Other than that, every Sunday after Church meant jollof would be served for lunch. I do not think this was done deliberately, however, I do think this is a typical Nigerian thing – but do correct me if I am wrong. Over the years, I have learnt to cook different variations of jollof rice and as time passes, I get better at it with every kitchen encounter. Sometimes, I alternate between making coconut jollof rice or plain jollof rice depending on my mood. Both dishes are just as good and are enriched with a burst of flavours. Due to the number of recipes I have for jollof rice and the number of requests I get for these recipes, I have decided to share a regular jollof rice recipe with you.

 jollof rice


  • 2 measuring cups of rice
  • 6 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 medium sized red onion
  • ½ medium sized red onion (sliced)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • Tomato paste
  • ½ tbsp. curry
  • ½ tbsp. white pepper
  • 1 tbsp. thyme
  • 2-3 double cubed knorrs
  • Groundnut Oil
  • Margarine/Butter


From your pantry/ Kitchen Drawers

  • Cling Film
  • Foil
  • Wooden Spoon



  • In a clean blender, add the 2-5TH ingredients listed above and pulse with some water.
  • In a clean pot, heat up about ¼ cup of groundnut oil.
  • Add in the chopped onions into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Add in curry, thyme, white pepper and two tablespoons of tomato paste. Mix all ingredients together until well combined and semi-fried.
  • Add in your stock of choice, let simmer for a bit then add in the blended mix. Cover pot and let the stew cook until fried and thick.
  • While the stew is cooking, wash your rice.
  • When the stew is cooked, taste for seasoning – alter seasoning according to taste then add in washed rice and cover with cling film and foil. Turn heat down and cook the rice on extremely low heat for about 30 minutes.

jollof rice

Tip: Do not keep opening rice to stir, this will not allow it cook and will make it too soft.

If your rice needs some more liquid, use stock, and in the absence of stock, use water (but in measurements).

  • After about 30 minutes, your rice should be cooked and ready to be turned with the back of a wooden spoon. Using the back of the wooden spoon stops it from breaking when turning.
  • Taste rice and adjust for seasoning again if needed.
  • When rice is soft enough, add in one slice of butter and cover to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes over slightly increased heat. The butter adds in a distinct flavor and also gives the smoky effect.


Enjoy your rice in one of the many ways pictured. Jollof rice goes well with assorted meat, fried and stewed goat meat, stewed chicken, chicken wings and so much more.

Pair these with a glass of cold coke and you are sorted. When the economy is tough, food makes you feel better, so treat yourself to a nicely prepared homemade meal today.


Typically, because I am not a fan of spice, I measure how many ata rodos (pepper) I use to tomatoes. For example, depending on how big the peppers are, I might use one or two peppers to my ratio of tomatoes. Further, I cook with red onions because I find them generally sweeter than the white or yellow onions.


Thank you for reading and hope this recipe comes in handy in your home. For more recipes and food pictures visit and follow my Instagram – @wovenblends and blog


jollof rice

In this article:
Nigerian Food
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