Jollof Rice Delight: Unveiling the Quintessential West African Recipe

Joloff rice is a West African rice and chicken dish. Possibly originating in The Gambia, is most popular with the Wolof people of Ghana and Nigeria. Although there are many variations of this recipe, they all have the same base ingredients. It is a simple and super delicious dish which only needs a fresh side salad!

Jollof Rice Recipe

JOLOFF RICE (West Africa)

As we conclude this culinary voyage through the heart of West Africa, Jollof Rice stands as a testament to the power of tradition and the beauty of shared meals. With every mouthful, you're experiencing the essence of a region rich in culture and flavor. So, gather your loved ones, relish the vibrant colors, and allow Jollof Rice to whisk you away to a world where every bite is a celebration of heritage and unity.
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Africa
Servings 4 servings
Calories 150 kcal


  • 1 pan
  • 1 stove


  • Tbsp  Coconut or Olive Oil
  • Chicken Thighs
  • ½  Cup  Onions
  • Tbsp  Garlic (Minced)
  • Tbsp  Ginger (Minced)
  • Tbsp  Tomato Paste or Ketchup
  • Cup  Crushed or Diced Tomatoes
  • ¼  Tsp  Nutmeg
  • ½  Tbsp  Red Chili Pepper Flakes
  • Cup  Stock plus
  • ½  Cup  Water
  • Cup  Uncooked Basmati Rice
  • Cup  Carrots (Diced)
  • ½  Cup  Green Bell Peppers (Diced)


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan, on medium heat.
  • Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic, ginger, and chicken and cook until chicken starts to brown.
  • Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, chili pepper flakes and nutmeg, cooking for another minute.
  • Pour in water and bring to a rapid boil
  • Turn heat down to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes.
  • Add in rice, carrots and bell peppers and then cover and let cook, on lowest heat setting, for another 25-30 minutes or until rice is done.
  • Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.



Jollof Rice isn't just a recipe; it's a cultural masterpiece. The marriage of rice, tomatoes, and vibrant spices creates a symphony of flavors that tell the story of West Africa's rich heritage.
Keyword rice

Nutritional ingredients of Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe

  • Calories: Around 300-400 kcal per serving
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 60-70g per serving
    • Dietary Fiber: Roughly 3-5g
    • Sugars: Around 4-6g
  • Protein: Approximately 8-12g per serving
  • Total Fat: About 5-10g per serving
    • Saturated Fat: Roughly 1-2g
  • Cholesterol: Varies based on protein sources (if used)
  • Sodium: Approximately 400-600mg per serving
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The presence and quantity of vitamins and minerals depend on the specific ingredients used, such as tomatoes, vegetables, and protein sources.

Tips and Tricks

Jollof rice recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine

  • Quality Rice Matters: Choose long-grain parboiled rice for the best results. Its texture ensures that each grain remains distinct and absorbs flavors harmoniously.
  • Master the Tomato Base: The foundation of Jollof Rice lies in the tomato base. Achieve depth by slow-cooking the tomatoes, onions, and peppers until they meld into a rich, aromatic sauce.
  • Spice It Up, but Balance It Out: Scotch bonnet peppers and spices are integral to Jollof Rice’s character. Control the spice level to suit your taste, but ensure the flavors are harmonious and not overpowering.
  • Toast the Rice for Depth: Before adding the tomato sauce, lightly toast the rice in oil for a few minutes. This enhances the nutty aroma and adds a layer of complexity to the dish.
  • Patience in Cooking: Jollof Rice demands a gentle touch and patient cooking. Simmer it over low heat, allowing the flavors to meld and the rice to absorb the tomato goodness.
  • Seal in the Flavor: After adding the tomato sauce and stock, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. This traps steam and ensures the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the flavors.
  • Avoid Over-Stirring: Resist the urge to over-stir the rice once the liquid is added. Frequent stirring can lead to mushiness. Instead, gently fluff the rice occasionally.
  • Embrace the Crust (Tahdig): Let a delicious crispy crust form at the bottom of the pot, known as tahdig. This prized layer adds an irresistible textural contrast to the dish.
  • Garnish with Love: Finish your Jollof Rice with a flourish of fresh herbs, like chopped cilantro or parsley, for a burst of color and a final touch of flavor.
  • Allow Rest Time: After cooking, let the Jollof Rice rest for a few minutes with the lid on. This allows the steam to redistribute and ensures a more consistent texture.

Serving Suggestions

How to make the perfect jollof rice | National Geographic

  • Family Feast: Jollof Rice is a dish that unites generations and sparks conversations. Serve it at family gatherings alongside grilled chicken, fried plantains, and a medley of vibrant salads. Watch as smiles light up the table and stories flow.
  • Festive Celebrations: Elevate festive occasions with Jollof Rice as the centerpiece. Pair it with succulent roasted meats, grilled seafood, and a colorful array of vegetables. This combination turns any celebration into a true culinary spectacle.
  • Picnic Perfection: Pack Jollof Rice for a picnic that’s as memorable as it is delicious. The portable nature of this dish makes it a star of outdoor dining. Pair it with kebabs, fresh fruit, and refreshing drinks for an unforgettable experience.
  • Fusion Fusion Fusion: Inject a modern twist into your Jollof Rice presentation by serving it as a side dish with international cuisines. Explore pairings with Mexican, Indian, or Mediterranean dishes for a fusion feast that breaks culinary boundaries.
  • Dinner Delight: Impress your dinner guests by serving Jollof Rice alongside grilled vegetables, sautéed spinach, and tender lamb chops. This combination offers a balance of flavors and textures that elevate any evening.
  • Veggie Extravaganza: For vegetarians, Jollof Rice is a versatile canvas. Serve it with a variety of roasted vegetables, plant-based protein sources, and a creamy avocado salad for a wholesome and satisfying meal.
  • Street Food Vibes: Recreate the vibrant energy of street food markets by pairing Jollof Rice with skewered meats, fried yams, and a range of zesty sauces. This casual setting evokes the spirit of West African street food culture.
  • Kids’ Favorites: Introduce children to the wonders of Jollof Rice with fun and interactive presentations. Create a DIY taco or wrap station with Jollof Rice, tender meat, colorful veggies, and an array of toppings.
  • Brunch Bliss: Turn brunch into a flavorful adventure with a Jollof Rice and egg combination. Top the rice with sunny-side-up eggs, avocado slices, and a drizzle of hot sauce for a morning feast that’s both hearty and satisfying.
  • Solo Indulgence: Sometimes, indulgence means savoring Jollof Rice in its purest form. Enjoy it as a standalone dish, allowing the rich flavors to take center stage and transport your taste buds to West Africa.

Whether you’re celebrating with loved ones or indulging in a moment of solitude, Jollof Rice bridges cultures and brings people together. It’s more than a recipe—it’s a symbol of unity, tradition, and the joy of sharing a meal. So, let the aroma of spices guide you, and let each bite remind you of the vibrant tapestry of West African cuisine. Here’s to many more Jollof Rice adventures to come.

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