Looking for how to make Jollof rice? Rice is the number one staple meal enjoyed in this part of the world. Several people can take rice as a meal each day of the week. The good thing here is you can enjoy this energy-giving food in different variations. One popular way to eat rice is to learn how to make Jollof rice. Jollof rice is a popular and delicious West African one-pot dish. There are different variations of Jollof rice across the region, but in this article, you will learn in 7 simple steps how to make jollof rice the popular Nigerian way.
What is Jollof Rice?
Jollof rice is a rice-based dish prepared with a blend of tomatoes, onions, and various spices, giving it a distinctive red or orange color and a delicious taste. It is known for its rich and savory flavor, making it a beloved and staple dish in West African cuisine.
It is commonly served at family gatherings, parties, and special occasions, as well as enjoyed as comfort food in everyday meals. Different regions and families have their variations of jollof rice, and it can be found in various forms across the continent, each with its unique blend of spices and ingredients.
Types of Jollof Rice
Jollof rice offers a versatile one-pot dish that has variations in different West African countries. Some of the popular types of jollof rice include:
1. Nigerian Jollof Rice
Nigerian style involves a rich and flavorful dish known for its vibrant red color. It typically includes a blend of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and a mix of spices. Nigerian jollof rice is often cooked with chicken or beef, and sometimes, vegetables like carrots and peas are added for extra texture and nutrition.
2. Nigerian Party Jollof Rice
This is a popular variation of Nigerian jollof rice, known for its smoky and intense flavor. It is often cooked outdoors over an open flame or grill, giving it a distinct taste.
3. Vegetarian/Vegan Jollof Rice
Jollof rice can be adapted to suit a vegetarian or vegan diet by using vegetable broth and adding plant-based proteins like tofu, mushrooms, or beans. It’s a flavorful and satisfying option for those looking for meatless alternatives.
4. Ghanaian Jollof Rice
Ghanaian style brings a slightly milder and sweeter taste to the dish. Similar to the Nigerian version, it uses a tomato-based sauce with a variety of proteins like chicken, beef, or seafood. Some variations of Ghanaian jollof rice incorporate coconut milk for a creamy and unique flavor.
5. Senegalese Jollof Rice (Ceebu Jën)
Senegalese style is known as Ceebu Jën. This version often features fish as the primary protein, and the rice is cooked in a tomato-based sauce with additional vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and cassava leaves.
6. Sierra Leonean Jollof Rice
Sierra Leonean style offers a smoky and intense flavor. The dish is often cooked over an open flame, giving the rice a distinct taste. It usually includes a mix of proteins, vegetables, and spices for a hearty and savory meal.
How to Make Jollof Rice In 7 Simple Steps
- 2 cups long-grain parboiled rice
- 4 large fresh tomatoes, blended
- 2-3 red bell pepper, blended
- 2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (habanero peppers), blended
- Medium size tomato puree/paste
- 1 big-size onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- teaspoon ground curry powder
- Stock cubes (Knorr Chicken)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- cups chicken broth (or water)
- ½ teaspoon ginger (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon garlic (Optional)
- Salt to taste
- Optional: chopped vegetables such as carrots. peas, beef, or shrimp for added protein
Instructions on How to Make Jollof Rice:
Take Note of these before you start cooking
- The cooking time may vary depending on the type of rice and your stove, so it’s essential to keep an eye on the rice as it cooks to prevent it from burning.
- The quantity of chicken broth or water to use depends on the nature of the rice. Some rice absorbs water better than others. it is important you choose a good quality rice
In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, allow for 1 minute, then add tomato puree and fry until they become radiant using a spatula to stir the mixture.
Add the blended tomatoes, red bell pepper, and scotch bonnet peppers to the mixture and stir together to fry.
Then add your seasoning (curry, thyme, bay leaves, stock cubes, ginger, garlic, salt to taste) to the frying sauce. Stir the ingredients together and let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld (Keep stirring intermittently to prevent burning).
Wash the rice thoroughly under until the water runs clear. Drain and add the rinsed rice into the pot with the sauce, stirring well to coat the rice with the mixture. Add the chicken broth and/or water and bring everything to a boil.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Check to know if the rice needs additional water for doneness. Also, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
At this stage, you can add chopped vegetables such as carrots. peas, beef, or shrimp if using.
Once the rice is cooked, stir it gently with your spatula, to mix thoroughly. Bring down your pot.
Jollof rice is often served with fried plantains, coleslaw, or a side salad. You can enjoy your flavorful and delicious Jollof rice, whichever way you choose!