How to make to-die-for classic party jollof rice!

How to make to-die-for classic party jollof rice!

Jollof rice is a spicy West African dish that traces its roots back to the Jolof empire, which is situated in the Senegambian region in West Africa. Traditionally, the dish comprised of rice, vegetables like tomatoes, onions, garlic, red pepper, and ginger. Apart from its yumminess, the other thing that stands out about this meal is its colour. If you wish to learn how to prepare it, you might want to stick around.

how to cook jollof rice
Image:, @seemagetsbaked
Source: UGC

For the longest time, the debate on whether Nigerians or Ghanaians make the best Jollof rice has been on. Chefs from the two countries have come out to show their prowess in preparing the dish, although a common ground has not been reached on whose recipe is the best. To find out more details about this interesting debate, you might want to consider trying out the two recipes. That way, you will easily pick your poison.

What does Jollof mean?

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Jollof is a spicy one-pot rice dish that is popular in the West African region. It drew its name from the Wolof people who are an ethnic group found in the northern part of Senegal, Southwestern coastal stretch of Mauritania, and Gambia.

What rice is used for Jollof?

The type of rice depends on the recipe that is being used. If you are going to use the Nigerian Jollof rice recipe, you will be required to use parboiled long-grain rice. If you are using the Ghanaian Jollof rice recipe, you will attain the best results if you use Jasmine or Thai rice.

What's the difference between Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof rice?

The main difference between the two is the type of rice that is used in preparing the dish. The method of preparation is also different since the Ghanaian recipe involves chicken being made alongside the rice. On the other hand, Nigerian Jollof involves making spicy rice without meat or chicken.

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Which country has the best Jollof rice?

This is a question that has caused endless debates. The subject has even culminated in competitions, especially in the Sierra Leone beat Ghana in the competition in the USA.

Ghana jollof rice

What does jollof rice taste like?
Source: UGC

Ghanaian Jollof rice is slightly different from the Nigerian one. This recipe elaborates why that is so.


  • 500 grams of rice
  • 500 grams of chicken
  • 200 ml of cooking oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small ginger root
  • 4 chillies
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Green pepper, peas, carrots (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water


These are the steps that you would be required to follow:

Preparing the chicken

  1. Add the chicken to a pot and sprinkle some salt.
  2. Blend half an onion, a small piece of ginger, a clove of garlic, and pepper. Then, add the mixture to the chicken.
  3. Add the 2 stock cubes and stir to ensure that the chicken marries with the flavour from the mixture.
  4. Add water to the chicken to ensure that the chicken is halfway submerged.
  5. Steam the chicken on moderate heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Pick out the chicken from the chicken stock and deep fry it until it changes its colour to a golden brown.

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Preparing the stew

How to make Ghanaian Jollof rice
Image:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  1. Blend half an onion, the remaining pepper, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes.
  2. Slice one onion into thin parts.
  3. Add part of the oil used in deep frying the chicken into a dry pot and fry the sliced onions for 2 minutes on low to medium heat.
  4. Throw in the tomato puree to the fried onions. Stir the puree continuously for about 6 minutes to remove its sour taste.
  5. Pour the blended tomato into the pot and stir intermittently for about 6 minutes. The mixture is the gravy or stew.

Preparing jollof rice

  1. Wash the rice in hot water to remove the surface starch.
  2. In the same pot, add the washed rice and stir. If you wish to go in with more spices, add them to the rice and stir the mixture to ensure that it does not stick on the surface of your pot.
  3. Add the chicken stock that you reserved after parboiling the chicken to the gravy and add it to the rice. Add some more water, enough to cook the rice.
  4. Stir and taste the salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the pot with aluminium foil and then with the lid, and allow the rice to cook for at least 10 minutes on low heat until the water dries up completely.
  6. Add the green pepper, carrots, and peas and stir.
  7. Bring it down and serve with green leaf salad or fried plantain.

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Nigerian Jollof rice

how to make Nigerian jollof rice
Image:, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Would you like to know why this recipe is preferred? How about delving into action to prepare the spicy dish?


  • 4 1/2 cups of parboiled long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup of blended crayfish
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of chopped red onions
  • 3 large red onions
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 Habanero peppers (depending on how spicy you want your food to be)
  • 430 ml of canned tomatoes (unsalted)
  • 180 ml of canned tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Knorr or Maggi cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of salt to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger


  1. Wash the rice with hot water to get rid of the excess starch and set it aside.
  2. Blend the habanero peppers, red bell peppers, the whole red onions, and tomatoes to obtain a smooth consistency. Set the mixture aside.
  3. Add the canola oil and the butter to a medium-sized pot while cooking on low to medium heat.
  4. Throw in the chopped onions and allow them to cook on the medium to low heat for about 5 minutes until their red colour starts to fade.
  5. Throw in the tomato paste and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes. Stir regularly to avoid charring.
  6. Throw in your cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, Maggi or Knorr cubes, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, and thyme. Stir them to ensure that the flavours from the spices get together.
  7. Throw in your blended crayfish to stir to ensure that the tomato paste coats it.
  8. Add the blended mixture and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Stir it regularly to ensure that it does not burn.
  9. Add the chicken stock and stir it regularly for 10 minutes.
  10. Add the washed rice and enough water to cook the rice. Stir it to avoid it sticking on the bottom of the pot.
  11. Cover it and allow it to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes until the rice completely dries off.
  12. Serve with fried plantains, Nigerian salad, coleslaw, or peppered fish.

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If you have been eyeing Jollof rice have been wondering about how to make it, these recipes are straightforward and simple to try. By trying them out, you will be the judge on which one among the two is best.


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