Jollof Rice : How to Cook Nigerian Jollof Rice (a.k.a Party Jollof Rice)

jollof rice, how to cook nigerian jollof rice, nigerian jollof rice
Nigerian Jollof Rice 
Nigerian Jollof Rice (a.k.a Party Jollof Riceis the most popular rice recipe in Nigeria. It is also a big party favorite, just like the Nigerian fried rice. This is one meal that I'll recommend to anyone who has never tasted a Nigerian dish .

This Party Jollof rice is also easy to make and if you follow the basic recipe and the steps on this page , you can never go wrong .

I also have to admit that it could be very challenging for newbies, but no worries at all,'cos below this page, you'll find Tips and Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the Nigerian Jollof Rice (especially the party style Jollof rice) . And hope you find it useful. So here's the recipe ...Enjoy

Nigerian Jollof Rice Ingredients:
*2 cups (approx. 500 grams)Precooked long grain  rice
*5 Tablespoonful tomato paste(very important)
*4 whole tomatoes

*1 red bell pepper (tatashe)
*2 scotch bonnets peppers/atarodo
*100ml vegetable oil
*About 600ml Meat or Chicken stock
*A small onion (sliced)
*1 tablespoonful ground crayfish(optional)
*½ teaspoon each of Thyme and curry

* 2 small Bay leaves (optional)
*1 teaspoon salt to taste
*1 stock cube
*Water, as needed

Cooking Directions for Nigerian Jollof Rice:

<<Before cooking Nigerian Jollof Rice>>
*Parboil(precook) the Rice and set here to learn how to parboil Rice.

TIP: Parboiling the rice, helps to start the cooking process and gets rid of the excess starch in the rice, that usually makes the rice grains to clump together (a.k.a Soggy rice).

*Cook and fry/grill your meat ( beef/chicken/turkey )... and set aside the broth or stock

Now to cook the Nigerian Jollof Rice:

*First, prepare a small stew or sauce .

Do this by blending the fresh tomatoes and peppers together;then dry out excess liquid by boiling in a pot for few minutes. ..if you already have tomato stew, you can skip this step.
    Then, Place a pot on heat, add some oil, add chopped onions, fry a bit and then add the blended tomatoes & pepper mix, fry for about 10 minutes and then add the tomato puree. 
    Cook until the tomato loses its sour taste and the oil begin to rise to the top.

  Tip: The use of the concentrated tomato paste is IMPORTANT if you want to get that deep reddish-orange color and taste of the party jollof rice.

*Now Scoop out about a quarter of the stew and set it aside for later use.

*Add the meat or chicken stock to the pot and leave to boil on high heat for 5-10 minutes. Then add the thyme, curry, stock cubes,salt to taste... and any other seasoning you like, and boil for 5 minutes.

    TIP: This is another important step in cooking Nigerian Jollof Rice. If the stock isn't hot enough before adding the precooked(parboiled) Rice, the rice will soak up the cold water, become soggy and even get burnt before it is done..Eeeww, we don't want that right? 

* Next, add the Rice and mix thoroughly; the liquid in the pot should  be at the same level as the rice in the  can add more water if the meat or chicken stock isn't enough. 

  Cover the pot and leave the rice to cook on low to medium heat. High heat will burn the rice before it is well cooked.
 If you're using bay leaves, just drop it on the rice before covering the pot.
 *When the liquid in the rice is almost dried, add the ground crayfish (this is optional) and the remaining stew to the top (don't touch the rice)...cover the pot  and simmer until there is no more liquid in the Rice...Now mix thoroughly ... and your Nigerian Jollof Rice is Ready.
Jollof Rice ,Nigerian Jollof Rice ,Party Jollof Rice

    TIP: If you are aiming for the party style jollof rice with that smoky flavor that gives the party jollof rice its distinctive taste, then go a step further and leave the rice to burn  ''A LITTLE'' at the bottom(don't worry it doesn't make you a bad cook)
 I actually don't like burning food, but  that is the sure way to get that '' smoky Party rice taste'' if you're not cooking with firewood (but please don't make it a habit , except you are using a non-stick pot
Jollof Rice ,Nigerian Jollof Rice ,Party Jollof Rice

   Now, serve and Enjoy...and beg someone to scrub the pot later

  Nigerian Jollof  Rice can be served with , grilled/fried chicken, beef, fish, Moi moi , boiled beans, Nigerian Salad and also topped up with stew (Obe ata dindin or Nigerian beef stew and Chicken stew).

Below is a video showing you how to cook the perfect  Party Jollof Rice...Enjoy!  

Frequently asked questions about Nigerian Jollof Rice 

Q1: How do I Get that Party jollof Rice taste without using firewood, just like that rice cooked by those hired party caterer?
  A1:  Aha! this is the number one question I get. To get the distinctive taste of the Nigerian Party rice, without cooking with fire wood , you'll have to leave the rice to burn a little at the bottom then put off the heat and let the burnt smell,infuse into the cooked rice. WHAAAAAAT? Yes dear, that's one way to get that smoky flavor. Even if you make use of fire wood, the rice is going to burn a bit at the bottom, just as the one cooked by the hired local caterers . 

Q2: Do I need to use only long grain white rice for cooking Jollof Rice?
     A2: Long grain white rice are the one commonly used for cooking Nigerian jollof rice, but long grain brown rice also works fine. Basmati is also great.

Q3: Can I use the short fat rice for jollof rice instead of long grain white rice that you used in your Nigerian jollof rice video.?
    A3: I think you can try it out, but I noticed that the fatter types are usually very starchy and if you cook it in a deep pot the jollof rice always turn out mushy(if you are new to it) but you'll get better result when you cook the short jollof rice in a flat pan like the Spanish paella pan, but that's only if 1'm cooking  smaller quantities of Rice.

Q4: Why do you parboil or precook the Rice for Nigerian Jollof Rice when the rice is already parboiled from the factory?
   A4: This is a controversial question, but I precook my long grain rice for several reasons.
*First, it helps to reduce the starchy content of the rice I use which usually cause the jollof rice to burn quickly without cooking properly.
*Second, it helps cut the cooking time and in turn, opens up the rice for faster absorbent of ingredients used for cooking the jollof rice.
 This is just why I precook mine, you can try it and decide what method  works best for you.

Q5 Why do you reserve some stew and add it at the end , why not add it all at the same time ?
   A5: This method actually helps to get the perfect color of the party jollof rice and also, Using all the stew at the beginning might also cause the rice to burn faster at the bottom.

Q6: Why did you cover the pot with a foil paper?
    A6: Jollof rice uses a steaming process, therefore it cooks faster and uniformly when you trap as much heat as possible. I use a pot with a vent hole and therefore it tends to allow loss of heat.
  By covering the pot with the aluminium foil, I trap in enough heat and the jollof rice cooks uniformly without burning while it's still undone or getting mushy/soggy.    

Food for thought : Nigerian jollof rice is also called Dafaduka in hausa language.

Related Recipes 

How to Cook Nigerian Coconut Rice

* Nigerian Rice and Beans: How to cook Nigerian Jollof Rice and Beans

How to Parboil long grain white Rice(Nigerian  method)

How to cook Nigerian Fried Rice (eggs included)

Jollof Rice : How to Cook Nigerian Party Jollof Rice

By Nky Lily Lete

Please leave your comments, doubts, questions and success stories  below 
☺Bon Appetit


  1. The only thing I can say is THANK YOU . Since I saw your recipe on facebook, I have not stopped thanking God for you, I love all the faqs, you answered my silent questions.

    1. Aww Omolara, thank you dear, I'm glad to be of help dear. God bless :)

  2. You are so sweet dear, I am a new subscriber on your youtube channel...keep up the good work. Love from a Nigerian in Barce :)

    1. You are sweet too Dear, thanks for subbing on youtube... love from here too :)

  3. I love your faq's.. you answered all the questions I had. Thank you so much.. I love your youtube channel.

    1. Thanks dear, I get emails with these common questions and just answered to the best of my knowledge. I'm so glad it helped you :)

  4. Sorry, but burning the rice does not give it a smoky flavor, unless you are cooking it in a cauldron over a wood fire.

  5. Thank you so very much. Your FAQs and jollof rice recipe solves the problem on my project write-up.

    1. Wow..Adeola dear, I'm so honored to be of help. Feel free to use the website as a source, and contact me if you need more information. Good luck .

  6. Hi,Nky hope you dont mind me answering this one for you.
    When she said ''burning'' the rice, she didnt mean you should burn the whole pot of rice.
    Sometimes you have to let the bottom of the pot burn just a bit to incorporate the smoky flavor that you get with cast iron pot or cauldron.
    The PARTY jollof rice cooked (for weddings)in Nigeria with the cast iron pots always gets burnt at the bottom, due to the direct heat and large quantity cooked;that ''burning'' and the firewoods gives the rice its distinctive ''smoky taste''.
    So ANONYMOUS, if you want a simple jollof rice, just watch her video and do as you saw in the video(you'll see that that one didnt get burnt), but if you really want to eat CORRECT Nigerian Party Rice, then either cook over a firewood or ''burn the rice a little''.
    Nky, hope I didn't say too much oo, I hate it when people say stuff without trying it out first... You are a good cook jare, I have used your recipes to start my own business.
    I just made my Gizdodo delivery.. came out great...thanks to you ...Oremi atata

  7. Kemi , you just said it all.Feel free to answer for me anytime jooo, oremi mi..LOL
    I actually think the person misunderstood the phrase, and thought I meant he/she should burn the whole pot of rice.LOL...
    The rice does taste great just as it is and I actually enjoy it like that.. BUT.. anyone aiming for the Jollof Rice they ate at any Owambe party, would be disappointed if they don't get that ''smoky party rice taste'', and TO DATE, this is the only method to infuse some kind of ''smoky flavor'' into the Jollof Rice without cooking with a firewood.
    Any ways, if I find a ''no rice burning'' method, I will surely update

  8. You have really helped out from my deep mess. u are wonderful! lot of kudos

    1. I'm glad to be of help dear. Thanks for stopping by :)

  9. O my goodness:-) I love this recipe....I love jolloff rice. I am an American, I was once married to a Nigerian.....I loved the food and the clothes:-) the clothes I still have but the food(my son is half Nigerian) he loves African food I cooked this rice...he said mommy it taste just like party rice:-) lol I am loving you right now!!!!!!!!!! And lastly..... I am dating another Nigerian he tells me I cook better than Nigerian women(Nigerian Women that's a compliment...cause u cook super:-) )

  10. Oh thank you sweetie, if the two men in your life confirmed it.. then you are a super cook dear :.). I'm also glad you are introducing Nigerian food to your son, you are a great mum dear. Keep it up.

  11. Ma'am is it possible to add meat to the rice or would that make in non-traditional. I am American and have friends from different parts of Africa. What I notice is that each culture seems to make their jollof rice different. I have had different ones and I noticed the ones wit the meat I liked more. I am cooking this rice for a cultural class and I want to stay as true to the Nigerian culture as possible since it is the topic of my presentation. However some Americans are picky lol and I wanted toad something to the rice other then crayfish. But if adding additional meant or seafood is non-traditional I do not want to do it. Please help!

    1. The ''typical'' Nigerian Jollof Rice is cooked just like you saw in the video and garnished with beef , chicken or fish. But there are other varieties. Some folks add shrimps, meat pieces and vegetables to compliment and enrich the meal, but if you'll be preparing it for a cultural class, simply follow the video and written recipe, step by step, and you won't go wrong dear.
      When the jollof rice is done cooking, you can choose to garnish with any fried or grilled meat of choice.

  12. I just tried this recipe, and this is (for lack of a better term), the sexiest jollof rice I have ever made!! Thank you!!! I will def, be trying out your other recipes

    1. Lol.. I'm so glad you tried and loved it dear.... you are a darling.. do let me know if you try out other recipes.. thanks for your feedback sweetie :)

  13. Replies
    1. Not spicy, but you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste bud.

  14. what can we use instead of meat stock if we want it to be vegetarian?

    1. Hi Tanvi, you can make use of vegetable broth or mix 2 vegetable bouillon cubes in water :)

  15. what can we use instead of meat stock if we want it to be vegetarian?

    1. Hi dear,you can make use of vegetable broth or mix 2 vegetable bouillon cubes in water :)

  16. There's a leaf ℓ̊ see in party jollof rice, ℓ̊ added it but the rice got a bitter taste, though ℓ̊ missed the first step...started by frying d paste first....ℓ̊ dnt knw wat went wrong plz help

    1. I guess you mean ''bay leaf''. The leave is only added to give the rice some aroma ,but it is optional dear.
      Just follow the recipe as I have written it on the page and also watch the video and you would get it right the next time.
      Hope to hear your feedback :)

  17. I usually see a kinda leaf in partiesand i intend to use it but i was told it makes the rice bitter so i thought it could be excess of it cos wen i tasted the raw leaf, it was indeed bitter
    2. Starting d process by frying the derica tomato first, what are the likely results u get

    1. It's bay leaf dear and it is used to add aroma and fragrance to the jollof rice. You don't need to use a lot, a little will do.
      If you fry the derica tomato first, make sure that it does not burn at the bottom because it can give the rice a tangy/bitter taste.
      After frying the derica tomatoes, you can add the freshly blended tomato mix and cook until the stew loses its sour taste.

  18. what can i use to spice the rice

    1. You'll find all the spices in the recipe above :)

  19. seriously tonight i watched your video on how to prepare jollofrice, i followed it step by step and the result was so grateful cos for about 7years have been cooking varities of recipes to spice things up,but never did i get jollof rce right. thankz a lot for helping me produce the best so far today

    1. You made my day dear. I am so glad to be of help :)

  20. I can't see what you are supposed to do with the scotch bonnets? Deseed them and blend them with the tomatoes and peppers?

    1. Yes blend them with the tomatoes , It's in the recipe above, you don't have to deseed the scotch bonnet peppers dear :)

  21. Hello Nky, this jollof post is so comprehensive. We have included it in our 10 essential Nigeria dishes :)


Enter your email address to receive updates when new recipes are published & of upcoming giveaways