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

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Nigerian Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice (a.k.a Party Jollof Rice)  is 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(details in recipe below)

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:

1.  First, prepare a little 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.

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

3. 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 cooking..Eeeww, we don’t want that right?

4. Next, add the parboiled rice and mix thoroughly; the liquid in the pot should  be at the same level as the rice in the pot…you  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.

 5. 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.

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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
Quick update: Instead of burning your rice(hehehe), you can also add a a few drops of liquid smoke(sold at big supermarkets), or use smoked spices(e.g smoked paprika, smoked salt) to cook the meal. These ingredients can also add that smoky flavor to the jollof rice.

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, Veggie&prawn stir fry, Nigerian Salad and also topped up with stew (Obe ata dindin or Nigerian beef stew and Chicken stew).

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Jollof rice served with veggie&prawn stir-fry

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. 

You can also add a few drops of liquid smoke(sold at big supermarkets), or use smoked spices(e.g smoked paprika) to cook the meal.

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. 

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




  1. Anonymous
    April 2, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    Thank you so much! My partner is Nigerian and this is the first time I made jollof and he loved it, making more in bulk now. Again thank you

  2. Dave
    March 10, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    Hi NkyGreat content hereI'd like to ask, i use your jollof rice recipe and i find that a lot of the flavour in the rice comes from the meat/chicken stock.How do you achieve that same rich flavour if you don't have meat/chicken stock?Thank you

  3. kelly ghosticka
    November 18, 2017 / 10:33 am

    My favorite sight to check for my best food recipes.

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