Jollof Rice!
Jan 2019

Jollof Rice!

Authentic and delicious... the Nigerian way :)

The infamous jollof, that started basmati vs long grain war.Quite frankly, to me jollof is jollof and as long as you get the base right the flavours will always be there. Long grain or basmati!

Jollof rice varies from different parts of Africa, some regions add ginger and garlic to their blend, some add vegetables, some only use tomato puree as the base. I like my jollof fairly simple but feel free to amend and as I say, always cook to your taste.

…This time however, I’ve chosen to use… golden basmati rice. It’s a cool cross between the two grains, since I love both this is perfect! I know basmati can be a little trickier to cook and I wanted to show you that it’s pretty simple as long as you follow few of these steps, you can absolutely use either basmati or long grain rice for this recipe!

So, before we begin here’s what you’ll need:

Serves 6-8 people

  • 3 cups of rice
  • 2 can of plum tomatoes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 red poblano pepper (if you can’t find use an extra bell pepper)
  • 1 large onion
  • Scotch bonnet to taste (I used 4)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (optional)
  • 2 12 tbsp tomatoes purée
  • Any stock of choice (I used chicken stock) or water
  • 4-5tbsp vegetable Oil
  • 3 Maggi/knor stock cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish (optional):
  • 1 medium finely sliced onion.


  1. In a blender, add in your roughly chopped onion, garlic, peppers and plum tomatoes. Blend until completely smooth. 
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot add your oil and turn on the heat ready for the liquidised tomato blend.
  3. Add in the base sauce and cook on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. You want the water from your tomatoes to evaporate and you’ll know this has happened when the oil rises to the top of the sauce as it cooks and the sauce thickens, this ensures the tomatoes have “fried” and the raw edge will be taken off the sauce.
  5. While the sauce is cooking have your rice of choice washed and ready.
  6. Once the sauce has ‘fried’, after 30 mins, add in your tomato purée as well as seasoning and spices, the sauce may get really thick which is fine, just add a splash of stock or water.
  7. Stir thoroughly, turn the heat down to low to cook the tomato purée through.
  8. After about 10-15 mins, it should be time to add your rice, ensure the sauce is seasoned well at this point as it’s harder to season once we add the rice, taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste!
  9. Before you add the rice, take some of the sauce out and set aside, this’ll be added to the jollof again once it’s cooked just in case we miss out on some of the bright red colour.
  10. Add your rice in and stir throughly, I know stirring rice is usually not advised but for this dish you really need to make sure every bit of rice is cover by the sauce.4
  11. Once thoroughly mixed, add enough stock or water to just about cover the rice, you don’t want it soggy.
  12. The stock should be about 12 an inch above the rice. Once the liquid is absorbed, we can add more later if necessary. Best to use less than too much!
  13. Cover the rice with foil paper as well as the pot cover, turn the rice down to the lowest heat possible and allow the rice to steam.
  14. We don’t want the rice boiling as that will burn, ensure the heat is on the lowest, possibly the smallest hob so the rice is evenly cooked.
  15. After about 20 minutes, check your rice and stir it thoroughly. If the grains are still hard and there isn’t any liquid, just add a little more stock/water.
  16. Mix well ensuring you reach all the grains at the bottom and be careful not to break the grains, (I’d suggest using a wooden spoon).
  17. Top with the sliced onions (optional), cover it again and steam for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  18. If you find your rice looks a bite pale/ not red enough. Just add a few spoons of the sauce we set aside and mix thoroughly.
  19. Once your jollof is ready serve with your choice of chicken, meat or fish (I used meat stew) and enjoy!

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