How to Make Delicious Jollof Rice: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hello and welcome to this article on how to make jollof rice! Jollof rice is a popular dish in West Africa and is enjoyed by many around the world. This delicious and fragrant rice dish can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish to complement your favourite meat or vegetable dish. If you have always wanted to try making jollof rice but have been intimidated by the process, fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the steps of making jollof rice and provide you with some tips and tricks to make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Steps how to make jollof rice

Step 1: Prepare your ingredients

The first step in making jollof rice is to gather all the necessary ingredients. You will need:

– 2 cups of long-grain rice
– 3 cups of water or chicken stock
– 1 onion, diced
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
– 2 bell peppers, chopped
– 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
– 2 maggi cubes or any seasoning cube of your choice
– 1 teaspoon of thyme
– 1 teaspoon of curry powder
– 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1 habanero pepper (optional)

Step 2: Rinse the rice

After gathering your ingredients, the next step is to rinse the rice thoroughly. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the rice. Swish the rice around with your hands to wash off any excess starch. Drain the water and repeat this process until the water runs clear.

Step 3: Prepare the sauce

To make the sauce for the jollof rice, warm up some oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and garlic, and sauté until soft. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and bell peppers and cook until the vegetables are soft and the tomatoes have broken down. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step 4: Spices

Add your spices – thyme, curry powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add the maggi cubes and stir the sauce until everything is well combined.

Step 5: Rice and water

Add the rice to the saucepan and stir to coat the rice with the sauce. Add the water or chicken stock and stir again.

Step 6: Habanero pepper

If you like your jollof rice spicy, you can add a whole habanero pepper at this stage. Make sure to pierce the pepper with a knife to release the heat, but keep it whole so you can remove it later.

Step 7: Cook until rice is done

Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the rice for 20-25 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

Step 8: Fluff the rice

After the rice is cooked, remove the habanero pepper if you added one. Then, use a fork to fluff the rice and mix it well with the sauce.

Step 9: Turn off the heat and let it sit

Turn off the heat and let the jollof rice sit for 5 minutes to allow it to steam and the flavours to meld together.

Step 10: Garnish with coriander

Once the rice has sat for a few minutes, remove the lid and garnish with some chopped fresh coriander.

Step 11: Serve and enjoy!

Your jollof rice is now ready to serve! Whether you enjoy it on its own or as a side dish, we hope you enjoy every bite.

Step 12: Store the leftovers

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat the rice in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little bit of water or chicken stock to prevent it from drying out.

Explanation how to make jollof rice

Making jollof rice takes a little bit of time and effort, but the end result is worth it. The key to making delicious jollof rice is to take your time and build up the flavours gradually. This means starting with a good base of sautéed onions, garlic, and vegetables, and then adding in your spices and seasonings. With enough time and patience, you can create a rich and flavourful sauce that will infuse your rice with a delicious aroma and taste.

Another important aspect of making jollof rice is choosing the right type of rice. Long-grain rice is preferred for jollof rice as it has a slightly nutty flavour that pairs well with the tomato-based sauce. Additionally, long-grain rice tends to be less starchy than other types of rice, so it cooks up fluffy and separate.

Finally, it’s important to note that there are many different variations of jollof rice, each with its own unique flavour and style. Some people prefer to use chicken or beef stock instead of water to add extra flavour to their rice, while others add in peas or other vegetables for a bit of texture and colour. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and techniques to find the style of jollof rice that you like best!

Tips and Tricks how to make jollof rice

1. Use a heavy-bottomed pot

When making jollof rice, it’s important to use a heavy-bottomed pot that distributes heat evenly. This will help prevent your rice from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.

2. Do not stir the rice

Once you add the rice to the pot, avoid stirring it too much. This can break up the grains and make the rice mushy. Instead, stir the rice gently once or twice to combine it with the sauce, and then let it cook undisturbed.

3. Add some tomato paste

To give your jollof rice a deep red colour, add a tbsp of tomato paste to the sauce. This will also help to intensify the flavour of the dish.

4. Use fresh vegetables

While canned or frozen vegetables may be convenient, using fresh vegetables will give your jollof rice a brighter, fresher flavour. Be sure to chop your vegetables evenly for even cooking.

5. Adjust the heat to your liking

Jollof rice can be made as spicy or as mild as you like. Adjust the amount of habanero pepper or other hot peppers to your liking. If you don’t like spice, leave it out altogether.

6. Use the right type of rice

As mentioned earlier, long-grain rice is the best type of rice to use for making jollof rice. However, within the category of long-grain rice, there are many different varieties with different textures and flavours. Experiment with different types of rice to find the one that you like best.

7. Let the rice sit before serving

Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. This will also help the rice to soak up any remaining liquid and become fluffy.

8. Garnish with fresh herbs

Fresh coriander, parsley or other herbs make a great garnish for jollof rice. Chopped nuts or sliced scallions can also add a pop of flavour and texture.

9. Don’t be afraid to experiment

There is no one “right” way to make jollof rice. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients, spices, and techniques to find the style that you like best.

10. Enjoy with friends and family

Jollof rice is a dish that is best enjoyed with friends and family. Share your creation with loved ones and enjoy the delicious flavours and aromas together!

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Making Jollof Rice

1. One of the advantages of making jollof rice is that it is a very convenient meal to prepare. It does not take too much time or effort to whip up a delicious pot of jollof rice for yourself and your loved ones.

2. Jollof rice is also very versatile. You can customize it to your specific tastes, and you can also add any vegetables or meats that you like. This makes it a great meal option for picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions.

3. Another advantage of making jollof rice is that it is a great way to feed a large group of people. You can easily make a big pot of jollof rice, and everyone can help themselves as they please.

4. Jollof rice is also a budget-friendly meal option. The ingredients are affordable and readily available, so you do not have to spend too much money to enjoy a delicious meal.

5. Finally, jollof rice is a tasty and satisfying meal that is sure to please everyone. It is a staple dish in many African households, and it is enjoyed by people all over the world.

Disadvantages of Making Jollof Rice

1. One of the disadvantages of making jollof rice is that it can be tricky to get the seasoning and spices just right. It can take some practice to perfect the recipe and ensure that the rice is flavorful and well-seasoned.

2. Jollof rice can also be quite high in calories. This is due to the fact that it is often made with oil, butter, or other fats, and it may also contain a lot of rice or other starchy ingredients.

3. Another potential disadvantage of making jollof rice is that it can be messy. The rice can stick to the pot and create a lot of clean-up, and there may also be a lot of leftover ingredients that need to be stored properly.

4. Jollof rice may also not be the best meal option for people with certain dietary restrictions or allergies. It may contain ingredients like gluten, dairy, or nuts, which can be problematic for some individuals.

5. Finally, it is important to note that jollof rice is not a complete meal on its own. It should be paired with other dishes or sides in order to provide a balanced and nutritious meal.


1. What is jollof rice?

Jollof rice is a popular West African rice dish that is cooked with tomato sauce, spices, and various proteins or vegetables.

2. What are the main ingredients for making jollof rice?

The main ingredients for making jollof rice include rice, tomato paste or puree, onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, and a blend of spices such as thyme, curry powder, and paprika.

3. How long does it take to make jollof rice?

The cooking time for jollof rice can vary, but on average it takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to make.

4. Can I use any type of rice for jollof rice?

Yes, you can use any type of rice for jollof rice, but the most commonly used rice in West Africa is long grain rice.

5. Can I make jollof rice without tomato paste?

Yes, you can make jollof rice without tomato paste, but you will need to substitute it with other ingredients such as blended fresh tomatoes or tomato puree.

6. Can I make jollof rice without meat or chicken?

Yes, you can make jollof rice without meat or chicken and instead use vegetables such as carrots, green beans, or peas as a protein substitute.

7. How spicy is jollof rice?

Jollof rice can vary in spiciness depending on the amount and type of peppers used. If you want it less spicy, you can reduce or omit the peppers.

8. Can I make jollof rice ahead of time?

Yes, you can make jollof rice ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer. To reheat, add a little water or broth to the pot and steam on low heat until heated through.

9. Is jollof rice healthy?

Jollof rice can be healthy if you use healthy ingredients and make it in a healthy way. For example, you can use brown rice instead of white rice and reduce the amount of oil used.

10. Can I add other spices to jollof rice?

Yes, you can add other spices to jollof rice depending on your preference. Some popular additions include bay leaves, rosemary, and nutmeg.

11. Can I make jollof rice without using a rice cooker?

Yes, you can make jollof rice without using a rice cooker, but you will need to monitor the cooking process closely to prevent burning or overcooking.

12. Can I add cheese to jollof rice?

While it’s not a traditional ingredient, you can add cheese to jollof rice if you prefer. However, be aware that this will change the flavor of the dish.

13. What can I serve with jollof rice?

Jollof rice pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as plantains, coleslaw, and grilled meats or fish.

Conclusion: How to Make Jollof Rice

Making jollof rice is a task that requires attention to detail and patience. While it might seem like a daunting task, it is actually quite simple if you follow the right steps. Remember to use fresh ingredients, and take your time to ensure that each step is done correctly. With a little bit of practice, you can make delicious jollof rice that your family and friends will rave about. Try out different variations and add your own twist to make it your own!

Closing: How to Make Jollof Rice

In conclusion, jollof rice is a delicious, flavorful, and healthy dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you are preparing it for a family dinner, a potluck, or a party, it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Remember to use fresh ingredients, be patient, and follow the right steps. With a little bit of practice, you can master the art of making jollof rice and impress your loved ones with your culinary skills. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!