Nigerian Jollof Rice

Jollof rice, also known as wolof ‘one pot’ is a rice dish popular in many West African countries. There have been several contests as to which of the West African countries can make the best Jollof rice recipe. In fact, both the Nigerian Jollof Rice and Ghananian Jollof rice have been severally debated as to who can best serve the dish.

The Jollof rice war between these countries has become topical issues even in events like the Jollof Festival in Washington DC, where famous critics from all over the world taste and examine the differences in the Jollof rice recipes.


Jollof rice recipe differs from region to region. Its origin can be traced to the Senegambian region that was ruled by the Jollof Empire. According to James C. McCann, a food and agricultural historian, who propounded the theory that the Jollof rice dish spread with the Mali Empire,it is believed that the Jollof rice recipe was dispersed widely to the regional commercial and urban centers by the Malians.
So as much as the main contest is between the Nigerian Jollof rice and Ghanian jollof rice, Wolof is not limited to these countries.

The Nigerian Jollof Rice
From the most Economical “concoction rice” to the basic rich recipes served on special occasions such as birthdays, weddings or child christening, The Nigerian Jollof rice can be presented and served with various side dishes and garnishes ranging from grilled/fried chicken, fried beef, fried plantains, moi moi, steamed vegetables, salads or coleslaw.


Nigerian Jollof rice basic ingredient is

Rice {carbonhydrates} and tomatoes, which in itself contain zero saturated fat or no cholesterol.
Vegetable oil provides, the right quantity of saturated fat.
Accompanying side dishes like beef, eggs, chicken or fish provides, a rich source of protein.

You can also serve the Nigerian Jollof Rice with your favorite salad recipe, coleslaw or moimoi. Check out my articles on basic steps to making coleslaw

Watch out for the Ghanian Jollof rice !!!

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  • Rice 4 cups
  • Tomatoes 3-4 medium sized ones
  • Scotch bonnet peppers 5 pieces
  • Red bell pepper 3,
  • 2 Yellow pepper
  • Tomato puree 1 small tin/ a sachet tomato puree
  • spices[ a tsp each curry and thyme]
  • ginger and Tumeric half tsp each
  • Beef/ chicken wings or chicken drumsticks Veg oil 2 cooking spoons 3 onions Salt 2 Tsp Stock cubes Water
  • veg oil 2 cooking spoon
  • onions
  • salt 2 tsp
  • stock cubes
  • bayleaf
  • water
  • A can of baked Green beans [ optional] A tin of sweet corn[ optional 2 sticks of carrots[cubed] optional
  • A tin of sweet [ optional]
  • 2 sticks of carrots [optional]


  1. To do before the main dish
  2. Season the chicken with onions, turmeric, thyme, and stock cubes. Leave for 15 -20minutes to marinade or preferably keep in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Pour the marinated chicken into a clean pot and steam for 6-8mins. Open the pot to check on it, add a little salt, mix well and leave to further steam for the next 5minutes. When its done put on a steamed broiler or oven to grill. But if you want to fry, just drop into a deep pot filled with veg oil to deep fry
  4. Blend an onion, tomatoes, bell pepper and scotch peppers together into a paste, also sliced yellow bell pepper. set aside
  5. Steps in making spicy jollof rice with chicken
  6. Pour veg oil into a clean dry pot, leave for few seconds to heat up, add sliced onions, leave to saute for a while then pour in blended peppers, leave to fry until the oil form on top of the fried stew, add tomato puree and fry until well blended.
  7. Pour in chicken stock, curry, thyme, bay leaves. stock cubes and water. Allow to boil
  8. Pour in well-washed rice and leave for 15mins to cook. Taste and adjust for salt. Using a wooden spatula, gently turn the jollof rice to make a quick mix. Check for water and cover to cook. leave to cook for the next10 mins
  9. When the water is dried up, put off the fire. Add sliced bell pepper and green beans, combine with the Nigerian jollof rice and cover the pot for all garnishes to steam with the jollof rice.
  10. Serve with grilled chicken or fried chicken

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