Cooking is an art. I am sure; nobody will ever oppose this statement.  The making of delicious food is not easy. It requires patience, and you need to be aware of how to do things correctly. I am sure at least once all of us have tried to make a dish or some food. And also I am sure it is one of the beautiful memories you relish. The fact for some of you it is a bad dream to forget! Since cooking is an art,  to become an artist, you need a perfect guide. Well, why do you think we are here? We are going to teach you how to prepare traditional Nigerian Jollof rice.

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Without the Jollof Rice, we Nigerians won’t consider anything as the celebration, isn’t it? I know with the mention of this dish you are getting water on the mouth. Jollof rice is just like burgers in the USA. All African people enjoy eating this, but the taste and preparation method differ in each country. 

People have the notion that the mouthwatering taste of Jollof rice comes because of its method of cooking. The traditional way of cooking this rice is by using firewood. But nowadays, using wood is difficult and not a viable option. But do you know without the firewood, we can prepare Jollof rice, and it will not lose any deliciousness?

Then why to wait, let us look at how to do that. 

How to prepare the classic Nigerian JollOf Rice?

To make this delicious food, there is no need to have many ingredients. This can be done with a minimal amount of components. And these ingredients won’t require some unpronounceable food chemicals!

It typically takes just fifteen minutes for the preparation and about an hour for cooking. Hence within an hour and fifteen minutes, you are able to taste this dish.


  • Four cups of long-grain uncooked rice
  • 6 Medium chopped tomatoes or 400 gram tin of tomatoes
  • 6 cups of stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) or water 
  • Four large red bell peppers with seeds discarded
  • Medium-sized 3 red onions 
  • one scotch bonnet peppers 
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • Three tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Curry powder of two teaspoons
  • One Teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Two dried bay leaves
  • Two tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Salt for taste

The usage of butter is optional, and out of 3 onions, you need to slice one thinly and chop the rest two roughly.

Instructions for Cooking

Step 1

Rinse the rice; it will make you get rid of the starch. Then partly cook the rice. After this boil, the rice with 2 cups of the stock (or water) then keeps cooking on medium heat. Keep it covered and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. After this, rice will still be hard and a bit of white. Remove this partly cooked rice and stock from heat and keep aside.

Step 2

With the help of a mixer, blend tomatoes, red bell peppers, chopped onions, and Scotch bonnet. Continue to blend till it becomes a smooth paste. It takes about a minute or two. Now you will have roughly 4 cups of mix.

Step 3

Take a large pan, heat oil, and add sliced onion to it. Season it with a pinch of salt, stir and fry for two minutes. Add tomato paste, curry powder, bay powder, and dried thyme. Continue to stir for another 2 minutes, add the mixture prepared in step 2.  and stir. Continue to stir for 12 minutes on medium heat. By this time, the raw taste of tomato and mix cook will go. 

Step 4

Put two cups of the stock ao the cooked tomato sauce along with a teaspoon of butter and insert the parboiled rice. Stir and cover it with a second piece of foil and put a lid on the pan. It helps to seal in steam and helps to lock the flavor. And cook on low heat for 15 minutes more. Now stir again and add the remaining cup of stock. Also, adjust the seasoning to taste. Stir it again and cover with foil and let it cook for 20 minutes. Don’t forget to stir again and again as it prevents burning. Now rice becomes cooked, and grains will become separate.

Step 5

Don’t hesitate to add more water or stock by the half cup and stir gently if you find it a bit hard. After this is fully cooked, take off the heat and remove the cover of the pot. Put a tea cloth over the top and keep aside for a half-hour till it becomes ready to serve. 

Step 6

To give a classical touch, you are just away from a step. If you remember in the beginning, we were told that we would teach how to give traditional firewood cooking taste. So, now once the rice is cooked, turn up the heat with the lid on and leave to burn for 3 to 5 minutes until you hear the rice crackle sound. And the toasted smell will follow. Now turn off the heat and leave with the lid on till serving the rice.

Now your delicious food is ready. 

Dos and Don’ts

For getting better results, one has to give attention while preparing rice. Here are the dos and don’t for cooking the rice.

Things to Do

  • Wash the rice to remove impurities. You need to wash it at least two to three times before cooking.
  • Soaking rice gives extra taste. Ideally, brown rice should be used after overnight soaking, and for white rice, soaking for two hours is enough.
  • You need to put water, depending upon the cooking method. For cooking on a pressure cooker, put 1:2 ratio of water if you are cooking on an open pot, use one ltr of water for a cup of rice.

Things to Avoid

  • Avoid storing the rice in a gunny bag, jute bag, and cloth bags. It attracts pests.
  • Avoid storage of rice in damp areas.

These are the way to prepare classical Nigerian Jolle rice. Just follow these steps and enjoy the party with your loved ones! If you are in the USA and want your family back in Nigeria to have fun? They don’t worry, you share this recipe for preparing yummy Nigerian rice and order the required ingredients here.

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