Jollof rice is one of the most common West African dishes eaten in the regions of Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Cameroun, and Liberia. However, each of these West African countries has their own variation of this meal. It is inexpensive and easy to make yet, delicious.
How To Cook Jollof Rice
When cooking Jellof rice, building a flavor base is very important. Don’t be in haste to dump your ingredients in the pot otherwise, you will end up with what we call ”concoction”. Each step counts so try to do each of the steps in detail.
- The inevitable foundation for building up the flavor in this meal is to start by sauteeing the Onions. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes. The next thing is to stir in the Tomato paste. This adds a deep and rich tomato flavor; I simply fry this for another 5 minutes or thereabouts.
- Add the Ginger and Garlic and cook along with the Tomato paste for another two minutes; Actually, by the time this ready, you will notice it in the smell. If you keep it cooking any longer you might risk burning them.
- Add my blended peppers. Usually, there is no particular time frame for frying this pepper. I often stop when the sauce becomes really thick and the oil literally floats on top of the sauce. At this point, most of the water is gone and the sauce no longer smells raw. Trust me you will know but just in case, you are still in doubt, I would say maybe 20 to 25 minutes depending on the quantity of water in your blended pepper.
- Finally, in building my flavor, I add the Thyme, Curry powder, Salt, white pepper (good but optional) and seasoning cubes. Adjust the seasoning at this point if there is a need to. Once the flavor is on point, then, I stir in my Rice. Make sure you stir the Rice properly until you cover each grain of Rice with the sauce. Now add the chicken stock. Give it a brief stir and cover it up with a tight-fitting lid. If your lid is not fitting enough, simply cover the rice with a foil paper before covering it with the lid. This is because Jollof needs a lot of steam in order to turn out well.
- Once, the rice comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low immediately and continue to cook until the rice is done about 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve with Fried Chicken, Spicy Grilled Chicken, Grilled Tilapia Fish or Gizzards and plantains.
Nigerian Jollof Rice or Ghanaian Jollof Rice?
Who’s Jollof rice is better?
I don’t even want to go into the issue of the trending Jollof wars, especially between Nigeria and Ghana. All I know is that a good cook will make a good tasting Jollof Rice. In my own opinion, I think it has to do with the cooking abilities of an individual and not a country. Let me know your opinion. 🙂
What type of rice is best for Jollof Rice?
Though quite a lot of rice types can be used to make Jollof rice. I have used the long grain parboiled rice for this recipe – This rice is soaked, steamed and dried. Then the hull is removed to make parboiled rice. The steaming enables the rice to absorb nutrients and changes the starch so that it cooks into a firmer, less sticky dish of rice than regular white rice. I also have a beef jollof rice recipe that I prepared using basmati rice. You may want to check it out.
Wiki has a very good article on Jollof Rice that might interest you. I enjoyed reading it, you might as well. 🙂
How to serve Jollof Rice
We usually serve Jollof with Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Goat Meat or Fish, and sometimes with a side of fresh creamy Coleslaw or Nigerian salad. In west Africa, a party such as a wedding ceremony or a naming ceremony is not complete without this meal. It is a sure party pleaser.
My final thoughts on making a great Jollof Rice.
I have another Jollof rice recipe that I made with beef and basmati rice. It’s the party style, I’m sure you will love it.
If you are not a fan of this stovetop method or you simply want to be adventurous or perhaps you just like to vary the way you cook Jollof rice. Then, you can try it out. Oven-baked Jollof Rice