Celebration in an African home CAN NOT happen without the presence of Jollof rice. I mean, come on, what are we (Africans) supposed to eat? Burgers? lol.
Jollof rice is a very common dish prepared in many African countries and each recipe differs depending on the nation. I specifically prepare the Nigerian party jollof rice which I still feel is one of the best recipes out there (not being biased, just stating facts LOL)
Party jollof rice is commonly the most sort after type of rice, because of its very unique taste. Most people feel the unique taste comes from preparation using firewood, but that isn’t always necessarily the case.
For me, it’s impossible to make rice with firewood, since my apartment complex doesn’t necessarily allow one to grill, let alone smoke anything. But I’m going to give you a recipe that comes close to the wonderful taste of party Jollof without any firewood.
Since I was in the party mood yesterday, I decided to prepare myself this awesome dish to celebrate our independence. I posted a few pictures of the food on my instagram and was completely blown away by the number of people who wanted my recipe.
So to not be stingy to my fellow Africans as well as my brothers and sisters of other races/cultures I decided I would put up a blog post showing you guys step-by-step how I prepare this delicious dish.
I’ve been slacking lately on the food posts, but since it’s fall time, I guess it’s only right for me to jump back on the food post wagon. So expect to see more recipes in the future (fingers crossed).
RELATED POST: JOLLOF BEEF SAUCE
PARTY JOLLOF RICE RECIPE | COOK & PREP TIME: ~ 1 hour 15min
Ingredients for party jollof rice:
- 4 Tablespoons of Avocado oil or any oil of your choice
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 Fresh tomatoes or one 14.5oz can of diced (no salt) Hunts tomato (I seriously suggest using this brand If you decide to buy canned)
- 1 6oz can Tomato paste
- 4 Red onions
- 2 Red bell peppers
- crayfish (optional, but I love to use it)
- 4 Habanero pepper (scotch bonnet) (put as much or as little as you want, depending on how spicy you want your rice)
- 4 1/2 cups of long-grain parboiled rice
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- Maggi or Knorr cubes
- cayenne pepper and black pepper
- white pepper
- Bay leaves
- curry powder
- garlic or onion powder
- thyme leaves
The quantity of spices depends on your preference. Be sure to use your judgment and avoid adding too many spices. A recipe card with exact measurements is also listed below.
- Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil and butter in a medium-sized pot on medium heat and throw in some chopped red onions. Allow the onions to fry until the redness starts to slightly fade off.
- Next, pour in your tomato paste and let it fry with the onions. Make sure to stir the paste consistently to avoid burning. Do this for about 10 mins, or until the paste fully fries in the oil. Add in your crayfish for an extra tasty flavor.
- Blend some tomatoes, onions, habanero peppers, and red bell peppers together until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Pour the blended mixture into the pot and fry it together with the tomato paste.
- Add all your spices (BUT DON’T ADD SALT YET) and mix. Cover the pot and allow the tomato to fry in the oil. Add more oil if necessary. You really want to let the tomato fry to remove the slappy sour taste, so make sure you don’t rush this process. I would recommend letting it fry for about 20-30 mins. Be sure to continuously stir the mixture to avoid burning.
- At this point, while the tomato is frying, begin to wash your long-grain parboiled rice. Make sure to get rid of as much starch as possible by washing the rice until the water used becomes very clear. This helps to prevent the rice from sticking together when cooking.
- Once the tomato is done frying, add your chicken stock to the mix and taste it to see if it requires any salt. Add salt if necessary and mix.
- Now add in your washed rice (and a bit of water if necessary to cook the rice) and mix it together with the fried tomatoes. Turn down the heat to the lowest on your burner and cover the pot. I personally like to cover the pot with aluminum foil before putting on the lid just to make sure the heat stays within the pot without escaping from the lid hole.
- Allow the rice to cook for about 30 minutes.
- After about 30 minutes open the pot and properly combine all the ingredients together. Cover the pot again, and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the rice has fully blended in with the mixture.
The Secret To Great Tasting Nigerian Jollof Rice
By the way, if you want the smokey taste of most party Jollof rice popular in Nigeria, cooking on firewood, or using a stainless steel pot will give that extra flavor as well.
Frequently Asked Questions on Jollof Rice
What Makes Party Jollof Rice Different From Regular Jollof Rice?
Party Jollof Rice is known for its unique, smoky flavor, which is traditionally achieved by cooking the rice over an open flame or wood fire. This sets it apart from regular Jollof Rice, which may be cooked on a stovetop and lack the smoky aroma.
Must Crayfish Be Included in Party Jollof Rice?
No, it is not essential. However, crayfish is a traditional ingredient in many West African recipes and can be incorporated into Party Jollof Rice. Adding crayfish gives the dish an additional layer of flavor, imbuing it with a seafood essence that many find appealing.
Can I Make It Vegan?
Yes, you can easily make a vegan version of Party Jollof Rice by omitting animal proteins and using vegetable broth. You can also add plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh.
Why Is My Jollof Rice Soggy or Mushy?
If your Jollof Rice turns out soggy or mushy, it’s often due to too much liquid, cooking on medium to high heat or overcooking the rice. Make sure to measure your ingredients accurately and keep an eye on the cooking time.
Can I Use Brown Rice For Jollof?
Yes, you can use brown rice, but it will change the texture, flavor and cooking time of the dish. Brown rice takes longer to cook and absorbs flavors differently than white rice.
Let me know in the comments if you give this recipe a try!
Nigerian Jollof rice recipe
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 14.5 oz tomato sauce - canned, unsalted
- 2 red bell peppers
- 6 oz tomato paste - canned
- 3 red onion - for blending
- 1 red onion - chopped, for frying
- 2 tbsp crayfish - blended or ground
- 3 scotch bonnet - OR habanero pepppers. Seed removed. (Add more or less based on how spicy you want)
- 4 ½ cups rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Maggi
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ tbsp curry powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp ginger
- In a blender, combine tomatoes, red bell peppers, habanero peppers, and large red onions. Blend until the mixture is smooth, then set it aside.
- Wash the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch, and set it aside for later use.
- In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, add oil and butter. Allow them to heat up.
- Add chopped onions to the pot and sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions start to lose their red hue.
- Add tomato paste to the pot and fry it for around 10-15 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent burning.
- Pour in the previously blended mixture of peppers and onions. Add crayfish, Maggi cubes, cayenne and black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves, curry powder, garlic, and thyme. Stir to combine and continue frying for 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
- Pour in chicken stock and salt, stir to combine, and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add the washed rice and extra water if needed, then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot with aluminum foil before putting on the lid, to better seal in heat and moisture.
- Allow the rice to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir thoroughly and cover it, letting it cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- To give your Jollof rice that authentic 'party' flavor, increase the heat for about 3 minutes to allow the bottom layer of rice to crisp slightly. Be cautious during this step to prevent burning the entire pot of rice.