Updated: Aug 18
Jollof rice is a rice dish cooked in a blend of peppers and tomatoes. It’s that simple, but it doesn’t taste that way. It is really delicious. It’s enjoyed by various African countries, with Nigeria being one of them. Jollof rice is a party favourite, barbeque favourite, children party favourite, everything favourite lol. It’s a hit all the time!
This recipe feeds a village. Joke, this recipe will fill a 24cm stockpot. So if you don’t want to make as much, divide the quantities of ingredients in half.
1kg Easy Cook Long Grain Rice
4 Tomatoes (you can also use 1 can of chopped tomatoes)
3 Red bell peppers
1-2 Scotch bonnet peppers
2 Red Onions
200g Tomato puree
1 tablespoon Thyme
1/2 cup Oil
Salt, All-Purpose Seasoning, and Knorr Stock Cubes to taste
* Please note: I used easy cook long grain rice, if you use other rice like basmati rice you’ll need to adjust the cooking time as applicable. I will share how to cook jollof rice using Golden Sella Basmati rice soon...
Blend the pepper mixture which will be used for later on, so add the tomatoes, red bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and 1 of the onions to a blender. Then add a little water to help the blending process. And blend until smooth, set aside for later.
Next dice one red onion into small pieces. TIP – If there’s one thing that makes a difference to jollof rice, it’s using red onions rather than yellow onions.
Add half a cup of oil into the pot and once the oil is hot enough add in the diced onions and fry on a medium heat till they become translucent, this should take about 4 minutes.
Next add in the tomato puree, and fry the onions and tomato puree on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, don’t worry if it sticks to the pot a little (it’ll taste even better). TIP – Doing this and starting off your jollof rice this way really makes a difference and adds such a delicious in-depth flavour. Frying it also removes the bitter taste of uncooked purée and gives a smoky, sweet and distinctly rich flavour instead. You will know when it’s ready as the mixture looks grainy or like crumbled sand.
Once the puree has fried, add in the pepper mixture blended earlier and stir in well to incorporate the fried puree properly.
Now it’s time to season, so add: bay leaves, dried thyme, and a mixture of salt, Knorr chicken stock cubes and all-purpose seasoning to taste. Stir this in well and cover and leave to boil on medium heat for 15 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, wash the rice repeatedly to remove the starch. You want to do this until the water turns clear. This step is important, don't be lazy about it, this will prevent mushy and unpleasantly sticky jollof rice.
Back to the pot, after about 15 minutes the sauce is ready, you’ll see it would have thickened slightly. This is also the time to taste just in case you need to adjust the seasoning at all before adding in the rice.
Next add in the washed rice and stir well to ensure rice is properly mixed in.
After this, add in just enough water to cover the rice, so the water should be just above the level of the rice. TIP – This is step is very important as adding excess amount of water will lead to soggy jollof rice which we don’t want. After adding the water stir well.
Now the easy part, cover and leave the Jollof rice to cook on a very low heat. So For example if the highest setting of your cooker is 6 then reduce it to l or 2.
I stir the jollof rice every 20 minutes until it is cooked. So after the first 20 minutes stir the rice from the bottom up. Don't worry if you feel there isn't enough liquid to cook the rice, there is, the steam at this point will do the remainder of the cooking. Cover the pot and continue to leave to cook for a further 20 minutes before checking at stirring again.
So after 40 minutes check the rice and stir again from bottom up. Cover and continue to leave to steam.
Now after steaming on a low heat for a total of approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, the jollof rice is ready! TIP – you can also shorten the cooking time by covering the rice the foil before adding the lid of the pot. However if you do so, increase the heat slightly unless it can get too soggy, so I only usually use foil if I’m in a rush.
Here are a few photos:
Watch the recipe tutorial | https://www.youtube.com/watch?edufilter=NULL&v=Bf265_4wL7w