Jollof rice is one of those dishes that everyone makes just a little bit differently. It’s popular across all of West Africa, unifying in a sort of way, and even with regional differences, there’s always a core three things that make up a pot of Jollof -- rice, a stewed tomato base, and spices.
Even the name can vary in different places, but “Jollof,” the most common name for the dish, derives from the name of the Wolof people. Despite its variations, though, everyone knows Jollof, and it has become one of Africa’s best known dishes outside of the continent. It’s a dish that ranges from “everyday” to “celebration” status.
What Makes a Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe Unique?
Although variation exists even within Nigeria, Nigerian Jollof usually includes parboiled long-grain rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, peppers (including red pepper for subtle sweetness and habanero for that essential heat), vegetable oil, onions, curry powder, dried thyme, and stock. The dish is then usually served with a protein of choice, and also usually with fried plantains, moi moi (a steamed bean pudding), and vegetables.
When it comes to making my own Jollof, I like to take a little shortcut with our Ata Din Din sauce. It can stuff so much flavor into the dish with just a couple of spoonfuls, and it makes whipping up a big pot of Jollof as easy as anything.
Ingredients for Jollof Rice
1 Cup of Per Boiled Long Grain Rice
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil or Butter
1 Tsp. Jamaican Style Curry Powder
1/2 Tsp Dry Thyme
1/4 Diced Onion
1 Tbsp. Full Red Tomato Paste
1 Tsp. Vegetable Bouillon
2 Cups of Vegetable or Chicken broth
1/4 Kosher Salt *depending if your broth is salted
For garnish: sliced medium beefsteak tomato and half a sliced onion
Cooking Directions for our Nigerian Jollof Rice Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the rinsed and drained rice, oil or butter, and diced onion. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme, curry powder, vegetable bouillon, and tomato paste, and saute for another 3 minutes.
- Add the Ata Din Din Sauce and vegetable or chicken broth. Taste, and season with salt if desired.
- Bring the rice to a simmer. Once simmering, carefully place the sliced tomatoes and sliced onions on top. Cover with an oven safe lid, and place in a preheated oven.
- Cook for 30 minutes. Fluff and serve! Pair with fried plantains or protein of choice, such as my Jollof chicken wings.