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The best Spices for Jollof Rice

by Abbey

Hello there. Have you heard of jollof rice, a delicious Nigerian dish! It is one of the most commonly cooked food in this part of the African continent, as it is usually served during celebrations or festive periods. I just want to point out that jollof rice is fantastic for entertaining, particularly if you have a family that loves rice.  Let’s take a look at the different spices that are used in this delectable dish. Let’s get started, shall we.

Spices for jollof rice

You will need the following ingredient to cook your delicious jollof rice .

  1.   vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium diced onion (red or white onions)
  3. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  4. 1 tablespoon  minced garlic or garlic powder
  5.   3 cups  or more of  rice ( long-grain uncooked rice or Basmati rice)
  6. 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
  7.   1 to 2 can of tomato sauce or puree
  8.   4 cups of  chicken broth or water
  9.   vegetables (optional) (can be peas, carrots, green beans or corn)
  10. Scotch bonnet pepper,( as much as you can handle)
  11. 1 tbsp of dried Paisley (for garnishing )
  12. 1 tbsp Maggi or knorr cubes
  13. 2 red bell peppers
  14. 5 medium sized fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  15.  3 tbs of blended crayfish ( optional)
  16. 1 tbsp salt
  17. 1 to 2 tsp cayenne pepper and black pepper
  18. 2 single bay leaves
  19. Basil leaves (optional)
  20. Water ( as needed)

 Best Nigerian party jollof rice recipe

Jollof Rice is a traditional Nigerian rice dish seasoned with tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of spices. Jollof rice is a common West African dish that is found in almost every household. It’s a delectable meal you don’t want to miss out on. Let’s proceed.

Step by step guide

Step 1

In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes, red pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, and onions and blend, but make sure it is well blended. If desired, add fresh garlic and ginger and blend until fully smooth.

Step 2

Put  3 to 4 table spoon of vegetable oil into your pot  and heat it over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add your diced onion and ginger paste if desired and sauté the onion and ginger paste for 2 minutes or until  it is translucent.

The  moment the  onions is translucent you can add the crayfish for an extra flavor boost (optional), then proceed to add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. After this process is completed, You  then add the blended tomato mixture and fry for about 30 minutes with the onions and tomato paste.

Step 3

Make sure to stir the tomato mixture frequently so it doesn’t burn. Note that you don’t hurry the tomato frying process because you want to eradicate the slappy sour taste. Allow for about 20 to 30 minutes for it to be properly cooked.

Step 4

After the tomato is well cooked , reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken stock. Depending on how you like it, mix and apply your seasonings   this include curry powder, thyme, all-purpose seasoning, Knorr stock cube or any cube available to you and  bay leaves.  Fry for another 10 minutes. While your sauce is frying, start washing your long grain rice now if you haven’t done so. You can parboil it before washing . Be sure to remove as much starch as possible from the rice by washing it until the water is crystal clear. This prevents the rice from sticking together during the cooking process.

Step 5

When the tomato has finished frying, check to see if it requires some salt. If required, season with salt and stir well. Toss in the washed rice and thoroughly combine it with the tomato stew in the pot. If you need to add water to get the rice up to the level of the tomato mixture/chicken stock, do so now.

Finally, before using the lid, cover the pot with an aluminum foil and then cover the pot . This is to ensure that all of the steam needed to cook the rice is trapped. Cook for 15 to 30 minutes on medium to low heat until the liquid has completely evaporated. After about 30 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and thoroughly mix the rice. Cover the pot again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the rice is fully incorporated into the mixture. Your jollof rice is ready!

This meal goes well with any of these.

  •  moi moi
  • fried fish
  • Coleslaw
  • Stew with Chicken (African style)
  • Suya Chicken
  • Fried Plantain
  • Asun (Spicy Roasted Goat)
  • Curried Goat stew
  • Fried Beef

Natural spices for jollof rice 

Some people like their food to be as natural as possible, so here are some natural spices you can use to make your delicious Jollof rice.

  •  Bay leaf
  • Thyme leaves
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers, red and yellow
  • Onions
  • peas, carrot ( if you desire)

I hope you enjoyed this brief guide. Why not give it a shot.  Have fun in the kitchen!


  • Abbey

    Abbey Johnson has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.

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