Jollof Rice Recipe Tips: How to Make the Perfect Dish

Known as the national dish of Nigeria, jollof rice has been popping up on menus from coast to coast in the United States since West African immigrants began to come to America in the 1970s. However, most people don’t know how to make jollof rice at home, which is where this recipe comes in! The following tips will show you what steps you need to take to create the perfect jollof rice dish that everyone will love.

Spicy sauce on rice
Spicy sauce on rice

The history of this delicious dish

The dish, which is also known as Benachin, is a West African dish that became popular in Nigeria. The word Benachin means one pot in Nigerian pidgin English because the dish can be made using only one pot. It consists of rice cooked with tomato sauce and various other spices. The main ingredients are tomatoes, onions, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers (or other hot peppers), and stock or broth.

Jollof rice originated in Nigeria’s western region of Yorubaland and was introduced to other parts of Nigeria by migrants from this region. It has been adopted into Ghanaian cuisine as well as Sierra Leonean cuisine. In fact, most countries around Africa have their own version of the recipe. As an example, Senegalians typically add potatoes, carrots, green beans, and fresh ginger root to their jollof rice. It is also common for many Africans to use coconut milk in their versions instead of beef or vegetable stock.

3 ways to make the best jollof rice

1- The rice needs to be cooked for a long time in order to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Jollof rice is often served with either chicken or beef, so it’s important to add some protein (like ground beef) into your dish in order to make it a complete meal. Finally, if you want an extra kick of flavor, try adding some peppers and other herbs.

2- You can also use different types of rice instead of white jasmine rice. Depending on what type of dish you’re trying to create, this can make all the difference in your recipe. There are many different varieties of rice that are commonly used in West Africa, like brown rice or yams. It may take a little more cooking time than traditional white jasmine rice, but these substitutes will give your dish an earthier taste.

3- Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with switching up the ingredients! If you don’t have any spices on hand, feel free to experiment with whatever tastes best for you! Some popular additions are onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and dried thyme leaves. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables and sauces until you find something that suits your palate.

How to prevent your yummy dish from overcooking?

One of the easiest ways is to prepare rice and Jollof together. When you are adding sauce, make sure that your sauce is hot before it is poured into your rice and Jollof mixture. If you have already added your sauce, put a lid on top of it until it simmers. This will prevent your yummy dish from overcooking!

The difference between brown and white rice when making Jollof?

Cooking rice
Cooking rice

Many people are unsure of the differences between brown and white rice when it comes to making jollof rice. In a nutshell, brown rice is more nutritious than white rice because it contains more fiber and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals. Brown rice has a nuttier flavor and chewier texture than white rice. Brown rice also takes longer to cook than white, but there are tricks that can help you make perfect Jollof on the stovetop with just one pot!

1. Thoroughly rinse your brown (or any) type of uncooked rice in a fine-mesh sieve under running water until water runs clear. This removes excess starch that can make your dish too sticky or gluey. It also washes away some of the natural oils so your rice will not be too dry after cooking.

2. Soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes before cooking; change out soaking water at least once during this time if needed.

3. Drain soaked rice and transfer to a pot that’s large enough to hold 3 times its volume. Add twice as much liquid (i.e., boiling broth) as the amount of uncooked rice, cover, and bring the liquid to boil over high heat before reducing heat to low and simmering for 18-20 minutes until most grains have fully absorbed liquid. Fluff rice with a fork to break up clumps and serve immediately. Enjoy!

The secret ingredient that takes your Jollof from good to OMG

To make jollof rice that is as flavorful and delicious as possible, it is important to use a good-quality stock. A good place to start would be with chicken or vegetable stocks. Rice can also play a part in adding flavor; white rice works well if you’re looking for a lighter dish, while brown rice and red rice are more traditional choices. Finally, there are plenty of other spices and ingredients you can use when making jollof rice – red pepper flakes or paprika, dried thyme or bay leaves, salt and pepper for seasoning – but be careful not to add too many extras!

The key is finding the right balance between flavors so that your Jollof tastes just how you want it. For example, some people like their rice on the sweeter side, which means adding more tomato paste and sugar to their dish. On the other hand, some people prefer spicy Jollof with hot peppers and lots of chili powder for heat. Ultimately, though, what’s most important is getting those perfect fluffy grains of rice – as long as they taste great!

Other ingredients

Girl  smelling  while cooking
Girl smelling while cooking

You can always add something new. If you’re looking for a dish that’s a little bit different than what you’re used to, try adding in your favorite vegetables or meats. This is a great way to experiment and find new tastes you never knew you liked! 2. Keep it simple. Making jollof rice can be overwhelming with all of the ingredients involved, but it doesn’t have to be this complicated! There are many variations on this dish, but sometimes less is more. After all, who says jollof rice has to have tomatoes? Or carrots?

Jollof rice is typically savory and sweet – so experiment with spices like cumin, onion powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg until you find your perfect mix! 3. It’s all about the sauce. Some people believe that there isn’t enough sauce in their jollof rice, while others feel like they’ve drenched their dish in it! The truth is there should be just enough sauce to coat the rice without drowning it, but feel free to adjust as needed. 4. Let simmer.

One secret trick for making a truly delicious batch of jollof rice? Let it cook for at least 30 minutes after stirring in your spices! 5. Stir occasionally! Sometimes people forget about their pot of boiling-over-hot liquid after stirring everything together… make sure you keep an eye on things from time to time so you don’t end up with burnt or crunchy bits at the bottom (or top!)

Serving suggestions

  1. Cook your rice before beginning the Jollof process. It will take 10-15 minutes and then you’ll be ready to go.
  2. Start with a large pot and use a ratio of 1/4 cup of oil for every 1 cup of uncooked rice.
  3. Add in vegetables or meat that cook quickly, like onions or ground beef, which can be added toward the end of cooking time so they don’t overcook and lose their flavor or color.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, salt (optional), sugar (optional), and liquid like water or broth to give your dish more flavor and substance without making it too soupy.
  5. Allow everything to simmer together on low heat until all the flavors are mixed well, stirring occasionally. Depending on how moist you want your rice, continue cooking until it is at the desired consistency – 5-10 minutes should do the trick!
  6. Serve hot with any kind of meat or vegetable side dish and top with freshly chopped parsley if desired!


Making jollof rice is not as simple as cooking rice with some tomatoes, vegetables, and spices. There are many steps that need to be taken before the dish can be considered finished. One of these is making a roux, which is made by melting butter in a saucepan and stirring in flour until it becomes a paste.

This roux should then be heated with vegetable oil until browned, at which point tomato paste, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper can also be added for flavor. Hot water or broth should then be mixed into this roux mixture and allowed to simmer for about five minutes before adding your desired amount of rice. The best part about this recipe is that you can add whatever spices or vegetables you desire.

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