Recipe – Jollof Rice

Hopelijk brengt dit recept je een stapje dichter bij het ervaren van de smaken van Afrikaanse keukens en laat het je genieten van een smakelijk avontuur!

Jollof Rice - To savor!

Jollof Rice is a traditional rice dish that originated in both Nigeria and Ghana. It is prepared with long grain rice, tomatoes, broth and paprika. Similar variations of this dish can be found in Senegal and the Gambia, where it is known as “benachin” in the Wolof language. Here, extra vegetables and sometimes fish are often added, even on top of the dish!

The Nigerian and Ghanaian versions of Jollof Rice have some minor differences. In Ghana, the rice is made slightly spicier with extra spices and chilies, and sometimes a special sambal with fish and shrimp called “shiito” is added.

A crucial difference between the two varieties is the type of rice. In Nigeria, parboiled rice is often used, while in Ghana other long-grain rice such as basmati, jasmine or pandan rice are used. This difference even affects the cooking time; the Nigerian version with parboiled rice requires less time. Therefore, most choose to cook the rice directly in the tomato mixture. The Ghanaian version, on the other hand, is first boiled in water before the seasonings are added.

For this recipe, we are going with the Nigerian version of Jollof Rice. This dish is loved by many, easy to make vegan and can be customized with additional ingredients. And if you ever get the chance to taste the Ghanaian “shiito,” make sure you don’t miss it!

In Nigeria, large pans of Jollof Rice are often prepared over an open fire during large festivals. The fire, stoked with wood, gives this “party rice” its distinctive, smoky flavor. Although it’s a bit difficult to make a fire outside in the Netherlands, you can add a touch of that smoky flavor by adding a few drops of “liquid smoke” to the tomato mixture.

Recipe for Jollof Rice


  • 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 red peppers
  • 2 onions
  • 1 Madame Jeanette Pepper
  • 70 gr (1 can) of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about 800 ml of broth (chicken or vegetables)
  • 400 gr parboiled rice or basmati rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: a few drops of “liquid smoke


  1. Roast the tomatoes, peppers and onions for 10 minutes under the grill or in a preheated oven at 180°C for extra flavor (optional).
  2. Next, puree the roasted vegetables along with garlic, tomato paste, an onion and the hot pepper in a blender to make a smooth sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan, fry in it the remaining onion with some salt and add the pureed vegetables, thyme and bay leaves. Cook gently until it begins to bubble. Then simmer for another 20 minutes or so until the flavors are well absorbed and the liquid has almost evaporated.
  4. Add the broth (and the “liquid smoke” if necessary) and stir well. Rinse the rice under cold water, drain it and add it to the pan. Bring to a boil again.
  5. Stir the rice and sauce well and then cook the rice on very low heat for about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes with the lid on the pan.
  6. Serve the Jollof Rice and stir it with a fork to make it fluffier. Serve with meat, fish or a meat substitute of your choice. Enjoy your meal!
Jollof rice

Why choose Exotic Plaza for your ingredients?

Hopefully this recipe will bring you one step closer to experiencing typical African food and let you enjoy a tasty adventure!

At Exotic Plaza, we want to introduce you to the authentic flavors of African cuisines. Our store in Arnhem offers a wide range of high-quality African food products. Whether you are looking for spices, rice, sauces or unique ingredients, we have it all.

Stop by our store and indulge in the diversity of African flavors. Not in the area? No problem! Simply order online and experience the rich culinary experience that only Exotic Plaza can provide.