African Jollof Rice

By DK on Oct 02, 2009
How to make african jollof rice recipe
I am always on the lookout for rice recipes - and if it is simple enough, it makes my life much easier. Also it helps for packing lunch box. Talking about which - I have to say that while it is indeed a god saver to have a husband who has some international taste in food ( having eaten in countless restaurants for many years) since you get some free tips on different recipes all over the world - it also comes with unwanted package. You know you are always going to be judged with some restaurant standard tastes. So when I try to create some 'had-this-dish-in-so-and-so-restaurant' recipe (of course without knowing how it should taste in the first place, I most often end up with 'uhh-nice-but-well-that-one-was-different'. Ask 'what's different?' and pat comes the most unhelpful answer 'mm-dunno-something-missing'! Great! Now I know!!!!!!!!!!!
How to make african jollof rice recipe
Few recipes work bang on - like Focaccia, Kimchi, Bee Bim Bap and Ratatouille which worked bang on with him the very first time I made it (and which I had never tasted before then). On those cases when I actually have them later in the restaurants, it amazes me sometimes how close many of my such tries come so close :) In this list is this Jollof rice. He has had the vegetarian version of this dish. It is similar to Indian Tomato rice only with some protein (meat, fish etc) added to it. I used Seitan to replace the meat (which is entirely optional). One can use only vegetables alone. The variety of vegetables depends on you. How to make african jollof rice recipe African Jollof is also called as ''Benachin'' which means 'One Pot' in the Wolof Language. It is a popular dish especially in Nigeria and Ghana and enjoys quite a handful of variations. The basic components seem to be the same which has ingredients like Tomatoes, tomato paste, rice and onions. The kind of meat or vegetables is entirely up to you along with spices. Here is my version with more vegetables and vegetarian protein - seitan.
Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup rice (long grained or medium variety)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (as per taste)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 green chillies ( or as per taste)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 large tomatoes,chopped finely
  • 1 carrot,cubed
  • 1 pkt Seitan, cut into small chunks ( about 2 cups - Skip it make this recipe gluten free
  • 1/2 cup each of chopped beans and peas (I used frozen hence added last. If using fresh cook it along with the rice)
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro or parsley to garnish
Add 1/4 tsp groundnut oil, add the cumin seeds and when they splutter add onions along with ginger,garlic and chillies
How to make African Jollof rice Recipe
Add the chopped carrots next and saute for a minute with little salt.
How to make African Jollof rice Recipe
Add the tomato paste, tomatoes along with curry powder. Cook until tomatoes get slightly soft. Add the rice next. Saute for another 2 minutes or so.
How to make African Jollof rice Recipe
Add 3 cups of vegetable stock/water, required salt,close the lid and cook until 90% cooked
How to make African Jollof rice Recipe
Add the frozen peas and beans along with Seitan. Since I used to precooked variety, it just needed warming up and not cooking per se. Hence added them last along with frozen vegetables. If using fresh add it along with rice.
How to make African Jollof rice Recipe
Stir it until well combined, add nutmeg and  cook for another 5-6 minutes or so for the flavors to get together. Add lots of garnish and serve hot.
How to make African Jollof rice Recipe
I served with some vegetable chips and some raita. Any raita will go well with this dish. How to make african jollof rice recipe
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Did you make this recipe?Please click below to share your experiences while you were making this recipe. Thanks for your input!
54 Responses to “African Jollof Rice”
  1. dee dee


  2. Agatha

    You can make this great rice any way you want so long as you include the basics: fresh tomatoes and or tomato paste, onions and pepper

  3. This is an amazing dish, for everyone saying they are Ghanaian and this and that and that this isn’t the true way of making Benachin or Jollof Rice, Ghana is not the only country to make this majority of west Africans make this and it’s not done one way ppl have their one way of making it so instead of complaining this isn’t the correct way show us how’d you do it… It’s more logical to do that than bash on someone’s delicious recipe!!!

  4. naynah

    this is way different from the way my mum has been preparing 100% wouldnt do me any harm to try this receipe but i am finding it difficult getting some ingredients :( :( ..thumbs up tho and am very sure it reali tastes yummy..the sight causing my tummy to stir :wink:

  5. Im a Ghanaian and i love Jollof rice very well. I want to add ma experience to urs. :-P
    Jollof rice taste great wen u have more blended onions added to it.Try it !

  6. Ekuba

    I am 100% Ghanaian & I use garlic & ginger to make my jollof so I don’t know what people are complaining about. FYI, ginger & garlic are very medicinal & if people used more of it & put it in their foods, maybe they’d be healthier, happier & less likely to complain about how others make their foods :wink: Moreover, there are several variations to making jollof. I’m vegan & I’ll definitely use your recipe

  7. Kwakuga

    This could be called anything, but not Jollof. It just isn’t dark enough. Moreover the garlic and ginger would do more harm than good to Jollof rice…
    Nice recipe, but please find another name for it.

  8. jasmin

    i am polish and this is not the true way of Ghanaian Jolof rice, use veg oil or butter to fry as it gives an extra kick of nuts. ALWAYS USE LONG GRAIN RICE and cook for at least 2 hrs to cook on a high heat. when chopping the vegetables chop into large triangles so it looks presentable chunks, mu name is jasmine and I have been cooking the fienst since I was 14, 38 yers ago.

  9. Keyo

    I’m Nigerian, and jollof as I know is prepared differently. Adding garlic to jollof rice and ginger kills the original taste of jollof. Your method seems interesting but not for jollof rice. All u just have to do is fry ur onions and tomatoes well blended with pepper all together, add thyme and maggi cubes, salt and then add ur stock water for whatever protein u’re using, allow it to boil out the pour in ur rice and stir for total mixture. Cook on low heat. When the water is dried out sprinkle a little curry leaves on it and stir.and that’s ur jollof rice. You cld eat it with fried fish, fried meat or fried chicken. Never use palm oil for jollof rice, that’s a different dish entirely.

  10. Laura

    This recipe calls for treenut oil. I’m not sure what that is. Can I use vegetable oil or olive oil? Also, I was unable to find cumin seeds. Any ideas for how I could make this with cumin powder? Thank you!

  11. Tooga

    Thank you so much for this recipe , just prepared Jollof following your recipe and the guys truly loved it .

  12. kenny

    Hmm, so yummy, makes my mouth watered :-P :-P :-P

  13. Mary Saah

    :-P you can also make it with corned beef its extra yummi!!

  14. jollofchief

    Good heavens, NOT palm oil! Please, whatever you do, DON’T make jollof with palm oil!!!

  15. joel

    i am a ghanaian and i dont really know a lot of the foodstaffs.probably because we are used to the local there a site that has this kinda info? telling the public the english names for some or all of the ghanaian vegetables..

  16. Ghana Girl

    Great recipe. I see some comments saying that this is not how it’s made, but there are several variations of the dish and they dont have to be exactly the same. I’m 100% ghanaian and a self-proclaimed jollof aficionado ( :wink: ) and I also have several different methods for making it. Great job.You seem to have grasped the concept of the dish very well. BTW what is Seitan?

    Thank you :). Seitan is Wheat gluten and has loads of protein. You can say its a Vegetarian’s meat.–DK

  17. Interesting Recipe.. Awesome Clicks

  18. tana

    :arrow: :wink: I’m so excited to make this meal

  19. Ingmar

    Joloff Rice recipe is almost accurate – but it also needs Palm Oil and it is prepared just a bit different than described

  20. Florence

    :wink: may I I have the recipe too? My father was Ghanaian and I have been trying to make jalof rice like him since he passed. Today is his birthday and I am making it for my new in laws and siblings.

  21. sweet

    Im going to try this recipe this coming Tuesday, Im taking up hotel and restaurant management and in our laboratory. I have international cuisine subject. Our cuisine next meeting is an African dishes. I would love to use this recipe as our main dish. is it okay? :wink:

  22. Dee

    you have a nice recipe but this is not how we make our jollof. this is totally different. you don’t seem to have enough tomato sauce. veggies are up to you but I would put less to get the taste of the rice. I’m a pure Ghanaian so if you would like the recipe I’d be glad to give it to you.

    Oh yes, wud love a recipe from you :) –DK

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