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.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • 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
1. Add 1/4 tsp groundnut oil, add the cumin seeds and when they splutter add onions along with ginger,garlic and chillies
2. Add the chopped carrots next and saute for a minute with little salt.
3. 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.
4. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock/water, required salt,close the lid and cook until 90% cooked
5. 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.
6. Stir it until well combined, add nutmeg andĀ  cook for another 5-6 minutes or so for the flavors to get together. Add lots of garnish and serve hot.
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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1 Member Reviews

By Lisa on Nov 5, 2012

Hi I am  from Jamaica and my husband is from Ghana. Here in Jamaica we make a similar dish called "Seasoned Rice". Its a basic and fantastic one pot meal which you use rice, mixed vegetables, pumpkin, ackee( our national fruit) and cooked fish or any other meat you desire. 

I am about to try this version of  the Jollof rice tonight and I hope its good as it will be his first taste of home since being here in Jamaica for 5 months. Wish me luck \"smiley\"


By lavada Roufs on Apr 12, 2019

HAPPY to find this recipe - got idea from a woman from Ghana as I'm always looking for cultural cuisine - hope to try soon! Don't know what green chilies, though.

By Chichi on Dec 28, 2017

Hi DK, Being that you are not African I must commend your efforts and the impressive outcome you got. The recipe looks delish. As many have said jollof rice is a dish that has been cooked differently over the years and many homes have their own adaptations in this. I use garlic and ginger to make mine and occasionally nutmeg. If you want a deeper color to the dish use more tomato paste. You can check out my own recipe here

By Rita on Mar 16, 2016

Will u pre-cook the rice before adding

Nope. JUst add raw rice. --DK

By Selina Asiamah on Aug 10, 2015

Pls what are cumin seeds and seitan?

By Anto on Aug 6, 2015

I luv more Ghanaian meals please

By dee dee on Mar 8, 2015


By Agatha on Oct 16, 2014

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

By Experienced individual on Sep 19, 2014

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!!!

By naynah on Jul 17, 2014

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:

By Brazil 2014: The Delicious Game – Ghana edition | OTF Soccer on Jun 12, 2014

[...] - Jollof Rice [...]

By Annabel on Mar 10, 2014

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 !

By Ekuba on Feb 6, 2014

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

By Kwakuga on Dec 29, 2013

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.

By jasmin on Nov 14, 2013

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.

By Keyo on Nov 10, 2013

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.

By Laura on Sep 20, 2013

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!

By Tooga on Aug 29, 2013

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

By kenny on Jul 20, 2013

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

By Mary Saah on Jul 17, 2013

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

By jollofchief on Jul 13, 2013

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

By joel on Apr 5, 2013

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..

By Ghana Girl on Apr 2, 2013

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

By Nithya on Mar 22, 2013

Interesting Recipe.. Awesome Clicks

By tana on Mar 22, 2013

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

By Ingmar on Mar 20, 2013

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

By Florence on Mar 16, 2013

: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.

By sweet on Feb 27, 2013

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:

By Dee on Feb 10, 2013

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

By African Jollof Rice | Recipe Investigator on Jan 24, 2013

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By Enock Martin on Jan 17, 2013

:lol: I like is very nice food,i've ever tried to cook one as your procedure...Thanx

By afrolems on Jan 8, 2013

interesting twist to the recipe. here is how nigerians make jollof rice

By Kitchen Butterfly on Dec 2, 2012

You did a great job. As a Nigerian who cooks, I can tell you that everyone has their own version of jollof rice and yours could very well be one version. I've never seen nutmeg in a recipe for it but I like it...and will try it. Curry powder is common in some recipes, as well as dried herbs and i use ginger and garlic in mine. Very well done

By Fanny on Nov 26, 2012

i dont know where you got your recpe from but this is not jollof rice at all. Jollof rice is a rich tomato stew, and the rice is added after the tomato stew has cooked thoroughly and then you steam it. Most of the spices you mentioned are not used in west african cooking. Nutmeg is not used in most tomatoe based sauces in Africa. Your version of jollof rice looks good but it looks more like a fried rice with a little bit of tomatoes added. I am sure it is good. But real jollof rice has a more deep orange/redish color to it. most people will eat it with a salad on the side. The vegetables mixed with yours is not usual with how it is prepared.

I usually tend to refer multiple websites and books and as I mention the base components tended to be the same. The only addition I made (and that which I mention) is Seitan in place of the usual meat that's added to the recipe. But given that I am an Indian and know for a fact that many so called Indian recipes are heavily customized around the web - so much so that it loses authenticity, the ones I referenced might have undergone the same cons of Internet cooking. Nothing beats knowing recipes straight from the horses mouth and thanks for throwing more light on what usually is done for the authentic version. Will post an updated recipe when I can :). Thank you --DK

By Karen Richardson on Oct 17, 2012

Absoloutly loved your recipe for "African Jollof Rice". It went perfectly with my baked Cajon chicken recipe. Hot and flavoursome, a winner with all of my family. Thankyou.

By Winny on Aug 7, 2012

This looks great, DK, I stumbled on your site and i love it. I regularly make a dish like this Jollof Rice which i have only read about and must try. Ours is more like Ruby's fried rice and contains green peas, meat/chicken leftovers, carrots, chopped up courgette, lots of caramelised onion, tomato, tomato paste, curry powder, beef cube and the secret ingredients; homemade paneer cut in cubes and a chopped spicy sausage. There's a good twenty minutes of silence in the house when the kids are wolfing it down, even the picky ones ;-)

Thanks Winny. Welcome to CIY :) --DK

By Adwoa on Jul 29, 2012

I'm a 16 year old Ghanaian girl and when I prepare my jollof for my household, I ALWAYS use nutmeg and maggi cubes. It makes the taste much much better. and sometimes I use a little ginger and that brings out the flavor.

By Helena on May 17, 2012

Hello everyone, I love how different everyone's approach to Jollof is. I am Ghanaian and I love to make it with a bit of ginger and nutmeg. Dont knock it until you try it. the ginger is usually blended with the onion, garlic, and pepper but the nutmeg is added towards the end when the tomato stew is thoroughly cooked. Everyone can put their own twist to it and that is ok! :-D

By kwabena on Apr 16, 2012

what are the allergies in jollof rice and also the nutrition content in plain jollof rice...

By Debra on Mar 11, 2012

I recently ate with a Nigerian Family. The hostess served Jollof rice w chicken and yes we had dodo. Loved the rice and the dodo. Plan on making the rice tonight. She used red peppers that she pureed and made a sauce with. So Yummy.

By Dhouruba on Feb 17, 2012

I agree with the first 1 I am African and we dont put ginger or nutmeg in our rice

Thanks for the feedback. I am glad to get more insight into the cuisines. Do lemme know other do's and don't for this rice and I might do another version --DK

By chenike on Nov 28, 2011

im nigerian and have eaten jollof rice many times and thats not really how u make it number one most nigerians dont even eat garlic and wat is seitan also i have never heard of any body ever putting ginger or nutmeg in it either but as u you said i varies through different cultures but wat my family usaully does is we just put tomatoe sauce maggi,curry ,rosemerry,thyme,onion powder,and salt and just wait till the tomoto sauce condenses and the rice is cooked .

Thanks for your input. It always helps to have people from the original place to give recipes cos otherwise the authenticity does get diluted in other regions. All the versions I saw did have these ingredients along with meat. Seitan is my inclusion to replace the Meat with Vegetarian Protein. Seitan is wheat protein.

By Dinu on Aug 10, 2010

I do agree with the first post that curry powder doesn't go with jollof rice. It sort of changes the original taste. There are stock cubes by Maggi that we used and apart from that, there are the local chillis (African variety, super hot) that goes into the puree and the puree is sauteed in oil before adding the rice. Anyhow, what tastes good is worth the cooking and this recipe is yet another most welcome proof of the pudding! Keep it up.

By Hervin on May 25, 2010

I first want to say this. Jollof Rice comes from the Wolof People of Senegal,West Africa and the spices used to not go into traditional Jollof Rice. I know because my wife is Senegalese and I have learned a lot about West African cuisine through her and her family. ;-) Curry Powder, nutmeg, ginger and cumin DO NOT I repeat DO NOT go into Jollof rice. Those spices gave it a more East Indian feel. However this dish was still awesome none-the-less. When I made it I knew by the ingredients it wasn't traditional. However it sure was good. I will make this again and again! It's simple and quite tasty. My wife said it may not be the same but even she, with her hard to please self found this very delicious! In fact, we are going to make some this weekend.

By ruby on Dec 13, 2009

I love one-dish meals. This is perfect as it has carbs, lots of veggies and also protein. I am a Filipino who loves to experiment in the kitchen. I prepare a similar rice recipe I call 'fried rice' whereby I use everything that has been classified as 'leftovers'. I use a lot od garlic, turmeric powder, curry leaves (from my own plants), frozen mixed veggies and any meat 'leftovers'. The result is a fusion of filipino/chinese/indian cuisine. LOL.

Your version sounds mouth watering...Your fusion is going to be on my menu soon ;) -- DK

By Jully on Dec 10, 2009

Hello there. Its my first time visiting this site. I am soo into cooking..and i love this recipe. I have done it so many times but each time a bit different (i add a little more each time). I love experimenting on food ofcoz. Can you please share with us Xmas Recipes plz?? -Jully-

Hi Jully, thank you so much for your comment :) I have already showcased Xmas recipes on my home page and will do a consolidated post in a day or 2. In the meanwhile you can see the recipes here or you can refer to this post

By CurryLeaf on Oct 6, 2009

Wow,very new to me dearie.Colourful but one dbt -what are the items in currypowder?Can I use kitchenking or anything else?I too love rice recipes aaah! You just asked me a million dollar question! Curry powder has so many variations in different regions that it is difficult to exactly pinpoint the exact ingredients. But I know that there are some essentials to make THE curry powder which are fenugreek,cumin,coriander seeds,turmeric,red chillies. The rest of the ingredients usually accompanying these may vary. Use whatever masala you have - anything goes for this recipe. Increase or decrease the qty of the masala depending on your taste buds :) More rice recipes coming your way at Chef In You!!! ;) --- DK

By singh b on Oct 6, 2009

looking very rainbowing colours in rice .........thanks DK

By Aparna on Oct 4, 2009

You might not believe me when I say I have eaten this a lot, but I have. My mom's colleagues used to make veg. version for us. This is usually served with "dodo" which is pan-fried/ deep-fried sweet plantain slices.

By ecath on Oct 3, 2009

Nice pictures! They look so delicious!

By peanutts on Oct 3, 2009

Wow, looks very colourful, My 2 year old loves rice so this a good one to try. :)

By Veggie Belly on Oct 2, 2009

I love that you put seitan in this!

By Divya Vikram on Oct 2, 2009

Right looks bright and vibrant with those veggies!

By Sunita on Oct 2, 2009

And yes, this is my most trustworthy dish to make in an emergency with loads of vegetables. Apart from lunchboxes, we also have it at major mealtimes, sometimes with raita but mostly with a dollop of plain yogurt on the side. Very filling and comforting and quick to make too :-)

By Sunita on Oct 2, 2009

DK!!!! Would you believe it? Except the curry powder and the nutmeg, this is ''exactly'' what I make at least a couple of times during the week (read DH's lunchbox). Right , next time, i can tell thewm it s called Jollof;the name's bound to be a hit with R and A :-D And yes, I sometimes add chicken too. We all know you are a born connoisseur! The question is when are you going to stop being surprised at that ;). Yeah - I love using original names - Makes me feel like I just made an amazing dish (instead of something like tomato rice with few additional vegetables!!!!!!;)) I am sure it will a hit with the D Jr. and Suni Jr :) --- DK

By Soma on Oct 2, 2009

Pretty picture. Looks really delicious!

By Sunshinemom on Oct 2, 2009

Yep! Lots like tomato rice:). Your clicks are so so so very good:)

By Pavani on Oct 2, 2009

Looks delicious DK. Jazzed up tomato rice. Its so interesting to learn that there are so many similarities between different food cultures.

By Happy Cook on Oct 2, 2009

Beautiful rice, must say this is indeed new to me, i would just love to have that whole plate, rice is my fav :-)

By Priya on Oct 2, 2009

Delicious rice, very new to me...Eye pleasing colour DK..