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How to Make the Tastiest Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice

I used long grain rice here, you can also use basmati or short grain. Then I also made my coconut milk from scratch. Rice cooks in coconut, and tomato sauce and boom, done! This dish sis so flavorful, you have to try it!

Easy Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice.

#Storytime about Nigerian coconut Jollof Rice, and secondary school. I went to a secondary boarding school, (actually one of the best model schools in Imo-State), Nigeria. This school also doubles a convent owned and operated by the Catholic Church. First of all, “secondary school” is the same as high school here in America. Boarding school was a bit challenging because you live in school, eat the meals provided by the school, and do not get to see your family until “visiting day.”

Every first Sunday of the month was our visiting day, and I just like all the other kids look forward to that. My mother would usually bring the bestest tastiest yummiest Nigerian coconut jollof rice ever. That is always the highlight of my month. Learn how to cook Nigerian coconut Jollof rice like a pro with my step by step easy to follow instructions. As you may already know, Nigerian Jollof rice remains the best across west Africa and the world. I am excited to show you how… Click To Tweet

Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice Recipe. Easy Step by Step instructions. Vegan, Gluten-free, and Delicious. Learn how to cook foolproof coconut Jollof rice like a pro. Jollof rice is a must-have during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, wedding, baby naming ceremony, anniversary for most Africans. Usually, Coconut Jollof with chicken or fish is very popular on-demand as well. #Jollofrice #Jollof #NigerianJollofrice #Africanfood #Sidedish #Vegan #WestAfrica #lunch #Dinner #ethnicfood #Nigerianfood
This coconut rice recipe is vegan but as always you can serve it with your favorite protein- beans, meat, fish or tofu!

I LOVE Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice

Year after year, even at this stage of my life (as a fully grown woman), I still feel that the need to give myself the best birthday gift of them all – Nigerian coconut Jollof rice (aka, West African Coconut Jollof Rice). It is flavorful, tasty, and a classic. As a matter of fact, I am not the only one in my family that feel the same way about coconut rice. My brothers and sisters all adore this deliciousness – it is that good!

Before you Cook Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice.

Rice is Central to this dish; though I used the long grain rice for this recipe, you can also use basmati or short grain. Then coconut milk; I usually make my coconut milk from scratch, but the store-bought brand is excellent! The next step is to cook the rice in coconut milk alongside tomato sauce and boom, done! This dish comes together in a flash, and it is so flavorful; you have to try it! (*watch the video)

Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice Recipe. Easy Step by Step instructions process photo.
Cooking this dish is literally as easy as this photo!

How do I make Healthy Coconut Rice?

Rice is naturally gluten-free and good for the body. To make healthy coconut rice start with raw rice, alongside coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, and a little oil. Uniquely, you can add some mixed vegetables to ramp up it.

What can I serve with Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice?

This savory, sweet, fragrant, flavorful, and fabulous dish rocks just by itself; that is not to say you can’t serve it with meat, fish, avocado, or beans. You sure can.
Typically, I love cooking this dish without meat or fish, and then I would serve it as I like. As you can see on the plate below, I served it with chicken breast. ⤵️

Healthy, easy and the most delicious Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice recipe
I served my yummy coconut rice here with chicken breast suya. This meal tastes fabulous with or without meat!

Countless Jollof Rice Recipes.

There are plenty of ways to cook Jollof rice and this coconut Jollof rice is one of them, just like there are many ways to cook fried rice and white rice. This is one of the ways I make my coconut rice, and it the easiest. For this very recipe, I use tomatoes (mainly paste), fresh bell peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, nutmeg and of course coconut milk. And I would generally finish up with some mixed veggies, which is optional. This Jollof rice recipe needs coconut milk and coconut oil to make it “coconut Jollof rice”, and you may just exclude them to make this a regular Jollof rice.🤷🏾‍♀️

Should I add Vegetables to Coconut Rice?

You decide whether or not to add vegetables to your coconut Jollof rice! I do both interchangeably. Also, this Nigerian coconut Jollof rice recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and insanely delicious, but, you once again decide your choice of protein.

Uniquely, you can add some mixed vegetables to ramp up this dish. I do that interchangeably
With or without vegetables this dish tastes phenomenal

I am ready if you are.

If you are ready for some flavorful coconut Jollof rice, here you go for the recipe.

Print
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I used long grain rice here, you can also use basmati or short grain. Then I also made my coconut milk from scratch. Rice cooks in coconut, and tomato sauce and boom, done! This dish sis so flavorful, you have to try it!

Tastiest Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice


  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 - 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hr 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 - 12 persons 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

There are plenty of ways to cook coconut rice, but this recipe stands out, any time, any day. And don’t forget to finish up with some mixed veggies, and your choice of protein. This chicken breast was a perfect accompaniment.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups of rice
  • 1 whole big Red bell pepper
  • 45 oz. Tomato paste;
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bulb of onions (divide into 2; blend half & sauté half)
  • 2 cups of fresh homemade coconut milk or 1 (13 oz.) Can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cups of broth
  • 1½ cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon of grated fresh Nutmeg
  • ½ of dry Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 2-teaspoons of salt
  • 3 Maggi or Knorr cubes (or 3 teaspoons of seasoning powder)
  • Spring onions (sliced; for garnishing. Optional)

Instructions

  1. Parboil rice in boiling water for about 5 minutes, wash with cold water until the water becomes clear, then place in a colander and set aside.
  2. In a blender, add bell pepper, 1/2 onions bulb, tomato paste, and garlic, blend with a half cup of water, rinse the blender with half a cup of water, and set aside. Chop the other onions half and set aside.
  3. Set a clean pot on the stove, add coconut oil. Add a dash of salt as it heats, then chopped onions; cook/stir for 2 minutes or until it softens.
    Add the tomato blend above. Stir, cover, and cook the mixture for at least 10 minutes (stirring every now and there)
  4. Stir, cover, and cook for an additional 8 -10 until the water/liquid visibly reduces. Add salt and curry. Then pepper, dry thyme, seasoning powder (reserve one cube for later), add the half cup of water from rinsing the blender and allow to simmer.
  5. Give the pot a good stir, add the broth, and grate in fresh nutmeg. Then stir in the coconut milk, cover, and simmer. Taste the sauce, and adjust flavor.
  6. Add the rice. Make sure that the stove is on medium-low before adding the rice. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to ensure that the rice is evenly distributed, then crush in that last seasoning cube.
  7. Cover and cook for the next 30 – 35 minutes.
  8. 20 – 25 minutes into cooking, check the rice; stir very lightly (barely). Press one or two rice in between your fingers to check tenderness.
  9. Taste for flavor, and adjust accordingly. Cover and cook for the next 10 minutes or until the rice is tender and have absorbed all the liquid and smells divine.
  10. Enjoy warm, garnish with green onions, serve with avocado, beans, and your choice of protein.

Notes

Be sure to watch the video to see all the step in action (except parboiling rice)

Do not be tempted to add too much water to this coconut rice recipe. Remember that the steam cooks the rice, not the flame, so little water/liquid (and low heat) as recommended is enough. Too much water could make it mushy. Start by add 1 cup of liquid (water & broth), and then add a little if you need it.)

Any color of bell pepper would work but remember the colors you choose will affect the color of the rice. And this type of coconut rice needs to look a bit like Jollof or reddish or tomato-ish. I would use red or orange bell pepper for this purpose.

By the time you blend the onions, bell pepper, tomato paste, and garlic, you will have about 2½ cups of the blend.

Don’t worry if you do not have bell pepper on hand. Tomato paste would work just fine. I have done it over and over with only tomato paste, and it would end up fantastic as well.

I would use about one and a half cup of water to rinse the blender after blending (the bell pepper, onions, tomato paste, and garlic). That becomes the entire water that this recipe needs.

I like using long grain rice for this recipe am sure any other type of rice would work.

If you parboil the rice for a long time, it may shorten the cooking time of the rice, and if you are not careful, it might become mushy.

Don’t want “coconut rice”? Easy – do not use coconut milk substitute with more broth. And use olive oil instead of coconut oil. Easy Peasy!

  • Category: Entrees/Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Nigerian

Keywords: Rice, Coconut Rice, Nigerian Coconut Rice, Rice recipe, Coconut Jollof Rice, Easy Coconut rice, coconut milk recipe, Coconut recipe, Jollof rice, West African Jollof Rice, Nigerian Recipe, Rice and beans

If you like this Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice, then be sure to check out my other healthy recipes.

More Nigerian Foods.

Mediterranean healthy Lunches/Dinners:

While you are still here, grab my FREE (5) spinach salad recipe bundle would be a great addition to your dinner table if you like salads or you are wanting to eat healthier. Get the recipes here.

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Nigerian Coconut Jollof Rice Recipe. Easy Step by Step instructions. Vegan, Gluten-free, and Delicious. Learn how to cook foolproof coconut Jollof rice like a pro. Jollof rice is a must-have during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, wedding, baby naming ceremony, anniversary for most Africans. Usually, Coconut Jollof with chicken or fish is very popular on-demand as well. #Jollofrice #Jollof #NigerianJollofrice #Africanfood #Sidedish #Vegan #WestAfrica #lunch #Dinner #ethnicfood #Nigerianfood

With love,

Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH

Hi, I'm Nkechi "Kechi" Ajaeroh, a Public Health professional turned Inspirational author slash exceptional home cook. A 2x International Best Selling Author of Elevate Your Life with the Power of Positive Perception and Gratefully Growing. African, (specifically, Nigerian) Food Enthusiast, watermelon connoisseur, on my to finessing my fitness. This blog is all about loving food, living life, practicing gratitude, and inspiring you to use your wings. Join the journey.

12 Comments
  1. Ok, so I drool whenever I see your posts. I am definitely making this tonight to go with our ribs. But I will use coconut to make my own coconut milk. I cannot wait! Mmmm….

  2. This rice looks delicious. It kinda remind me some Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian rice dish that I tried. I think I am going to make one.

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