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Party-Style Nigerian Basmati Jollof Rice Recipe

Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Amazingly, you can further cut down on this cooking time by making the sauce or base ahead of time. Call family and friends, let’s gather for this authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

Best Nigerian Basmati Jollof Rice Recipe

Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Amazingly, you can further cut down on this cooking time by making the sauce or base ahead of time.

The party-style Nigerian basmati jollof rice recipe is the rice dish you find at most Nigerian parties. Let’s just say a finger-licking good rice recipe that can impress your guest any day, any time! It is rich in flavor, taste, and color! Fortunately, I am showing you have to easily achieve the same result at home. Listen, you don’t need to go to a Nigerian party to enjoy a flavorful basmati Jollof rice such as this!

Packed with nutritious ingredients, herbs, and spices. This easy-to-make party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is nutritious, delicious, and finger-licking good! Click To Tweet
Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Amazingly, you can further cut down on this cooking time by making the sauce or base ahead of time. Call family and friends, let’s gather for this authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

What is Jollof Rice?

Jollof (aka Jollof rice) is a one-pot rice dish predominant in the West African region. Usually, this dish is made with rice alongside tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs/spices. As well as your meat or fish of choice. Jollof rice is one of the most popular dishes ever to come out of Africa. Most West African nations such as Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, Benin Republic, Cameron, Togo, Liberia, Mali, etc., enjoy jollof rice. Uniquely, most of these African countries have their unique ways of cooking this dish. Even within our Nigerian community, there are different ways to cook this dish. 

Growing up in Nigerian, we ate Jollof rice every single week. And I gladly continued with this tradition here in my house in America as I hope to pass it down to my kids. My party-style basmati Jollof rice is currently my family’s best Jollof recipe. Well, alongside my coconut Jollof rice, brown rice Jollof, macaroni Jollof, etc.,

History of Jollof Rice

Historically, the name “Jollof” is said to have originated from the “Wolof people” in some parts of Senegal and the Gambia. Unfortunately, some food historians disagree with this assertion.

Irrespective of how and where jollof rice originated, one thing we all seem to agree with is the amazingness and deliciousness of this dish. Jollof rice is everything (I am sure you already know!) However, this party-style basmati jollof rice is even better!

Jollof rice has a unique flavor and taste from the combination of ingredients, herbs, and spices. This one-pot rice dish predominant in the West African region is one of the most popular foods ever to come out of Africa! Click To Tweet
Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

Ingredients for Nigerian Basmati Jollof Rice

First of all, please keep in mind that this is a party jollof rice; therefore, the ingredients are typically more than you may need. For instance, I used 6 cups of basmati rice for this recipe; you can reduce to suit your need. Meat, and fish are always optional, however I added them to this Part Jollof rice! Having said that, here is the list of ingredients for making the most amazing party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice:

  • Basmati rice (well, obviously)🤣
  • Fresh roma tomatoes
  • Habanero pepper 
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red bell pepper 
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Spring onions
  • Homemade chicken broth (or more)
  • Yellow onions (or as needed; one for blending with the tomato blends and the other for frying the stew)
  • 3 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce (or 1 (15 oz) can of tomato paste)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Coconut oil or regular olive oil (not EVOO)
  • Butter (optional to be added a
  • Nigerian Maggi Cubes
  • Black or white pepper 

For frying the oil/stew

  • Knorr chicken seasoning + more for cooking the stew
  • Salt + more for cooking the stew
  • Powdered curry or Ground curry
  • Dry thyme

For Boiling Down The Fresh Tomatoes

The Ingredients you will need

HOW TO MAKE JOLLOF RICE (STEP BY STEP)

  • Wash all the vegetables
  • Slice or chop one bulb of onions or half of a big one. Cut the bell peppers; red, green, yellow (any color works).
  • Wash the rice and discard the water until the water is no longer cloudy. I typically wash up to 6 times. When the water becomes clear, pour through a colander to drain the water. Leave in the colander to continue to drain until needed.

How to Make the Base/Sauce for Jollof Rice

  1. Blend the fresh tomatoes, red bell peppers, one onion bulb, and garlic cloves. Add the tomato blend to a clean pot, plus the herbs and seasoning. Place on a medium stove and cook until all the water reduces! You may be left with only about 25% of the initial quantity (this sauce may be less than 1&½ cups afterward). 
  2. Add oil to a big pot; as the oil heats up, add the herbs and spices for frying the oil. Fry the herbs and spices for a little bit (1 – 2 minutes), and then add the sliced or chopped onions. Fry the onions until translucent, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomato sauce (or tomato paste), cover, and cook until it no longer tastes raw. This may take up to 15 – 20 minutes; stir in between cooking. But this depends on the quantity, and I cooked mine for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the initially cooked down tomato blend (aka, reduced fresh tomato blend) and two cups of chicken broth. Cover and cook very well for 10 minutes or until well combined.
  5. Taste before adding additional seasoning – add 2 Maggi cubes (or one teaspoon Knorr powder or as needed). Add more salt if necessary.
  6. Allow simmering for 1 – 2 minutes. Scoop out about 2 – 3 cups of the sauce/stew/base before adding the washed basmati rice!

Cooking Basmati Jollof Rice

  1. Add washed basmati rice to the sauce.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to smoothen out the rice; this ensures that all the rice is covered in sauce. Sprinkle 1 Maggi cube or 1 teaspoon of Knorr powder.
  3. First, cover the rice pot with heavy-duty aluminum foil and then place the lid. Cook rice on low – medium for 30 minutes, check for doneness by gently stirring from side to side. Cover again with the same aluminum foil and the lid. Allow to finish cooking on low for another 10 minutes. 
  4. At this time, you can add a little more sauce to enhance color if needed.
  5. Add the chopped bell peppers and spring onions; sprinkle ½ – 1 Maggi cube or ½ – 1 teaspoon of Knorr powder. Gently stir in the vegetables; the rice should be done cooking by now. 
  6. Finally, stir in the butter; though this is optional, it is necessary for that killer party taste. Give a final stir, and this rice is ready to serve.
  7. To make the meat: Season the meat properly, boil, and air fry them. Do the same for the fish (set aside). This was how I made the mine. You can exclude this part if you wish to keep this rice vegan. 
  8. Add the meat and fish to the cooked rice, and pair this Nigerian basmati jollof rice with meat, fish, plantain, or salad. Enjoy!
Step by step instructions of making this dish

What is the Texture for a Perfect Jollof Rice?

Typically, you want your Jollof rice to have separated grains, and nothing mushy nor soggy when it comes to Jollof rice texture matters. Whether you make Ghana Jollof rice or Nigerian Jollof rice, no one likes it mushy or watery.

Relatively, the same rule applies even if you are using long grains or basmati rice. This is an unspoken rule that differentiates a perfectly cooked Jollof rice and a poorly cooked one! Jollof rice should never be mushy because it is not risotto. Say it loud and clear with me; “Jollof rice is not risotto.

Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof
Now, let’s dig in!

How to Achieve the Perfect Jollof Rice Texture

Use less liquid (broth + water + sauce). Whether you are using water or broth, always add less liquid initially and then add a little more if need be. For example, I had about six cups of rice in this recipe, and I added almost 2 – 3 cups of broth. Plus, the sauce, which is about 3 cups. And this basmati Jollof rice recipe came out so well. 

Never allow the amount of liquid to exceed the amount of rice. Do not do one part rice to two parts liquids when cooking Jollof rice. Instead, do 1:1. In other words, one part rice to one part liquid. Remember, it is the steam that cooks the Jollof rice, not the liquid.

The bottom line is that Jollof rice is not the same as boiled rice, and when you add excess liquid, you end up boiling your Jollof rice.

Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Amazingly, you can further cut down on this cooking time by making the sauce or base ahead of time. Call family and friends, let’s gather for this authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

How does Jollof Rice Taste?

Generally, Jollof rice has a unique flavor and taste from the combination of the ingredients used in making it. Equally, every authentic Jollof rice exudes a smoky taste that blows your mind away! (Especially those served in most Nigerian parties). Comment if you know what I am talking about!🤣😊  Usually, this smoky taste comes from the burnt bottom pot. 

Okay, foodie friends, LET ME EXPLAIN. Just in case you are new to this experience, most Jollof rice tends to have a unique finger-licking smoky taste if they burn. While you may freak out that your rice is burning, it is actually a good thing (at least for the taste!)🤷🏾‍♀️ 

Jollof historians and enthusiasts suggest not cooking Jollof rice in a non-stick pot and they propose a stainless steel instead. SIDE BAR: It would help if you had a pot that would allow this basmati Jollof rice to manifest all of its glory. A stainless-steel pot would be better for this job.

BTW, hi-five👋🏾 to all you bottom pot rice lovers like me. I love eating the burnt bottom part of my Jollof rice. Sometimes, it bothers my husband, but who cares? 

An authentic crowd-pleasing party-style basmati Jollof rice is usually the talk of any Nigerian Party. You can bring the party to your home by following this easy peasy recipe to make the best Nigerian party rice! Click To Tweet
Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

Tips for Making the Best Jollof Rice?

  1. Cover with foil before placing the Lid. First of all, do we all understand that the steam cooks the Jollof and not the liquid? Uniquely, to allow the steam to cook your Jollof rice, you must trap it. First, seal the pot with a foil, and finally, place the lid to cover. This way, the rice steams in the sauce until done.
  2. Cook on low – medium heat. By all means, never cook Jollof on high heat; it will boil, burn, and not be the best. My mother always jokes that if you ever want to make a perfect Jollof rice make sure to have time on your hands. Fortunately, basmati rice cooks in no time; you can equally speed up the process by making the sauce ahead. 
  3. Make a perfect base aka, sauce. To emphasize the quality of your base or sauce will significantly determine the richness, flavor, taste, and color of your Jollof rice. Make sure to watch my video to see how I made the base for this insanely delicious Nigerian basmati Jollof rice! Listen, you cannot just grab a tomato sauce from the store, cook rice in it and pass it as Jollof rice! Additionally, make sure your Jollof rice base is well seasoned, well cooked, and ready! Typically, it takes time, especially if you are making a large quantity like this recipe. Be patient, my friend!
  4. Wash the rice grain until the water is no longer cloudy. Make sure to wash the rice very well as you would anything ingredients. I typically wash my rice up 5 – 6 times. 
  5. Do not use a non-stick pot. Notably, Jollof rice and non-stick pot do not go together. Use a stainless-steel cookware instead of a non-stick pot. 
  6. It’s perfectly OKAY for your Jollof rice to burn for that perfect party taste and flavor!
Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

Jollof Rice Frequently Asked Questions

What type of rice is used for Jollof?

Growing up in Nigeria, my mother primarily used bong-grain rice. However, now and then, she would use basmati rice. Obviously, with the name of this post, you may rightfully suggest that I will be using basmati. Unlike most Nigerian families, Ghanaians use mainly basmati rice for making Jollof rice. At the end of the day, use what you have except perhaps minute rice and its likes.

Can you freeze Basmati Jollof Rice?

Yes, you can refrigerate for a couple of days (4 – 5), and  freeze this rice for up to 4 months. Reheat whenever you wish to eat.

Why does my Jollof rice burn?

It is normal for most jollof rice to burn. First, that’s how it gets its smoky taste. So, burning isn’t necessarily bad for your Jollof rice! Second, if you do not wish your Jollof rice to burn, use a non-stick pot.

How do you fix a mushy/soggy Jollof rice?

The best scenario would be not to add the excess liquid that makes it to be mushy in the first place. However, if you notice that your Jollof rice is soggy, top cooking and pour it on a big colander. Drain some of the liquid as much as you can (that is, if it has liquid). Next, spread the rice on a baking sheet to cool. Finally, place in the oven to bake/finish cooking.

HOW TO MAKE PARTY-STYLE NIGERIAN JOLLOF RICE RECIPE

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Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Amazingly, you can further cut down on this cooking time by making the sauce or base ahead of time. Call family and friends, let’s gather for this authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

Party-Style Nigerian Basmati Jollof Rice Recipe


  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1214 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Amazingly, you can further cut down on this cooking time by making the sauce or base ahead of time. Call family and friends, let’s gather for this authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 cups of Basmati rice
  • 4 big fresh roma tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of yellow bell pepper
  • ¼ cup of green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup of red bell pepper
  • 1 (fresh or frozen) habanero pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped spring onions
  • 23 cups of homemade chicken broth (or more)
  • 2 big yellow onions (or as needed; one for blending with the tomato blends and the other for frying the stew)
  • 3 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 56 garlic cloves
  • 5 Bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil or regular olive oil (not EVOO)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter (optional to be added a
  • 2 Maggi Cubes
  • ½ teaspoon black or white pepper

Herbs for frying the oil/stew

  • 1 tablespoon of Knorr chicken flavor + more for cooking the stew
  • 1 teaspoon of salt + more for cooking the stew
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered curry
  • 1 teaspoon of dry thyme

For boiling down the fresh tomatoes:

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of Knorr chicken seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Wash all the vegetables
  2. Slice or chop one bulb of onions or half of a big one. Cut the bell peppers; red, green, yellow (any color works).
  3. Wash the rice and discard the water until the water is no longer cloudy. I typically wash up to 6 times. When the water becomes clear, pour through a colander to drain the water. Leave in the colander to continue to drain until needed.

How to Make the Base/Sauce:

  1. Blend the fresh tomatoes, red bell peppers, one onion bulb, and  garlic cloves. Add the tomato blend to a clean pot, plus the herbs and seasoning. Place on a medium stove and cook until all the water reduces! You may be left with only about 25% of the initial quantity (this sauce may be less than 1&½ cups afterward).
  2. Add oil to a big pot; as the oil heats up, add the herbs and spices for frying the oil. Fry the herbs and spices for a little bit (1 – 2 minutes) to infuse the oil, and then add the sliced or chopped onions. Fry the onions until translucent, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomato sauce (or tomato paste), cover, and cook until it no longer tastes raw. This may take up to 15 – 20 minutes; stir in between cooking. But this depends on the quantity, and I cooked mine for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the initially cooked down tomato blend (aka, reduced fresh tomato blend) and two cups of chicken broth. Cover and cook very well for 10 minutes or until well combined.
  5. Taste before adding additional seasoning – add 2 Maggi cubes (or one teaspoon Knorr powder or as needed). Add more salt if necessary.
  6. Allow simmering for 1 – 2 minutes. Scoop out about 2 – 3 cups of the sauce/stew/base before adding the washed basmati rice! Save for later in case you need it.

Cooking Basmati Jollof Rice:

  1. Add washed basmati rice to the sauce.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to smoothen out, ensuring that all the rice is covered in sauce. Sprinkle 1 Maggi cube or 1 teaspoon of Knorr powder.
  3. First, cover the rice pot with heavy-duty aluminum foil and then place the lid. Cook rice on low – medium for 30 minutes, check for doneness by gently stirring from side to side. At this time, you can add a little more sauce to enhance color if needed.
  4. Cover again with the same aluminum foil and the lid. Allow to finish cooking on low for another 10 minutes or as needed.
  5. Add the chopped bell peppers and spring onions; sprinkle ½ – 1 Maggi cube or ½ – 1 teaspoon of Knorr powder. Gently stir in the vegetables; the rice should be done cooking by now. 
  6. Finally, stir in the butter; though this is optional, it is necessary for that killer party taste. Give a final stir, and this rice is ready to serve.
  7. To make the meat: Season the meat properly, boil, and air fry them. Do the same for the fish (set aside). This was how I made the mine. You can exclude this part if you wish to keep this rice vegan. 
  8. Add the meat and fish to the cooked rice, and pair this Nigerian basmati jollof rice with meat, fish, fried plantain, or salad. Enjoy!

Notes

Do not parboil the rice.

I typically make a lot of sauce or base, scoop out some before adding my rice. Also, towards the end of the cooking, I may add some, if need be.

Always add salt according to your need.

Feel free to tailor the ingredients to suit your need.

If you are using tomato paste instead of sauce (as I did), limit the amount to only 1 (15 oz) can

Any color of the bell peppers would work for this recipe

I did not include the meat and fish in the recipe calculation.

This recipe serves 12 – 14 people

  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Nigerian

Keywords: #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

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Insanely delicious party-style Nigerian basmati Jollof rice is the only Jollof rice recipe you need. The fusion of basmati rice with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, curry, thyme, bay leaves, and other herbs/spices makes this party Jollof absolutely flavorful and tasty! The best part about making basmati Jollof rice is that it takes no time to cook. Authentic crowd-pleasing party-style Jollof rice recipe! #Jollofrice #Africanfood #Nigerianfood #PartyJollofrice #NigerianJollofrice #BasmatiJollofrice #Jollof

Thanks for stopping by!

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.

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