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AMA: Ask Me Anything about Nigerian Jollof Rice

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Today, I will be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Nigerian Jollof Rice.

If you have any burning questions about preparing this recipe, ask me below and I will try my best to answer it.

Watch the following video for a question and answer session I did on YouTube, you might learn something new.

Index of the Questions

Click on the links to go to the answers:

  1. How do I get the smoky Party Jollof Rice flavour? Click here, here and here.
  2. How do I get the classic Nigerian Jollof Rice taste? Click here, here and here.
  3. How do I calculate the quantity of rice for a large crowd. Click here for answers.
  4. Which pots do you use so that the rice will not burn or become soggy? You need original stainless steel pots click here and here for answers.
  5. How do I cook a popping reddish Jollof Rice? Click here for the answer.
  6. How can I cook Nigerian Jollof Rice that does not burn? Click here.
  7. What is the difference between tatashe and red bell pepper when used in Nigerian Jollof Rice? Click here and here.
  8. What type of rice is best for Jollof Rice? Click here.
  9. What do you think about adding butter or margarine to Jollof Rice? Click here.
  10. Can I bake my Jollof Rice? Click here.
  11. What flavour of stock cubes should I use? Click here.
  12. How do I get the classic texture of Jollof Rice? Click here.

How to achieve the smoky flavour in Nigerian Party Jollof Rice without firewood

How to Cook Nigerian Jollof Rice: Video

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  1. Hi Flo, i prepared Jollof rice many times for my yoruba husband and friends, but the taste is not the same like what we are eating in a party. Maybe you know what i mean. My rice is tasty but i miss something … That taste what makes it different. Please help me if you can. Xoxo a naijawife ?

    • Hi Susan! Since it is already tasty that means you got it perfectly seasoned. For that “something” πŸ˜‰ , do you add Nigerian curry powder when cooking Jollof Rice? If no then that must be the secret something that is missing. Next time add it, about 1 teaspoon for 2 servings and you will notice the difference. It should be added when you add tomato stew to the stock.
      Also which oil do you use when preparing the stew? Always use tasteless and odourless oil. This means olive oil and others with a distinctive smell/taste is not allowed for that classic party Jollof Rice taste. Hope this helps, if not feel free to throw more light on the question.
      Good luck!

      • i use vegetable oil, so i think that one is ok. I’ll try the curry. And what about thyme?

        • Oh yes, I use thyme, stock cubes and onions when cooking the chicken. Then use the stock from cooking the chicken to cook the Jollof Rice.
          I did not mention these 3 because I am assuming you already seasoned your chicken very well. πŸ™‚

      • Hi glow does yhe rice need yo be dry gor a better jollof rice. I also added Chinese spices go my is that ok. CG Ireland

    • Try and add nutmeg but not much . I used to add small ginger too to boost the taste

  2. Flo how do u calculate the jollof rice to cook for wedding. like 100 people?

    • Hi Tope, I do not have any experience cooking for a large crowd. The way I have seen it done when wives/sisters/cousins in an extended family come together to cook when one of them is hosting a big party is that they just go ahead and overestimate knowing that in Nigeria, one invitation card may attract up to 5 people. πŸ˜€ Their main concern is to make sure that the guests are well-fed. They do not worry about leftovers because there is no shortage of family members and friends that will take home some food after all the guests have eaten. πŸ™‚

      But nowadays, people need exact quotes and there are specific head count of the guests. The way I always answer this question is that you should go from known to unknown. What is that quantity of rice that 1 adult can finish in your home? In my home, I have a cup that I use to measure out the quantity of rice that I and my husband eat so I will start the rough estimate from that known fact. Something like, if 2 adults are fed with that one cup of rice, that means that 100 people will need 50 of those.

      But in making the final calculations and to minimize leftovers, you need to bear in mind that in a party setting, there are often lots of side dishes: Moi Moi, big pieces of chicken, salad, small chops etc, which are added to the meal and this reduces the quantity of rice one person will eat. Some guests may even decide to go for these side dishes, ignoring Jollof Rice altogether. And some people do not eat much at parties because they may have eaten well before coming to the party.

      When you put all these into consideration, you will come up with an estimate that is close enough. Whatever you do, aim to have some leftover rather than not enough because you don’t want any of the guests to go hungry.

      Hope these help.

  3. Pls I wnt 2 knw hw 2 make party jolof rice

    • Hi Adepeju, I have details of how to make Nigerian party Jollof Rice on this site. The page also has a video which you can watch to see how I cook mine. Click this link to go to that page >> https://www.allnigerianrecipes.com/rice/nigerian-jollof-rice.html
      Good luck in preparing it. If you have any more questions from your experience, feel free to ask me, ok? Once I know the answer, I will try my best to explain.

      • MRS NNANNA says

        Adding some spices likes mivina, chicken glory, onga, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, etc, will it better taste of an occasion jollof rice?

        • Mrs Nnanna I have added nutmeg and ginger and they both taste great in Jollof Rice especially when you add them when preparing the stew. I have not used the rest of the ingredients you mentioned.

  4. Swthrt,my rice dnt have dat reddish colour nd i love d colour..wat culd be d reason??nd i just learnt u dnt fry d tomato puree..pls how do i make d reddish party jollof rice??tnx dear

    • Joyce dear the only thing you need to get that reddish colour is to prepare a popping red Tomato Stew, that is the key. You learnt you don’t fry the tomato puree? No, it MUST be fried if not the tomatoes will taste so raw in the Jollof Rice, it will be inedible.
      So here are the steps:
      1. Prepare a popping red tomato stew. You should use both fresh very ripe plum tomatoes and the conc tinned tomatoes when preparing the stew. If you live in Nigeria, add tatashe as well. All these will make the colour pop! Here’s a video of how to do that: https://youtu.be/jBGolNzSFgQ.
      2. Cook the Jollof Rice using the stew: https://youtu.be/UBeD6ofxZK8. In the video you will see me add extra tomato stew on top when the rice is almost done. You don’t want to add all the stew to the stock because it will speed up burning. You add as little as possible and add more later for the reddish colour.

      I am giving you video links so you can watch me cook it. You can also see the written recipe at >> https://www.allnigerianrecipes.com/rice/nigerian-jollof-rice.html

      Please try these and I promise you’ll see some improvement. Good luck!

  5. Hello Florence,

    Always been an admirer of your excellent cooking skills. When I make my jollof rice, I make the stew as normal and add chicken stock before adding about one-third of the stew in another pot (as you do); however, when I do this, the chicken stock tends to be quite “liquidy” and doesn’t really cover the bottom of the pot properly so if I add the stew it goes all goes very wrong. Despite doing this also, the rice still has a tendency to come out soggy and mushy. How can I prevent this and make it perfect and dry as in your video?

    Also, what do you think of adding cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg + ginger/garlic in addition to the stock and curry powder? Or do you think the taste will be too artificial?


    • Hi Fabian,
      I think I know what you mean. It’s a given that how watery or thick the chicken stock is depends on how much water we added when cooking the chicken. But it is so annoying that we need a considerable amount of water to cook hard chicken and sometimes we are left with too much stock by the time the chicken is done. Also, we do not want to divide the stock for fear of losing flavour in the final product. Is this scenario correct about your question? If yes, here’s a remedy for that:

      1. When the chicken is done and the stock is too watery, take out all the chicken leaving only the stock in the pot.
      2. Increase the heat of your stove and continue cooking only the stock.
      3. After some time, the quantity of the stock will decrease as it has become more concentrated because some of the water has evaporated.
      4. Add this stock to a different pot taking care not to add the tiny bones that may have settled at the bottom, add tomato stew, curry powder etc etc.
      5. Add the parboiled rice and stir. This is the point where the liquid in the pot should be at the same level as rice. If the liquid is a little less, no problem but if it is much less, top up with hot water or even cool water. Stir again, cover and start cooking on medium heat. The rice should be well done and not soggy by the time the water dries up. That is assuming you parboiled the rice correctly.

      If you are using the soft variety of rice eg Jasmine and Basmati, the method is a bit different.

      Hope these help. If I did not get the scenario right, please feel free to give me more pointers.

      Thanks for your nice words! It comes with lots of practice and we can all do this. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Flo,I put a lot of tomatoes,tatashe and tomato purΓ©e to make my rice as red as yours and delicious.The taste is relatively there,but it also turned out sour.What did I do wrong,please?

  7. Hello Flo!
    I prepare my jollof rice how oko mi taught me but its never consistent in either flavor or texture, I am always careful to keep the measurements the same as far as liquids and rice go. What causes this? I would like to get it “right” every time not just some of the time. Also I use 2 parts clear oil and 1 part red oil. I see that you recommend only clear, is that for taste?

    • Hi Tracy! The key to a consistent texture is making sure that you parboil the rice to the same “doneness” each time. If you get that right, all you have to do is ensure that the liquid is at the same level as the rice when you mix everything with the stock + tomato paste to cook it the second time. Once that level of water dries up, the rice will be well done and not soggy. How to check the rice during parboiling is to bite into one grain. The grain should be rubbery to bite but not brittle. With time you don’t even need to do this anymore, you just know. πŸ™‚ This is assuming you are using the recommended long grain parboiled rice.

      If you are cooking with the soft variety of rice: jasmine and basmati, it’s a different method as I show in this video.

      The key to getting a consistent flavour every time is to use the same quantity of chicken and seasoning that gave you a nice flavour for the same quantity of rice each time you prepare it. Vary the quantity of seasoning if the quantity of rice you are cooking changes. I recommend using the hard chicken (hen) for this and in fact all Nigerian recipes because hard chicken tastes much better.

      Please do not use red palm oil for the classic Jollof Rice because it will ruin it. Always use clear, tasteless and odourless oil such as sun flower oil when preparing the tomato stew. No need for the red palm oil because Jollof Rice gets its colour from the deep red tomato stew you will add when cooking it.

  8. You have answered most of the questions I had in mind.
    I want to know if I can turn the rice inside the pot to let it mix very well with the sauce immediately I pour it in? I was told it makes it burn faster, rather than cook, but when I don’t turn it well, most of the sauce gets left at the bottom of the pot and eventually burn! I learnt how to bake it in the oven from a lady, and it does not get burnt, but the taste is not the same. No matter the orishirishi I put inside my jollof rice, it still comes out BLAH!

    • Oh sure New Dawn, you can stir it and make sure everything is well combined. In fact, as you have seen, not stirring it is a recipe for disaster. Watch this video to see how I stir my Jollof Rice and watch closely at the end, you will see that there was not a single burn.

      Sure Jollof Rice benefits from the simmer of cooking it in a pot which is missing in the oven method that’s why the latter does not taste as yummy.

      The following are what will help eliminate burning kpatakpata. πŸ˜‰
      1. Use the correct type of rice. I always recommend the long grain parboiled rice, the type we use in Nigeria. You need to first of all parboil it to eliminate most of the starch and make the rice soft enough to absorb the liquid/stock you will cook it in later.

      2. Parboil the rice perfectly. Once you get the parboiling right, make sure the liquid is at the same level as the rice during the 2nd cooking when you add all the ingredients. Once that level water dries up, the Jollof Rice will be well done, no need to add more water. This happens no matter the quantity of rice you are cooking. When water dries in Jollof Rice and you add more water, burning will set in immediately. So parboil the rice correctly so that you do not need to add more water after the first one has dried.

      3. Once you have added all the tomato stew + stock and other ingredients, cook on low to medium heat till the water dries. If you cook it on high heat, the rice will not be able to absorb the water that fast and it will burn while you still have water in the pot – soggy Jollof Rice.

      4. Add as little tomato stew as possible to start with then when the water is almost dry, add more on top. Then stir everything with a spatula. Again, you will see this in action in the earlier video I linked to. The trick here is that tomato stew contains oil and if you add as much as you need to get the Jollof Rice popping, the oil in the pot will impede the absorption of liquid, resulting in burnt and soggy rice.

      5. The type of pot you use. This is very very important. The so-called non-stick pot is a no-no for Nigerian Jollof Rice, in fact for all Nigerian one pot recipes because it makes the rice burn fast. The same goes for all these fancy and flowered enamel pots. Not good for Nigerian cooking.
      Use original stainless steel pots, again see the type of pot I used in the video. Aluminium pots are good too. I say original stainless steel because there is this grade of stainless steel pots that have a fake shine, they can burn meals easily so get original ones.

      Hope these helps. It will all make sense when you watch the videos.

      • Thank you very much Flo for this tips, I just realized I was doing so many things W-R-O-N-G!!!
        First, I don’t parboil my rice!
        Second, I pour ALL the stew once in the stock/water.
        Third, my water is never at the same level with the rice, it is moreee!
        Fourth, I have gat to buy an original stainless pot! Where do you think I can get it? Because it is all these colourful enamel pot full for malls o jare! And how would I know original? Is it safe to order online? So many questions, abeg, mabinu o. πŸ˜€

        • New Dawn, no worries, better late than never. πŸ™‚
          High quality stainless steel pots have a number grading of 18/10 (chromium to nickel ratio in the material). Also make sure the description states that the pot does not have inner coating and you are good to go. It should not have a fake shine too. When you see the fake shine, you will know. I love Tefal’s (T-fal in the States) stainless steel pots. Their pots are available on Amazon.

          For instance, take a look at this pot. Some of their pots you see me use in my videos I bought a long time ago when I was living in the UK and they still look like new because they do not burn food easily. Even when they do, it is very easy to get them off. When I first arrived in the UK, the company apartment I was assigned to had these flowered and colourful looking pots and I was mesmerised but alas, I could not cook most Nigerian meals with them because they had inner coating. I quickly went and bought correct stainless steel pots and my colleagues could not understand why I preferred my plain stainless steel pots to the beautiful ones. LOL

          • Thank you Flo for the link. I will place an order next month.
            Guess what? I prepared my jollof rice according to your procedures, and it was eaten finish! AHAHHA.
            I too have been wondering about the difference between the red sweet pepper and tatashe, good to know now.
            You really know your onions about cooking Flo! I doff my hat for you! salute! Thanks to Sting for introducing your blog to me πŸ˜€

            • Oh Myyyyyy! That’s the feedback of the year! I’m dancing! Well done dear! Really we can all do this if someone showed us how. Maybe you don’t need the pot anymore. πŸ˜‰

              • I still need it, I was about to buy a new set of pot anyway, and was saving up to go to hong kong market on labour day to get it. And my jollof burnt a little at the bottom, not as much as before. I want exactly as yours was. Thank you very much for all the tips. Just know that I am one of your biggest fan πŸ˜€

        • You don’t actually need to parboil rice for your jollof rice. I have never parboiled rice even though l sometimes cook 10kg rice in a single pot. After several cooking session, you will never need to parboil and you have you jollof rice coming out nicely.

  9. Hello Flo,

    Please what’s the difference between tatashe and red bell pepper? They seem to be used interchangeably, but I remember you did say that there’s a subtle difference between the two and that red bell pepper when blended with plum tomatoes will cause the stew to be “mushy” and generally not very well-done, whereas tatashe won’t. Where can I get tatashe and distinguish between the two?

    Also, do you think it’s worth, after the stew’s been well-fried with tomato paste, adding a tablespoon’s worth of (Nishaan) minced ginger and minced garlic each to further season the jollof rice, or do you think this is too much? I’m very cautious of “overpowering” the natural taste of Naija food with artificial seasoning so it tastes as close as home food as possible. Also, after adding the chicken stock and some of the stew in another pot, once it’s boiled once, would it be worth adding cumin, nutmeg, and cinnamon, or would this, again, be too artificial and excessive?

    Finally, if I add scotch bonnet/ata rado to blend, should it be red or yellow? I’ve heard people saying that yellow is better, but surely red scotch bonnet would make the stew even redder and thus appropriate for jollof rice?

    Many thanks, and I’d like to compliment you on your fantastic cooking skills. I always use your cooking recipes because you clearly know exactly what you’re doing and everything is organized perfectly and methodically. I know systematization and “step-by-step” approaches are particularly valued among us Igbos, whereas most Yorubas will just throw anything in without clear end result. Keep up the good work!

    • Tatashe is very spicy while red bell peppers are not. Red bell peppers contain lots of water and tatashe is tapered. I will look for an image and link it here later.
      Those with authentic Nigerian taste buds find red bell peppers too “sweet” when used in Nigerian stews. So while those outside Nigeria make use of red bell peppers all the time as alternative to tatashe, they are not the same. But you know half a loaf is better than none. Believe it or not, red bell peppers do not add that much redness to Nigerian tomato stew. I would rather use the thick tomato paste that I used in my Tomato Stew video.

      Ok, all the orisirisi seasoning you mentioned, I will never add to my Jollof Rice because that’s too much artificial taste. As I always tell people, feel free to add all these and more if you like them but when you have those with authentic Nigerian taste buds as guests or if you are cooking for a large crowd with varied tastes, it is better to keep it simple and as close to the original as possible. πŸ™‚

      In Nigeria we use yellow peppers in Nigerian soups, the more traditional the soup is, the better. This is because its flavour compliments those better while we use red peppers for stews.

      Hope these help, thanks for your kind words! πŸ™‚

  10. Hi there,

    Forgot to ask you before, why do you, after adding a stock, one-third of the stew, and a small amount of water to make it a liquid, boil the liquid instead of putting the rice in immediately? I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for this, just wondering about the benefits of doing so (not disputing that there are).

    Also, I’ve noticed that you boil the blended tomatoes until all the water dries up before adding the onions and frying… what happens if I omit this step? Does it mean that the jollof rice will be watery and soggy or does it just help with the stew? Again, hope you don’t think I’m poking holes, (love your cooking) just wondering.

    • Hi, the answer to your the first question is science. The liquid in the pot should be as hot as possible when you add the rice because the earlier the contents of the pot start boiling again (remember that the parboiled rice is cold), the better. If the liquid is cold and you add cold parboiled rice to it, it will take longer for the contents to start boiling again. That’s precious time of that rice sitting in the pot with no “chemical reaction” lol. This may result in soggy Jollof Rice.
      This does not really matter if you are cooking a small quantity of rice. The bigger the quantity, the more the impact it will have in the final result.

      Boiling the tomatoes till the water dries up before frying saves you tons of time. You can boil the tomatoes on VERY high heat and it will not burn but you can’t fry on very high heat. So that’s hours and hours of frying all that water content on low heat.
      I cooked stew like that when I was about 11 years old. And I think that stew prepared that way does not taste the same as the one prepared the correct way. I believe that the tangy taste of the tomatoes are “trapped” in the stew if you fry it with all that water or maybe it’s just me. πŸ˜€

      • Yeah, I tend to agree actually re. boiling the tomato mixture before frying in oil. I know whenever I’ve heated oil and added the tomato mixture without boiling it takes forever to lose its sour, tangy taste and is most definitely impossible to achieve without at least some degree of burning at the bottom.

        Another thing, is it better to add the remainder of the stew to the rice when the water is nearly dry or when the rice is completely done? Or will the latter ruin it? Many thanks. πŸ˜€

  11. Long-grain rice seems to be by far the most common brand in Naija (although I know Ghanaians pretty much always use Basmatti). My question is why is long-grain seen as favourable for Nigerian Jollof Rice? Are some brands (e.g., Uncle Ben’s) of long-grain rice better than others? If so, what would you recommend? Finally, if Basmatti rice is used should the rice be parboiled and otherwise prepared exactly as in the video or is there a different method specifically for Basmatti jollof rice?

    Jisie Ike, dalu oo thanking you in advance for your answer

    • Alex one reason we love long grain parboiled rice is because we prefer our rice dishes yoriyori lol. Long grain is hard and can absorb lots of water and remain loose grains. The second reason is that it is the type of rice that was and is readily available in Nigeria. Even before we started importing rice, the type of rice we cultivate in Nigeria: Adaani Rice and Abakaliki rice are very similar to the foreign rice we eat today. I guess the importers just looked for the rice that is close to what we had already because that’s what will sell.

      I have never come close to Ghanaian Jollof Rice but I have seen Senegalese Jollof rice up close. They prefer is soft and overcooked such that you can easily make balls with it. That is why they use a very soft variety of rice, the type we use for Tuwon Shinkafa when preparing their rice dishes.

      Brands like Uncle Ben’s are sometimes favoured because of its special aroma and it is classy to say you are an ajebutter that eats Uncle Ben’s Rice lol. I always recommend the long grain parboiled rice because it is the only rice that makes consistent Jollof Rice ALL THE TIME. With the other types of rice, sometimes you get it right, other times, no. And you dare not use them when preparing a large quantity of rice because it will just go wrong. They are much better for preparing boiled white rice. For one-pot rice recipes where you add ingredients into the rice? No. Secondly, Basmati, Jasmine etc are not readily available in Nigeria hence more expensive when you do find them. And finally, long grain parboiled rice makes the tastiest Jollof Rice; as far as I’m concerned! πŸ˜€

      When using the soft variety of rice, it is not advisable to parboil the rice because doing so will ruin it. Watch my video on how to prepare Jollof rice with Basmati rice to see how I cooked it.

      Thank you! You’re welcome. πŸ™‚

      • Hi,

        Thanks for your answer. The question still arises though as to what brands of long-grain rice are best as all of them (with the exception of some partially parboiled Uncle Ben’s) are dry and raw and need parboiling (as in cooking in boiling water till it’s white and fit to be used for jollof and fried rice, etc). So when you say “long-grain parboiled rice” I’m a bit confused given all the types of long-grain rice in their packaged form are raw need parboiling surely? Please could you clarify this. Many thanks.

        • Alex, the “parboiled” in the name long grain parboiled rice is the process of cooking paddy rice (newly harvested rice) to remove the husk from the grain. It’s not the same as parboiling (precooking) the rice again when preparing say Jollof Rice.

          The rice commonly sold in Nigeria in 50kg bags are all long grain parboiled rice and they all need to be parboiled again (pre-cooked). This is the rice that are measured in cups/mudus in Nigerian markets. I have tried many brands and they are all great. When buying these in Nigeria, just take a good look at the grains. Even if you are buying the whole bag, the sellers have a special tool they use to bring out some grains from the bag for you to look at. Once the grains are bone dry and have a uniform colour (no white dots or discolourations), it should be fine.

          Outside Nigeria, this rice is labelled “long grain parboiled rice” or American Rice (common in the UK) on the packets.

          Then there’s this group of packaged rice eg Uncle Ben’s that are long grain but you will still see extra labelling on them such as “instant rice” which means that it is soft and does not need parboiling (pre-cooking). Also for such kinds of special long grain parboiled rice, you will find instructions on the pack about how to prepare them including cooking times, so follow the cooking instructions for those.

          • Ah right okay, got you now. I know American Rice is very popular here in the UK, and I’ve noticed that “softer” varieties of long-grain rice (e.g., Uncle Ben’s) are pretty inconsistent re. whether they work or not… sometimes the jollof rice comes out perfectly, other times it’s so soggy and burnt. I’ll stick to long-grain parboiled (American) rice from now on.

            Thanks. πŸ˜€

  12. Hello,

    Plz should I use fresh plum tomatoes or the canned version for the stew? Which one is better?

    • Chisom, I use a combination of fresh plum tomatoes and canned conc. tomato paste we use in Nigeria. The conc. tomato paste is what will give your Jollof Rice the popping nice colour because no matter how ripe fresh tomatoes are, they will not give the Jollof Rice a nice colour on their own. Watch this video to see how I prepare tomato stew that I use in my Jollof Rice.

  13. Hello,

    Is there a difference between the way Yoruba, Igbo, and Calabar (Cross River/Akwa Ibom) people make their jollof rice, or does it all look and taste the same to you?

    • Hi Ebele. The Jollof Rice you will see served in parties all over Nigeria be it in the North, East, West or South is the same in looks. I wouldn’t say it tastes the same because the taste depends on the cook. But the same method is used to prepare it all over Nigeria. Individuals (not necessarily tribes) may still prepare Jollof Rice in different ways in their various homes with some people adding shrimps, vegetables etc – see this Mixed Vegetables Jollof Rice recipe – but the classic Jollof Rice is prepared with just tomato stew, seasoning, beef/chicken with no vegetables.

  14. brwneyedgirl says

    So, I have discovered 2 things (short cuts if you will) to cooking jolly rice and was wondering if you’d ever tried them (or will ever try them) and let me know what you think; I’d really appreciate it. 1) Instead of parboiling, I toast the rice (no oil) stirring constantly until all the grains turn brown then pour in my meat stock and a little water. The grains still come out the perfect color and it has the same effect as parboiling it seems.

    2) I have a formula to adding water that never fails (perfectly cooked and no two grains stick together: when cooking anything more than 2 cups of parboiled rice, multiply the number of cups by 2 and subtract 1; that’s the number of cups of liquid I use to boil the rice. e.g., 3 cups of rice will be (3 X 2) – 1 = 5cups of water/stock. I’d love to know your thoughts on this Flo. BTW can I just say – your YT videos are saving lives FOR REAL lol!!!

    • Brwneyedgirl I’m glad you love the videos. πŸ™‚

      OK, before I try, I have some questions that will help me understand your methods:
      1. Do you use the long grain parboiled rice or the soft rice variety (basmati, jasmine) for the 2 methods?
      2. For the second method, I see there’s no parboiling involved, is that correct?
      3. At what point do you add tomato stew during the second method?

      Once I have the answers to these, I will get to work trying them. Cheers.

  15. brwneyedgirl says

    Thanks for the quick response! πŸ™‚

    1) Long grain parboiled rice is what I use
    2) Nope, there’s no parboiling. I replace parboiling with ‘toasting’ (for lack of a better word) the dry rice.
    3) It depends. I would have fried my tomato, so most times I add it towards the end when there’s just very little water left. I actually won’t even turn it until the water has dried, then I mix quickly, cover with aluminum foil, shut tightly and allow the cooking process to be completed by steaming after I’ve taken the pot down. Looking forward to your response. Thanks!

  16. Hello,

    When I prepare my jollof rice, I add 2 teaspoons of Medium Heat Caribbean Curry Powder; however, the taste of the curry overpowers the natural taste of the jollof rice, so I sometimes try to counteract this by adding the same amount of Crayfish powder, although the taste remains quite weird. I’m just confused because I thought curry powder was the secret ingredient of a tasty jollof rice?


    • Hi Shola,

      The culprits here are both the Caribbean curry powder and the crayfish.

      The type of curry powder we use in Nigerian cooking is not hot and spicy. Our curry powder is just to add colour (in the case of Nigerian Fried Rice) and for its unique taste/aroma (in Beef/Chicken Stew and Nigerian Jollof Rice).

      Look for Ducros curry powder, please Google it to see what it looks like. It’s available in any African food shop that sells Nigerian seasonings in the UK. Ducros is the most popular brand of curry in Nigeria.

      It is not advisable to add crayfish to the classic Jollof Rice because it will give it a fishy taste and aroma. Not good.

      Please try again using this curry powder and no crayfish and you will see a huge difference. Good luck. πŸ™‚

  17. If I was to add tatashe and scotch bonnet to the plum tomato blend, how many of each do you think I should add?

    • Hi Toyin,
      When it comes to hot and spicy peppers, it is always advisable to go with your taste.

      Since I always use the conc. tomato paste (eg De Rica) when preparing my stews, I will add a small quantity of tatashe, just for the nice aroma – maybe 2 tatashe peppers (with seeds removed) per 1 kg of plum tomatoes. Then add scotch bonnet peppers to my taste. But assuming in a farfetched scenario, I will not be using the conc. tomato paste, the tatashe will be the equivalent of about 30% of the quantity of tomatoes that I am using for the stew because for very ripe tomatoes, this ratio should be enough to give the stew that popping red colour. In my home we do not eat food that is too spicy so this quantity should give it enough spicy flavour. Even without the seeds, the hot and spicy flavour of the flesh of this quantity of tatashe is quite hot for those that do not like spicy food. So in this 2nd case, I will not add scotch bonnet peppers at all.

      If you like hot and spicy food, you can also add scotch bonnet peppers in the 2nd scenario, if not for anything, for its nice flavour but like I wrote earlier, to your taste. Unless you are cooking Ayamashe Stew which we know is only prepared with hot and spicy pepper, go with your taste at all times when it comes to hot peppers. πŸ™‚

  18. thank u for sharing your jollof rice receipt . when cooking the party jollof rice is there need to add butter or margarine to the rice ?

    • You are welcome Mary.
      I would not add butter/margarine to Jollof Rice because I think it is an overkill on the fats. We already fried the tomato stew with vegetable oil so why add more fat? But if there’s a specific reason why you want to add it then go ahead, I don’t think it will ruin the recipe. The only thing is that for butter, depending on the quantity added, the rice will need to be served piping hot else it will be somehow sticky to bite into. πŸ™‚

  19. Hello, plz how do I get the characteristic “smoky” flavour of the party jollof rice without getting a single grain burnt?

    • Abiola the only way to get the authentic smoky flavour of the Party Jollof Rice is to cook the meal over wooden fires, any other thing is mago-mago lol. And without a single burn? I don’t even know how that is possible. πŸ˜€

      UPDATE: Someone suggested using liquid Smoke to achieve the Smoky Jollof Rice flavour, I tried it and it is the closest to the real thing I have ever tasted. Watch this video to see me talk about it and use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSjjfRKQT-A

  20. Hi, when cooking the jollof rice what types of pots are best to use and which others are a no-no? Also, does it matter if you use sea salt or ordinary table salt?

    • Hi Sandra,
      First, for the salt, no it does not matter which one you use.

      For the best type of pot, rather than repeat everything I have already written about pots, I will refer you to the comment from New Dawn, please read her comment and all the conversation I had with her, we discussed extensively on the best pots to use for Nigerian Jollof Rice and in fact all Nigerian recipes. Click here to go to her comment.

  21. Hello, how can I get the smoky flavour of jollof rice without too much burn at the bottom of the pot?

    • Hi Mary, like my reply to Abiola above, the only way to get the authentic smoky flavour of the Party Jollof Rice is to cook the meal over wooden fires. We can’t create a smoky flavour without a smoke. Some people say to allow it to burn very well but for me, that’s a burnt flavour not a smoky flavour and there’s a big difference.

      Or … these just came to mind now, I have not tried them:
      1. Place pieces of wood charcoal close to your gas burner when cooking the rice. They would heat up and do the job. I don’t know how effective this would be though, that is if the smoke emitted will be enough to add the desired flavour to the rice.
      2. You can try baking the rice in the oven. Place some wooden charcoal pieces in the oven while doing that. Make sure you cover the rice with aluminium foil when baking so it does not dry out and see if it works.

      UPDATE: Someone suggested using liquid Smoke to achieve the Smoky Jollof Rice flavour, I tried it and it is the closest to the real thing I have ever tasted. Watch this video to see me talk about it and use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSjjfRKQT-A

  22. I have been trying but I ve not been able to make make my jollof rice dry just like d party rice. Even when wen I make d cooking water very little, I still don’t get dat dryness. I ve been asking a a lot of questions about dis nd I haven’t gotten d solution

  23. Hi flo,
    what happens if I blend red bell pepper but not tatashe with the plum tomatoes? what happens to the stew as a result…will it still be good? also is it good to add bay leaves when preparing the jollof rice or does it not really make a difference?

    • Hi Patience, red bell peppers have a nice, “sweet” taste and your stew will acquire that taste when you add red bell peppers to your stew. The stew actually tastes nice but someone with very authentic Naija taste buds may say it tastes like Oyibo stew lol. Red bell peppers also improve the redness of the stew but not as much as the same quantity of tatashe or thick tomato paste.

      Bay leaves add a nice flavour to Jollof Rice. The good thing about it is that it is a mild flavour that does not overpower the meal so most people like it.

  24. Yes hello Florence, whats the difference between scotch bonnet and habanero pepper for stew? I also notice that you use fresh plum tomato for jolly stew. But is it ok to use tin or canned plum or chopped tomato (I don’t mean the thick tomato paste now) instead of fresh tomato? Also what do u think of naija jollof seasoning and nutmeg. In jollof rice.

    Many tanx! πŸ™‚

    • Tanya to make our lives simpler, I often say that they are the same. They are indeed very close with habanero being the slimmer and more slender one. The tastes are slightly different. Both can be used for all dishes but if you really want to get to the nitty gritty of Nigerian cooking, I would say use habanero for Nigerian soups and Scotch bonnet for stews and rice recipes.
      Yes, you can use the peeled (whole or chopped) tinned tomatoes. I just don’t like it because it is so laden with preservatives, the taste is off. But if you don’t mind it, please go ahead and use it.

      I have never added Jollof Seasoning and nutmeg to my Jollof rice so I’m sorry I can’t help with that one. The thing with seasoning is when you hear of one you think you may like, try it and if you love it keep using it. See my favourite seasonings at >> 10 Seasonings you will find in my Nigerian Kitchen and you will see that I do not use a lot. πŸ™‚

  25. hello flo, I have a question about a tip I was given to make jollof taste like that of party rice.i was told to add a bit of barbecue sauce to give it that slightly burnt taste.please is this true and if so,what brand should I use or would any do?thank you.

    • Hi Jayne, I have never added barbecue sauce to Jollof Rice. Now that you are telling me about it, I am trying to imagine what it will taste like, especially with the sugar from the barbecue sauce.
      I think you should try it and see if it gives it that smoky flavour. Any brand of barbecue sauce should do, I guess. My favourite barbecue sauce brand is Hellmann’s.
      Do not be disappointed if it does not work. We can only try to replicate this smoky flavour; nothing beats the wood fires when it comes to the real party Jollof Rice. πŸ™‚

      • I tried it.it didn’t work! what other spice can I add to give it that smoky taste?

        • Jayne like I stated in my first reply to you:
          “We can only try to replicate this smoky flavour; nothing beats the wood fires when it comes to the real party Jollof Rice.”

          So we can only TRY. I have not come across a spice or seasoning that gives the authentic Jollof Rice smoky flavour. You can also try these tips I gave Mary above >> Click here to view the comment.

          If none of them work for you, cook with wood and you will surely have it.

          UPDATE: Someone suggested using liquid Smoke to achieve the Smoky Jollof Rice flavour, I tried it and it is the closest to the real thing I have ever tasted. Watch this video to see me talk about it and use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSjjfRKQT-A

      • Yes

  26. What exact Maggi do you use for your jollof rice ? I used to use nutmeg in ma jollof which makes it small nice and taste yummy like party jollof rice and I use to add butter too

    • Adeola when I am cooking the Jollof Rice or any meal with beef, I use beef flavoured stock cubes. When I prepare a meal with chicken, I use chicken flavoured stock cubes.
      I have heard of butter in Jollof Rice but not nutmeg. I will try those two. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  27. Hi flo, am cooking a bag of rice which is 50kg I want to know the amount of oil,water,tomato puree butter to be used. Thanks flo

  28. Hi Flo, please each time I cook jollof rice with tin tomatoes it comes out with sour taste. I fry the stew well but don’t really know what I’m doing wrong. Please help. Thanks

    • I know you didn’t ask me but based on Flo’s video of the fried tomato stew it may be preferable to use fresh plum tomatoes instead of the canned version and boil until all the water dries up before frying. I’m sure Flo can clarify this for us.

  29. motunrayo says

    I prepared d jollof rice exactly as u stated for Easter and am hapi to say I LOVE D TASTE…thank you and God bless u

  30. Vera Charles says

    I want to know why it shouldn’t get burnt? Yes, it may be stupid question but I love the taste of not-so-burnt party rice.

    • Vera the reason is that while some people do not mind the taste and smell of burnt Jollof Rice, so many people do not like it because not everyone likes the smell of burnt food. It is not palatable at all because when you are eating it, you feel like choking. There’s a huge difference between smoky Jollof Rice and Burnt Jollof Rice. πŸ˜€
      And please, no question is a stupid question. πŸ˜‰

  31. Ms. Flo, if you or anyone doesn’t have the time to make it from scratch you could always purchase it packaged at http://www.amacfoods.com Just as good as it is from scratch!

  32. What about adding the smoked ground crayfish sold in most African grocery stores?

  33. Thanks alot ma, all my questions have been answered in previous comment

  34. AJAYI Morenike says

    Please I need answer fast. .i want to cook it now before I wake up
    Is it compulsory to use the chicken stock water because I have already thrown it away because I usually fry all the chicken when I buy it.. .will it change the taste? …..what can I do?. …also the tomato paste I am using has chicken flavor inside.. .sebi it’s just to give it that chicken flavor… .can I cook without the Jollof rice without the chicken stock?. ..thanks

    • Morenike yes it is compulsory because that’s where all the flavour that will make the Jollof Rice taste delicious is. No matter the kind of chicken flavour you add (probably from stock cubes?), nothing beats the natural flavour from the chicken.

      Sure you can cook the rice IF you have to on that particular day probably because you do not have anything else to prepare but it will not taste as delicious. I would never cook Jollof Rice without chicken or beef or fish stock.

      Next time, after boiling the chicken, freeze the stock to preserve it and use it on the day you will cook the rice.

  35. good afternoon, pls i need jollof rice recipe for 20 congos rice thanks

  36. What are the step to preperd this party jollof rice

  37. I cook my jollof rice ND it got burnt, is it a must for jollof to get burn

  38. I cook my jollof rice ND it got burnt, is it a must for jollof to get burn

    • No, Jollof Rice must not burn. Watch the videos and read the recipes I linked to in the post and you will see how to cook Jollof Rice so that it does not burn.

  39. Hello, my Jollof rice comes out bitter, someone says its the tatashe seeds, that I need to remove them before I blend.. someone else said its the purple onions that i should use the white onions… what do you think could be the problem, please advise.Thanks.

    • Comfort the person that said tatashe seeds is right. Tatashe seeds are bitter, tomato seeds are bitter if the tomatoes did not ripen very well. Onions is a “sweet” ingredient so it is not onions. Use any onions except the green shoot of spring onions.

  40. Juliet Ekile says

    Good evening, pls ma’am I have to cook jolof Rice and Moi Moi for 650 people. I need the recipes and estimate, pls can you help me?

  41. Pls I need help estimate jollof rice, fried rice & moi moi for about 300 guest

  42. Hello Florence.
    Help me out please. How many people can a bag of rice feed? How many tins of tomatoes will be needed to cook a bag of rice?

    • Hi Nime, I don’t know ooo. This kind of calculation comes with experience.
      I know that 1 bag of rice weighs 50kg. So from your home cooking, how many grams or kilograms of rice can feed all the members of your family if you have the party sides (moi moi, salad) in the plate? If you know the answer to that then you can do the maths with 50kg. Remember that some of the rice will pour away, some people will eat more, some rice will burn in the pot, some will be lost during serving etc. All these will help you come up with a rough estimate.

  43. Hi flo can I add sugar to Jollof Rice have been wondering if this is going to make it tastier

  44. Ehinomen Phil says

    Please ma what ingredients and their quantities do I need to prepare 10kg of rice. I mean party jollof rice.

  45. Just made my first jollof rice.

    Honestly everything & the food was just cooking/going soooo fast ? … I was just pouring every every inside pot o.

    But thanks be to God, it came out looking like the color of jollof. ??
    Will taste later when it’s a bit cool.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  46. Hi! So I’ve been TRYInG to get that perfect dry and soft party jollof rice. But for some weird reason, my rice is ALWAYS so watery and gummy. And no matter the amount of salt i add to the tomato paste, it almost never reaches the entire pot of jollof rice afterward. What do I do?

  47. uche ada says

    Hi flo, good evening plzzz I need ur help, my man wants me to cook jollof rice for his party and I told him I don’t know how to cook jollof but I really want to surprise him.

  48. please how can I cook jollof rice with magarine?

  49. Hi Flo, I remove the water in my tomatoes with akamu sac, (not the one for washing but the other for removing the water) to save time. I grind and pour the fresh tomatoes in the bag and press out the water.with hand. Is it Okey?

  50. Tolulope Abosede says

    Am still having issue with cooking jollor rice. pls kindly help me. cos is about to send me out of my hubby house. I really need a good cooker to teach me pls

  51. Cynthia Nkemdirim says

    Please is the liquid smoker on sell in any market?

  52. Cynthia Nkemdirim says

    Please is the liquid smoker on sell in any market?

  53. Cynthia Nkemdirim says

    Please is the liquid smoker on sell in any market?

  54. Haven’t eaten a good jellof rice for a long rime now. I think it’s time to fold my sleaves and get to work by myself. But is it proper to add green beans?

  55. Hello Flo, if I’m using Basmati rice, is there anything I will do differently?

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