How To Make Smoky Nigerian Jollof Rice

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How to Make Smoky Nigerian Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is a popular West African dish that is well-loved for its spicy and savory flavors. It is a staple in Nigerian cuisine and is often served at parties and gatherings. The smoky flavor of this dish is what sets it apart and makes it stand out. This article will guide you through the steps to make the perfect smoky Nigerian Jollof rice.


Before you start cooking, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • 2 cups of long grain rice
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 Knorr chicken cubes or any bouillon cube of your choice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Rinse and parboil the rice. This means boiling the rice in a large pot of water until it is cooked, but not completely soft. Drain the water and set the rice aside.
  2. Blend the tomatoes, onions, red bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and garlic in a blender until it forms a smooth paste.
  3. Heat a cooking pot, add the oil, and allow it to heat up for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomato paste and the blended pepper mixture to the pot and stir.
  5. Crumble the Knorr cubes or bouillon cubes into the pot and stir.
  6. Add the smoked paprika and salt to the pot and stir.
  7. Allow the mixture to cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the parboiled rice to the pot and stir until the rice is well coated with the pepper mixture.
  9. Add water to the pot, enough to cover the rice by about an inch.
  10. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the rice to cook on low heat for about 30-35 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked and all the water has been absorbed.
  11. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
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  • Parboiling the rice before cooking helps to ensure that the rice is cooked evenly.
  • If you want a smokier flavor, you can add a tablespoon of smoked paprika or use smoked chicken or fish stock instead of water.
  • If you want a spicier Jollof rice, you can add more scotch bonnet pepper or use hot pepper sauce.
  • To save time, you can use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes.


Making smoky Nigerian Jollof rice is not as complicated as it may seem. With the right ingredients and following the steps outlined above, you can make this delicious dish in no time. The smoky flavor gives the dish a unique taste that is sure to impress your guests. It is perfect for parties or any occasion.


  1. How do I know when the rice is cooked?

    • You can tell when the rice is cooked when all the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy.
  2. Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

    • Yes, you can use brown rice. However, it may require a longer cooking time and more water.
  3. Can I freeze leftover Jollof rice?

    • Yes, you can freeze leftover Jollof rice for up to 3 months. Simply place it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
  4. Can I add meat or vegetables to the Jollof rice?

    • Yes, you can add meat or vegetables to the Jollof rice. Simply cook them separately and add them to the rice before serving.
  5. Can I use a rice cooker to make Jollof rice?

    • Yes, you can use a rice cooker to make Jollof rice. However, you may need to adjust the amount of water and cooking time depending on your rice cooker.
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