Good Food: Nigerian Jollof Rice-Christmas Most Common Rice Dish.

Good Food is not just a feast for the belly but the very essence of our culture. It unites cultures together. There is always good food representing at least one ethnic group in Nigeria. It is important to explore and celebrate those good foods that unite us. Jollof is one of such cultural good food that unites the people of West African. It is a dominant name among African Good foods and a must have in Nigerian parties. Christmas celebration in a Nigerian home cannot hold without the presence of Jollof rice. Try this good food for Christmas and you will be glad you did.

Jollof rice is a rice dish that is common not only in Nigeria but in some other West-African countries as well. In Nigerian, this good food can be prepared in two different methods: the party Jollof rice and the usual Jollof rice commonly prepared in every home. The main difference between the two is that party Jollof rice has a unique smoky smell accumulated during cooking with firewood which the homemade Jollof rice does not have.

Read also: Recipe for Nigerian Beef Stew

Good Food: Jollof Rice Ingredients

  • 4 Peak milk cups rice
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion (medium to large)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 seasoning/stock cubes
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 4-5 pounds chicken
  • Bay leaves


This recipe is very simple and made even simpler the way I summarised it into 5 basic steps:

  1. Wash, strain and parboil the rice to get rid of some starch, and then set aside. Cut your chicken into pieces and cook with thyme, two seasoning cubes and onion (diced). The cooking time depends on the type of chicken. When done, fry or grill it in the oven.
  2. Prepare the tomato stew. Roughly cut and blend together the fresh onion, tomatoes, and bell pepper (do not forget to take away the seeds from bell pepper before blending). Cook the tomato puree till all the water dries up
  3. In a medium-sized pot, heat oil and add sliced onions. Season with a pinch of salt, stir-fry for three minutes and then add the tomato paste, curry powder, dried thyme. Stir for a minute or 2 and add the blended tomato-pepper mixture, stir continuously to avoid the tomato mixture from getting burnt. Fry till all the tarts taste of tomatoes is gone.
  4. Pour the chicken stock to the cooked tomato sauce and leave to boil for 5minutes. Add the parboiled rice and mix very well with the tomato stew. Add water making sure that it is at the same level as the rice/tomato mixture. Add the bay leaves, cover the pot, and cook on medium to low heat for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining tomato stew when the liquid has almost dried up. Cover and let it cook for another 20 minutes or until the rice is done and has fully blended in with the mixture. Turn off the heat, mix very well, and your good food Nigerian Jollof Rice is ready to be eaten!


To make party jollof rice, you will go one extra step. Party rice is basically smoky jollof rice, usually cooked with firewood. Nevertheless, you can achieve the same results on the stove top and this is how to go about it:

Once the jollof rice is cooked, increase the heat with the cover on and leave to burn up for 2 to 5 minutes. You’ll hear the rice crackle and the toasted smell. Turn off the heat and leave the cover on until ready to serve. The more time the cover stays on, the smokier the jollof rice. So let the party begin!

Serve with your favorite accompaniments which can be:

  1. Protein source – beef, chicken, turkey, etc.
  2. Vegetables – moi moi, salad, plantain, steamed vegetables, coleslaw, among others.