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The name Jollof Comes from the name Wolof – the name of a West African ethnic group in northwestern Senegal, The Gambia, and southwestern coastal Mauritania. The Wolof people are the largest ethnic group in Senegal so it is safe to say in summary that Jollof Rice originated from Senegal, but given prominence in Nigeria. This connectivity shows just how much Africa is one and is not divided.

Jollof Rice is one of the most popular Nigerian delicacies and is known all over the world. God sincerely is gracious to Nigeria in regards to the large range of delicious food found in that country and also how easy it is to get whatever is needed for such delicacies to be made. Jollof Rice is one of such delicacies whose recipes can be found all over the world making it almost the most popular food from Africa.

With Senegal as its origin, Jollof Rice is also eaten in a number of other African countries including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Togo. In French countries, it is called “riz au gras”. Jollof Rice is cooked in many different ways across all these countries but the main ingredients are always rice, tomatoes, and oil.
So if you want to have a taste of this delicacy and you are nowhere close to Nigeria or Nigerians, you certainly can make it yourself. Below are the simple steps to follow to make this delicacy available right on your table.
Let us know what you think. Enjoy!

The image is of a delicious plate of Jollof rice plus grilled chicken and fried ripe plantains. Fried ripe plantain is popularly called “dodo” in Nigeria.

Ingredients for Nigerian Jollof Rice (For 6 Persons)

4 cups of rice
2 kg of Chicken or other meat (use whatever you prefer e.g. beef, turkey, lamb etc)
1 cup of ground crayfish (optional)
1lt of blended or ground fresh tomatoes
40 to 100ml blended fresh peppers
Spices (Curry, Thyme, Delice, Nutmeg, chicken spice)
4 cubes of Knorr or Maggi (or your preferred seasoning cubes)
2 cups of sliced onions
5 cloves of garlic, freshly peeled and crushed
About 3 inches of ginger, freshly peeled and crushed
300ml vegetable or groundnut oil


Parboil the chicken (or meat of your choice) in one cup of onions, 3 seasoning cubes, one teaspoon of salt, one sachet of chicken spice, one teaspoon of curry, thyme, nutmeg. Submerge up to three quarters of your meat in the pot with water.

Once the meat reaches your desired tenderness, separate the meat from any remaining liquid which you will use as stock in the rest of the cooking process. So don’t throw it away!

Parboil the rice in 7 cups of water in a separate pot, allow to cook for 10 minutes. Then pour out the water and rinse the rice thoroughly with clean water and set it aside in a plastic sieve or colander to allow any excess water drain away.

Now, shallow fry your parboiled meat until it has a beautiful color, be careful not to burn it. Set it aside, but try to keep it warm.

Using the same pot in which your fried your meat, add the remaining onions and let them fry for a few minutes. If the oil in the pot is too much, you can reduce it slightly. Using the same oil preserves a lot of the flavor from the cooked meat and is a great flavor enhancer for your dish.

After about 2 minutes, add your blended/ground tomatoes and let them fry for about half an hour. You’ll know they’re done when you notice they are turning dark and separating slightly from the cooking oil.

Now add the meat stock, ground crayfish, crushed ginger and garlic, a teaspoon of curry, thyme, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of salt and a seasoning cube. add 1 or 2 cups of water and mix well.

See Also

Now add the rice, stir it in gently, cover and let it cook. You can top up the water from time to time, a little at a time so that you don’t overdo it.

Don’t worry, once it’s cooked, the rice absorbs all these lovely flavors and it’s not overwhelming to the taste at all. Over time, you’ll find your own perfect balance of flavors and create your own Jollof Rice unique to your home.


Recipe and cooking instructions by Gracelyn Amarachi, Lagos, Nigeria.
She is the owner of Gracelyn Royale Kitchen Lagos.

She can be reached for catering services at:


Kenyan Pilau: When it comes to Kenyan rice recipes, Pilau is among the favorite. Pilau is a common dish especially at the Kenyan Coast, Mombasa. Kenyan Goat Pilau is a mixture of spices; garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, fried onions, broth and goat meat.

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