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Recipe: Basmati Jollof Rice

Recipe: Basmati Jollof Rice

Jollof is bae, to put it simply! This West African dish satisfies many a hungry wedding or party guest and is a staple in many Nigerian homes. Of course there is the age-long debate of Ghana Jollof vs Nigeria Jollof but we won’t get into that right now 😀

Basmati jollof rice is a slight twist on the original classic, using basmati instead of long grain rice. Here is a quick an easy way to make it.


  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cooking time: 25 mins
  • Serves: 4-5 people
  • Calories per serving: 587

What you’ll need

  • Tin of chopped tomatoes – 1 tin
  • Basmati rice – 3 cups
  • Olive oil (or preferred cooking oil) – 1/2 cup
  • Onions – chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Tomato puree – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic – chopped, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder or paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Mixed herbs – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Thyme – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Maggi – 2 cubes
  • Kitchen foil


  1. Start by heating the oil in a big pot (that has a lid). Add the onions and let simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes to flavour the oil
  2. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. The aim is to fry these to get rid of the excess water and remove the sour taste from the tomatoes. Medium to high heat should do but make sure you stir regularly to avoid the mixture burning
    [Lazy chef tip – I personally like to have small chunks of tomato in my rice (and I’m too lazy to blend the tinned tomatoes most of the time). You can blend the mixture first if you prefer a smoother consistency]
  3. While stirring the tomatoes, add the garlic, chilli, mixed herbs, curry powder, salt, thyme and maggi and let the mixture continue to fry for about 5 or 10 mins on medium heat
  4. Add 3 cups of water to the mixture and while it boils rinse the rice in cool water. (Some people don’t like to wash rice as it “removes the nutrients” but the African in me simply cannot lol! – I can imagine the look of horror on my mum’s face if she saw me pouring rice from the bag to the pot without washing it)
  5. Add the rice to the boiling stew and mix. The rice should be just about submerged in the liquid. Turn the heat ALL THE WAY DOWN, and cover the pot with a square of foil and then with the lid. The idea is to seal the pot as best as possible to allow the rice to steam
  6. Leave to steam for 12-15 mins
  7. When you open the pot you will find that some of the tomato mixture will be on the top and side of the pot – that is normal. Just mix the rice gently until you get consistency. The rice should be a perfect texture, if it is still quite hard just cover and let steam for a further 2-3 mins
  8. Serve and enjoy! I had mine with some sweet and spicy chicken and plantain of course. The official partners of jollof 😀

Final Result


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