Jollof Rice Recipe – Sierra Leonean Style

There are so many names for this African delicacy. Some call it African Red Rice, Nigerian Red Rice, Ghanaian Jollof Rice and Ghanaian red Stew rice, Ghana rice and these are just a few of the ways people refer to this wonderful meal. For me as a Nigerian, I grew up having jollof rice as the main party food. I looked forward to every celebration and we did have a lots of them. Birthdays, naming ceremonies, house warming, graduation parties, weddings, funerals any celebration where you see Nigerians comes with Jollof rice. And in those days it was cooked mostly by professional caterers. oh So yummy.


Today I don’t wait for a party to make jollof rice. I actually make it at least once a week and I usually make a big portion that can be used for lunch for work and sometime for dinner. Serve with any kind of meat and some salad and your royal dinner is ready for the whole family. In Nigeria, its not a party jollof rice until it has that smokey flavor showing that it was cooked with local firewood stove, for some reasons those are tastier. Though I don’t have fire wood stove in north america, I try to simulate it by allowing the rice to burn a little bit bringing out that burnt flavor and yes, its yummy.

You might also find this meal mispelt occasionally; some of the wrong spellings include, jolof rice, jullof rice, wolof rice, wollof rice, julof rice, again the list goes on. Some even call it the orange rice, it doesn’t matter, though there are variations from recipe to recipe, they have the same base; rice. I want to recommend the recipe below. Its easy to cook and will bring out a similar result.

Found this Sierra Leonean Jollof rice recipe  on

The ingredients were:

  • 3 Cups of Long grain rice
  • 1lb Meat of Chicken stew: chopped
  • 2 small Tomato puree; to taste
  • 2 teaspoon of salt; to taste
  • 6 cups water; as required

For their preparation you will:

  1. Prepare meat or chicken stew.
  2. Put water, salt, tomato puree in a saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Add half the meat stew and bring to boil again.
  4. Clean and wash the rice. Add to the boiling liquid. Cover and boil rapidly, stirring occasionally as the grains swell.
  5. Cook until the rice is soft and the tomato and gravy are evenly distributed throughout.
  6. Serve with the rest of the meat or chicken stew and some boiled cabbage or other green vegetable.This recipe is ready in 45mins. This time could be reduced as you get better at it.
This is a very easy recipe that I will recommend. I will only add that the water be reduced to 4.5cups instead of 6. Then cook on average heat till all the moisture is completely gone. Stir all the tomato to and rice to have even color and then reduce the heat to low heat to allow rice to steam for another 10mins. Check taste to add a bit of salt if needed.
Also I find 2 tsp of salt a bit high for 3 cups of rice. One way to reduce the saltiness is to make your own home made chicken broth, adding half tsp salt and some vegetables like blended red pepper and onion to the chicken. This will produce a rich broth that can be used in place of the water.This is a very good way of making the orange rice really tasty.
I give this Sierra Leonean recipe a 60% thumbs up. Start cooking, enjoy!
Come back to see another red rice recipe that I will recommend.


Jollof Rice Ghana Style

Since the first day I had the Ghanaian version of Jollof rice, I had fallen in love with cooking  jollof rice with the Ghanaian recipe. One major difference between the kind and the Nigerian is the kind of rice used and the mixed vegetables added to the Ghanaian recipe.

Here is my my first class and tested till perfect recipe that you will find easy to adapt as one of your regular jollof rice recipe.

4 Cups of rice Long grain
4 tbs tomato paste
3 large onions
1 cup Crushed tomatoes
Chilli pepper
Chicken cut into pieces
Vegetable oil

How to Prepare the Ghanaian Jollof Rice

Blend 2 onions, 1 bell pepper and one chili pepper in a blender, add 1 cup of water. Add the mix to the chicken and boil for about 10 mins.  Add any spices you like to chicken, 2 maggai cubes and 1tsp of salt to taste.

Ghanaian Style
Heat a large pot, add half a cup of vegetable oil, when hot add a sliced onion to the oil and cook (fry) for about 3 minutes. Add 4 tablespoon of tomato paste to the fried onions. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add a cup of crushed tomato, then remove the stock from the cooked chicken and turn it completely into the tomato sauce. Allow to cook for another 5 mins, stirring frequently.

Fry or grill the boil chicken and set aside to serve with rice.

Add the rice, add 3 cups of water. Add quarter tsp salt and one maggi. Cover with a foil paper to retain the steam and use the lid on the foil. This process allow the rice to steam. Allow to steam and check every 5 minutes. Stirring with a spatula gently.

Check the taste and texture of rice and add whatever is required. Add the mixed vegetables last and cover up for one last 5-8 minutes. Stir together, cover up and turn off the heat.

Serve with the fried or grilled Chicken and enjoy yourself with a bottle of non alcoholic Malta drink.

Jollof Rice Recipe – Nigerian Style

There are different types of Jollof Rice. The idea is that you have rich rice that you can eat without the need for stew or sauce. Jollof Rice is also called Red Rice, African Red Rice, African one pot rice and many other variations of the name.

Rice is a common and regular part of many African Menu. Jollof rice in particular is popular at  weddings, naming ceremonies, birthday and other parties. There is a special “party” taste that accompanies jollof rice served at parties. This is as a result of the burnt part of the rice at the bottom of the pot. When cooking for a large number of people, one usually uses a much larger pot and as a result the rice at the bottom of the pot gets burnt giving the rice a special taste which many Nigerians have come to love and has become part of the “recipe”.

The Recipe below is just one of hundreds of different variations of Jollof Rice recipes. You may experiment with other variations.


Jollof Rice

  • 4 cups | 500g (1.1 lbs) long grain rice
  • Crushed Tomato 400 mls
  • Chicken (drumsticks or chicken breast)
  • 2 medium onions
  • Seasoning – 3 Maggi/Knorr cubes & Thyme (2 teaspoon)
  • Chilli Pepper and salt to taste

First Prepare the Tomato Stew

  • Dice the onion and set aside.
  • Add ⅓ of a cup of canola oil to a hot pot.
  • Let is heat up briefly and then add the onions.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes.
  • Add some Thyme and curry powder.
  • Add 3 cubes of maggi and a little salt. Let it cook for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
  • You may add some chilli pepper at this time if you want your jollof rice hot.

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Prepare the Chicken

  • Cook with the seasoning and 2 bulbs of onions (chopped). The cooking time depends on the type of chicken. (Do not dispose of the chicken stock)
  • Place cooked chicken on aluminum pan and grill in an oven. You may also fry it (however, grilling is considered more healthy).

Cooking Directions

  • Parboil the rice.
  • Wash the parboiled rice and put in a sieve to drain.
  • Pour the chicken stock and the tomato stew into a medium sized pot and leave to boil.
  • Add the drained parboiled rice
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste. The water level should be the same level of the rice. You would not want the rice looking soggy and mashed.
  • Cover the pot and leave to cook on low to medium heat.
  • Parboiled rice should be done by the time the water is dry. You may add some water if needed as long as you reduce the heat so that the rice is not burnt. Some people like the slightly burnt taste.
  • Serve with your choice of side dishes

 Also see my post on 5 Best Jollof Rice Recipes Videos With My Reviews