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photo of jollof rice from nigeria

Nigerian Jollof Rice

This Nigerian rice dish is prepared all over the country for everyday meals and special occasions too. You can swap out the 4 red bell peppers for 6 Poblanos if you’d like to add a little more dimension and heat.


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 red bell peppers, seeds discarded
  • 3 red onions, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups uncooked long-grain rice, rinsed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


In a blender combine Roma tomatoes, red bell peppers, 2 cups of onion (reserve 1 cup) and 2 cups of vegetable stock. Blend for several minutes until it is nice and smooth. Set aside.

In a large frying pan heat oil and add remaining onions over medium-high heat, stir fry until the onions begin to soften. Add tomato paste, curry, thyme and bay leaves, then stir for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato/pepper/onion puree and stir. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining vegetable stock and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add rice, vegetable oil; stir, then cover pan with a layer of tin foil followed by the lid. Turn the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.

Igbo dancers in Nigeria

The Igbo People

Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups, each with their own traditions and culture. The Igbo population represents one of the three largest groups in Nigeria, with a population of roughly 42 million people. The Igbo women in the photo above are performing a traditional dance with white handkerchiefs as part of Independence Day celebrations in the city of Port Harcourt.