Nigerian Jollof Rice – London World Food Recipe

Nigerian Jollof Rice

It’s been somewhat of a struggle picking a recipe to showcase our visit to 805 on The Old Kent Road. As London’s leading Nigerian restaurant it was a meal for the adventurous gastronome. Tempted to post a cows hoof recipe, or perhaps a goats stomach stew, we have decided instead to post a classic Nigerian rice recipe so you can enjoy a taste of West Africa at home without being brave.

Jollof rice probably originated from rice dishes eaten by the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia, but its popularity has spread to most of West Africa, especially Nigeria. Based on rice, tomatoes and usually meat, poultry or fish, it is believed by some to be the origin of Cajun jambalaya that travelled to Americas on the back of the slave trade.

• 1 whole chicken, cut-up (when we say “cut-up”, we don’t mean breast, thigh, wing etc., we mean hacked to pieces with a machete so that the little pieces of, bone, meat, cartilage, tissue, gristle and skin are all in the mix)
• 2 tbsp cooking oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 can diced tomatoes
• 1 tbs tomato puree
• 500ml chicken stock – best if its fresh
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 red pepper , deseeded and thickly sliced
• 1 yellow pepper , deseeded and thickly sliced
• 100g okra halved (optional)
• Large pinch of salt
• 1 tsp of hot red pepper powder
• 1 scotch bonnet chilli
• 350g long grain rice (washed and rinsed)
• Chopped fresh parsley for a garnish

1. Season the chicken with sprinkling of salt and pepper.

2.Heat two tbsp of the oil in a large deep frying pan over a high heat then add the meat and fry for about 5 mins till golden all over. Lift out of the pan and set aside on a plate. Don’t wash the pan!

3.In the same pan-fry the onions until soft but not golden, about 5 mins. While the onions cook, whiz the garlic, tomatoes puree, ginger and chilli in a food processor or blender until smooth. Or use a pestle and mortar if you are feeling authentic.

4. Now add the paste to the onions with the thyme; fry for another 2 mins. Pour in the chicken stock. Add the chicken, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 mins.

5. Add the rice to the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer then cover with a well fitting lid (so no steam should escape) and cook for 20 mins.

6. Take the lid off and scatter the peppers and okra over the rice. Re-cover and cook for another 10 mins until the vegetables are softened and the rice tender.

7. Before serving, mix the vegetables through and scatter over parsley.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 08:41 and is filed under A to Z of London Food, A to Z Recipe, Food and Drink, World Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Kalilileth

    This is usually made with the hard yellow enriched par cooked rice rather than long grain rice. Ordinary long grain rice would have a tendency to go mushy and have a risk of overcooking.
    Also, among Nigerians who make this regularly, I have never known any who use curry powder or ocra in this dish. The chicken which is usually used is not a regular roasting chicken, but usually an extremely small frozen boiling chicken, which has very little meat, but because it is an old bird has a lot of flavour.

    • Many thanks for these tips they are great! – I will change the details on the rice and make the okra optional – not usre how the curry got in there.
      Many thanks again and do follow the project.

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