My Kitchen: Valentine’s Special Smoky Jollof Rice


Valentine is here!

As a typical Nigerian, Jollof rice must go down. Here is a tip to make it perfect.


  • 2 cups (400g) long grain parboiled rice
  • 1.2kg (2.6lbs) hard chicken (hen)
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • 3 tatashe peppers
  • 2 onions
  • A medium piece of ginger
  • 1 cup (200g) tomato paste
  • ½ cup vegetable oil for frying the tomatoes
  • 2 Knorr cubes
  • 1 habanero pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (Nigerian curry powder)
  • 5 bay leaves (optional)

Notes about the ingredients

  1. One standard measuring cup (level) of long grain parboiled rice equivalent to 1 milk cup or 1 small party cup.
  2. If you do not have tatashe peppers, use 2 sweet peppers (paprika).
  3. Remember that tatashe, habanero peppers (atarodo, ose oyibo, atarugu) and black peppers are all spicy hot so be careful about the quantities of these peppers you add.
  4. Knorr cubes are boullion or seasoning cubes. I used chicken flavour because I cooked this Smoky Jollof Rice with chicken.
  5. I use hen when preparing Party Jollof Rice because it is tastier than the soft chicken (rooster).
  6. Nigerian curry powder is not spicy hot, it adds a nice flavour to this Smoky Party Jollof Rice.
  7. Plum tomatoes are the tomatoes sold in Nigerian markets.

8. For best results in the Smoky

9. Jollof Rice taste use tasteless and odourless vegetable oils: vegetable oils sold in Nigeria, Sunflower oil and Canola oil.

Before you cook Jollof Rice

  1. Blend the sweet pepper (deseeded), tomatoes (deseeded), habanero pepper, half an onion (chopped) with ginger juice.
  2. Prepare the tomato stew. Boil the tomato puree till all the water dries up then fry with the vegetable oil and add a diluted tomato paste later and fry till all the tangy taste of tomatoes is gone.
  3. If you will use whole chicken then wash and cut it into pieces. Cook with the thyme, Knorr cubes, half of the black pepper, 1 onion (chopped) and the bay leaves. I use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time of the hard chicken. When done, grill it in an oven. You may also deep-fry it. This is to give it a golden look which is more presentable especially if you have guests for dinner.
  4. Parboil the rice using the method detailed in parboiling rice for cooking jollof rice.