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Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is a delicious African tomato rice dish that is spicy and has an intense flavor. This version is made with brown rice and is vegan.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: african
Servings: 4 serving


  • 2 Medium Onions, 1 coarsely chopped and 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Medium Red pepper, chopped
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1~2 Green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2~3 tablespoons Vegetable Broth (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme*
  • teaspoons Curry Powder*
  • To taste Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup Brown Rice*
  • cups Water (use 2 cups of boiling water, if baking)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan Butter (optional)


  • Blend the coarsely chopped onion, garlic, red pepper, tomatoes, green chilies until smooth. Add the broth is needed to make a smooth mixture.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Start Instant pot on Saute Mode, add the thinly sliced onions and cook till lightly browned around the edges, about 4~5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 2~3 minutes.
  • Add the ground tomato mixture, dried thyme, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until all of the moisture has been absorbed and the mixture thickens, about 10~15 minutes. The mixture will splutter quite a bit, so make sure to have the lid handy while stirring.
  • Wash and drain the rice. Add the drained rice to the pot, mix to combine. Add water and green peas. Close the lid and make sure that the valve is in 'sealing' position.
  • Turn off the 'saute' mode and turn IP on 'manual/ pressure cook' mode for 22 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally.
  • If using the butter, add it to the rice at this point. Gently fluff the rice, garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Oven Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and keep a ceramic or metal baking pan ready.
  • In a saucepan, bring the ground tomato mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 12~15 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and the flavors are intense.
  • Heat oil in a saute pan, add onion and cook till they are lightly browned around the edges, about 4~5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 2~3 minutes.
  • Now add the add rice and cook till the grains appear lightly toasted. Remove from the heat and spread the fried rice in the baking pan.
  • Pour the simmered tomato mixture along with boiling water over the rice and then stir in the peas. Cover with an aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Peel back the foil, stir twice, seal the foil again, and then turn the pan 180°F; this will help redistribute the heat over more even baking.
  • Bake another 30 minutes, then remove from oven and remove the foil.
  • The grains should have absorbed the liquid and the rice should be firm, chewy, but not hard in the center.
  • When done, remove from the oven and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Granish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.


  • Caribbean/ Jamaican style curry powders give the best flavor to this dish.
  • If you like spicy food, then feel free to use a scotch bonnet chili in the recipe.
  • Red bell pepper adds both flavor and beautiful color to the tomato mixture. Feel free to substitute it with orange or yellow bell peppers.
  • Make sure to cook off all of the moisture from the ground tomato mixture. Mixture should be thick as shown in the step by step photo.
  • You can add vegetables like cabbage, eggplant, carrot, greens etc. and cook along with rice.
  • Stir in butter into hot rice mixture to make it creamy and extra delicious.
  • To make this a one pot meal, add cooked beans (chickpeas or other small white beans) or tofu or lentils to the dish.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2~3 days in the fridge. The dish can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • There are chances that the rice may not be completely cooked after the set time. So if the rice looks a little hard and uncooked, then:
    • If using the instant pot - add ½~¾ cup of water and pressure cook for another 4~5 minutes.
    • If baking - then add ¼~½ cup of water over the rice and bake for another 10 minutes or so. On the contrary, if the rice is very wet, loosely cover to allow a little steam to escape and continue to bake another 8~10 minutes.


Calories: 274kcal
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