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Spicy Jollof Rice Recipe

Our Spicy Nigerian Jollof rice recipe is a spicy, tasty dish that will have your family asking for seconds. Ready in about a half hour thanks to the pressure cooker, this is a delicious addition to just about any night of the week. You can serve it on its own or as a side dish to your favorite dinners.

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What is Jollof Rice?

Jollof rice is a dish that comes from western and sub-Saharan cultures of Africa. It combines long grain rice with tomatoes, onions, vegetables, spices, and in some cultures meats. The exact recipe varies between cultures and can be different based on where you get the rice dish from.

Our Jollof rice provides a combination of flavor and heat. It is naturally vegetarian but also can be made vegan by using oil instead of ghee. It is easy to modify to add more or less heat or extra veggies.

jollof rice

Why you’ll love jollof rice

Our Jollof rice is vegetarian and can easily be made vegan. To make it vegan, just use oil instead of butter to garnish it.

You’ll also love the ease with which you can add more or less heat to the dish. Want more heat? Just add a bit more pepper. Like the dish milder? Then use less pepper or take it out entirely.

If you like adding veggies, you can easily add bite sized carrot pieces, kernels of corn, peas, or other veggies to fill it out a bit more. 

Finally, you’ll love how easy it is to make this rice in the Instant Pot. It cooks up in less than 30 minutes and needs very little prep work. You can make it ahead and serve it for lunch or whip it up quickly when you are short on time.

jollof rice

What you’ll need

When you want to make this amazing rice dish, you’ll need to make sure you have:

  • Red bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • Hot pepper - You can use a Scotch bonnet pepper, habanero pepper, or red bird-eye chili with the stem removed. You can use more or less depending on how hot you want it.
  • Onion - You can use either white or yellow.
  • Tomatoes - You can use fresh and chop them yourself or use a 1/2 can of diced tomatoes.
  • Oil - You can use a light tasting oil like extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.
  • Basmati rice - You can use any long grained rice you have on hand if you prefer.
  • Seasonings - You’ll need a bay leaf, Jamaican Curry powder, salt (to taste), and dried thyme leaves. 
  • Tomato paste 
  • Vegetable broth - You can use water if you prefer.
  • Butter, coconut oil, and stalk of green onion for garnish.

How to make

Here’s what you’ll need to do to make the Jollof Rice Recipe in the Instant Pot.

jollof rice step by step instructions

  • First, place the red bell pepper, chilies, roughly chopped onion, and chopped tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Next, turn it on high and mix until it forms a a puree.  
  • Once the puree is ready, turn the instant pot or electric pressure cooker onto sauté mode and then add in the thinly sliced onions. Make sure to cook them until they turn translucent and begin to turn golden or about 2 to 3 minutes.

jollof rice step by step instructions

  • Next, add in the prepared bell pepper puree and tomato paste and sauté the mixture for 5 minutes. As it cooks, keep stirring the mixture in intervals.
  • Once the mixture has cooked, stir in the rice, bay leaf, and thyme leaves.
  • Next, stir in the broth or water and mix well and then add in curry powder and salt to taste.

jollof rice step by step instructions

  • Finally, turn off saute mode and select pressure cook for 5 minutes and then let it do a natural release of pressure. Carefully open the lid and add in the butter, ghee, or coconut oil and chopped green onions.
  • Serve alongside your favorite entree, on its own, or with a flat bread of your choice.

Pro tips and tricks

When getting started, here are some pro tips and tricks to help you out.

  • Make sure you rinse the rice very well before cooking with it. Rinsing the rice helps remove dirt and other debris and helps it become fluffier.
  • You can adjust the heat by adding more or less of the hot pepper. For a very mild rice, you can omit the pepper altogether.
  • To make this vegan, use coconut oil to finish instead of butter or ghee.

 

How to serve

Our Tandoori Paneer Tikka goes well with the Jollof Rice. You could also serve this with your favorite flatbread, like naan or roti.

Of course, you can also just serve it on its own. It can be quite filling as a lunch.

jollof rice

Why is my Jollof Rice Mushy

If your jollof rice is mushy, it could mean you didn’t rinse it well enough. Rinsing helps to remove extra starch, which can make the rice stick together more and become mushy. 

The other potential issue is you cooked it for too long. If you cook for 5 minutes with a natural release, it should cook it to perfection. But if you let it sit covered for too long after the pin drops on the Instant Pot, it can become mushy so make sure to uncover it as soon as the pressure is done releasing!

Can you freeze Jollof Rice

You can freeze the rice to store it if you like. To do this, let it cool completely and then spoon it into a freezer safe container. You can store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

To reheat, allow the rice to thaw in the fridge overnight. Once it has thawed, place the rice in the microwave for a few minutes or gently reheat on the stove top over low heat. You may need to add a bit more water if it is dry.

jollof rice

Jollof Rice without scotch bonnet

If you don’t have scotch bonnet pepper, you can use a habanero pepper or a red bird-eye chili. Both these options will create a similar heat for the jollof rice.

How to make Jollof Rice less spicy

If you or your family are not in love with everything spicy, you can decrease the heat by reducing the amount of the hot pepper you use. Also, remove the seeds and ribs of the pepper. If you really like mild food, you can omit the pepper altogether. 

If you like rice recipes that are a bit more mild, you can try our Spanish Rice, Fried Rice, or Rice and Beans recipes. They are packed full of flavor, but they are less hot than jollof rice.

Other recipes you will love

If you are still hungry, you can also try our Vegetable Biryani  which can be used as a side or as main dish. It is packed full of flavors from dried fruit and fresh vegetables.

Another great recipe idea is our Mujadra. This great tasting dish combines lentils and rice for a filling meal idea your whole family will love.

jollof rice

Let us know what you think

Jollof rice is a spicy treat to serve your family any night of the week. When you make this recipe, don’t forget to let us know what you think! Be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

jollof rice

Spicy Jollof Rice

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Our Jollof rice recipe is a spicy, tasty dish that will have your family asking for seconds. Ready in about a half hour thanks to the pressure cooker, this is a delicious addition to just about any night of the week. You can serve it on its own or as a side dish to your favorite dinners. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red bell pepper coarsely chopped and seeded.
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped or 1/2 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small Scotch bonnet pepper (or use a habanero pepper), or red bird-eye chilies stem removed (adjust to taste)
  • 2 medium onions cut one roughly and one thinly sliced.
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup Basmati or other long grained rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican Curry powder
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon butter, or coconut oil to finish.
  • 1 stalk of green onion / chopped.

Instructions

    Instant pot instructions

    1. First, place the red bell pepper, chilies, roughly chopped onion, and chopped tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Next, turn it on high and mix until it forms a a puree.  
    2. Once the puree is ready, turn the instant pot or electric pressure cooker onto sauté mode and then add in the thinly sliced onions. Make sure to cook them until they turn translucent and begin to turn golden or about 2 to 3 minutes.
    3. Next, add in the prepared bell pepper puree and tomato paste and sauté the mixture for 5 minutes. As it cooks, keep stirring the mixture in intervals.
    4. Once the mixture has cooked, stir in the rice, bay leaf, and thyme leaves.
    5. Next, stir in the broth or water and mix well and then add in curry powder and salt to taste
    6. Finally, turn off saute mode and select pressure cook for 5 minutes and then let it do a natural release of pressure. Carefully open the lid and add in the butter, ghee, or coconut oil and chopped green onions.

Stove top instructions

    1. First, place the red bell pepper, chilies, roughly chopped onion, and chopped tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Next, turn it on high and mix until it forms a a puree.  
    2. Once the puree is ready, turn the instant pot or electric pressure cooker onto sauté mode and then add in the thinly sliced onions. Make sure to cook them until they turn translucent and begin to turn golden or about 2 to 3 minutes.
    3. Next, add in the prepared bell pepper puree and tomato paste and sauté the mixture for 5 minutes. As it cooks, keep stirring the mixture in intervals.
    4. Once the mixture has cooked, stir in the rice, bay leaf, and thyme leaves.
    5. Stir in the 2 cups broth or water and mix well. Add in curry powder and salt to taste.
    6. Stir in the rice until well mixed, then reduce the heat to low.
    7. Cover pot and let cook until rice is al dente, about 30 minutes. Check after 30 minutes. when the rice is fully cooked, sprinkle the chopped green onions then use a fork and fluff the rice.

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Katherine

Friday 26th of March 2021

Ooh this looks so good. I have some scotch bonnet peppers to use up so will give it a try!

shanna

Friday 26th of March 2021

This looks amazing and I can not wait to try and with some butter chicken.

Kechi

Friday 26th of March 2021

I love love Jollof rice; am Nigerian so you know we live on everything Jollof rice! You did amazing with this recipe. I love the color, and that it is spicy. Thanks for sharing!

Jacqueline Debono

Friday 26th of March 2021

This spicy jollof rice looks so good. I was looking for something to serve with our chicken tonight! I think this will be perfect! I even have all the ingredients!

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