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Jollof rice is a favorite Nigerian dish, and in many West African countries. It is a simple flavorsome dish made with tomatoes, bell pepper, and herbs to create a fiery yet smokey aroma. This version is vegan.

It comes as no surprise as to why jollof rice is a guaranteed dish at every Nigerian party. Dare not serve jollof rice at your party, and some aunties and uncles might develop a serious case of resting disgruntled face. This is because everyone expects to eat the special type of jollof rice known as party jollof. The party jollof rice is traditionally cooked over open wood fire. This method of cooking creates a distinctive bold flavor by slowly infusing smoke into the rice.

Then, there is always the ongoing debate on which country makes the best jollof rice. Ghana tries to put up a good fight, but we all know Nigeria takes the cup any day.  At least, that’s my biased opinion. This vegan version tastes just as good as the non-vegan version, maybe even better. To make it even more nutritious, I served it with steamed peas, fresh cucumber, and tomatoes.   Jollof Rice Bowl

Final Result

Nutrition Tip: I replaced the traditionally used white rice with brown rice.  This is because brown rice has a higher content of fiber, calcium, and iron.  Additionally, studies looking at the effect of brown rice consumption in obese women and pre-diabetes patients showed that eating brown rice instead of white rice leads to significant decrease in weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, and inflammation.

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Jollof Rice
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5 from 4 votes

Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice is truly a delicious dish that is easy to make. This vegan version is made with tomatoes, pepper, onions, and ginger, and the flavor is enhanced some earthy herbs.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Nigerian
Keyword Easy, Gluten free, Whole grain
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 304kcal
Author Nnaja Okorafor, MD


  • 2 cups of uncooked brown rice rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 medium roma tomato chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 habanero pepper seeds removed
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt


  • Combine tomatoes, red bell pepper, habanero pepper, and 1/2 onion in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil then add the other 1/2 diced onion. Sauté the onion for about 2 to 3 mins or until it is translucent. Add minced garlic and ginger then cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tomato pepper blend followed by thyme, rosemary, curry, bay leaves. Stir and add salt to taste. Cover pan and cook under medium heat for about 8-10 mins.
  • Gently stir in brown rice. Add water or vegetable stock then combine well to get a homogeneous blend. Cover pot, cook at low heat for about 40 mins until the rice is al dente. You may cover the pot with aluminum foil, before placing the lid to keep the steam and flavor within the pot. The steam is what cooks the rice. Turn off the heat, and let it stand for another 10 mins to finishing cooking. Garnish and Serve.


-High heat will burn the rice. Resist the urge to frequently open the lid as this will cause the steam to escape.  
-You may add additional 1/2 cup water at a time and stir gently if the rice is still hard.
-You may use less or more habanero pepper and paprika depending on how spicy you like your foods. Don’t use too much pepper to avoid overpowering other flavors.
The nutrition fact is an estimate calculated using a calorie counting application.
Nutrition Per Serving:  Serving size: 1 cup, Calories 304, Fat 6.8g, Saturated fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 37mg, Total Carbohydrate 55.9g,  dietary fiber 4.2g, Total sugars 3.2g, Protein 6.2g, Vitamin D 0mcg, Calcium 42mg, Iron 4mg, Potassium 407mg

Did you make this recipe? Tag @theveganri on Instagram and hashtag it #TheVeganri

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Eunice O
Eunice O
2 years ago

It looks good and delicious.

2 years ago

5 stars
Very tasty. I love it

Kaylaychi (k-girl)
Kaylaychi (k-girl)
2 years ago

Ok I have to try this. Looks yummy!

2 years ago

5 stars
I enjoyed it so much, but i made my with white rice

2 years ago

5 stars
This was yummy and easy

2 years ago

Wow I can smell and taste the flavor from here!

2 years ago

5 stars
Ouuh, jollof rice, my favorite