Abi, 2nd Head Chef at Scotts Port Edgar

Jollof Rice!

A Taste Of Christmas Joy!

Christmas in Nigeria is a time of jubilation, unity, and family gatherings. While many traditions and customs are observed during this festive season, one dish stands out as an absolute must-have on the menu: Jollof rice. This flavourful and vibrant West African delicacy isn’t just a meal; it’s a symbol of togetherness and celebration. Allow me to me to share with you an piece of my Nigerian Heritage; the delicious Jollof rice, its recipe and delve into its deep relevance in Christmas celebrations across Nigeria.

Jollof rice, a one-pot wonder, combines long-grain parboiled rice with a rich tomato and pepper-based sauce. The dish’s characteristic red or orange hue, along with a unique blend of spices and seasonings, varies from region to region, giving each version its own special flavor profile.

Here’s a “Party” Jollof rice recipe to get you started:



  • 3 cups of long-grain parboiled rice
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce or blended canned tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, blended into a smooth paste
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust for heat preference)
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans)
  • 1 kg of chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, or boneless chicken)

For Marinating the Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Marinate the Chicken:
    • In a bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the vegetable oil, paprika, thyme, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for maximum flavour.
  • Prepare the Rice:
    • Wash and rinse the rice thoroughly, then parboil it by cooking it in boiling water for about 10 minutes, until it’s partially cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • Prepare the Tomato Sauce:
    • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
    • Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant.
    • Stir in the tomato sauce or blended canned tomatoes, red pepper paste, and the spices (thyme, curry powder, paprika, cayenne pepper). Cook this mixture for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the oil begins to separate.
  • Cook the Chicken:
    • In a separate pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook until they are browned and cooked through. Set aside.
  • Combine the Ingredients:
    • Add the parboiled rice to the tomato sauce and mix thoroughly to ensure the rice is coated evenly.
    • Pour in the chicken or beef broth and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the Chicken and Vegetables:
    • Gently place the cooked chicken pieces on top of the rice. If desired, add the mixed vegetables and stir them into the rice. Cover the pot and let it simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  • Season and Serve:
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently to mix the chicken, vegetables, and rice.
    • Serve your party Jollof rice hot, garnished with fresh herbs and enjoy!