Jollof rice, the Nigerian national treasure

It's funny how a dish that did not originate in Nigeria somehow became its poster child regarding food

It’s funny how a dish that did not originate in Nigeria somehow became its poster child regarding food. Jollof rice, the Nigerian national treasure, is special to us as our source of bragging rights to foreigners and because it somehow gets along with many palates, unlike its other rice counterparts.

Jollof Rice: top three foods

Jollof Origin Story

Originating from the Wolof people of Senegal, jollof rice found its way into Nigeria and quickly became a staple at celebrations, gatherings, and everyday meals. The dish showcases a harmonious blend of rice, tomatoes, onions, and a medley of spices, creating a burst of flavors that dance on the taste buds.

Debates on who makes the best Jollof rice often spark friendly rivalry among West African nations, with Nigerians passionately asserting their claim to the throne. The secret to winning the Jollof War, however, is in the spices you use to cook.

Take a crack at it

Feeling inspired to whip up this Nigerian classic in your own kitchen? Here’s a quick Jollof rice recipe for you:


  • 2 cups long-grain parboiled rice
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, blended
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • Seasoning cubes (as desired)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Sauté chopped onions in vegetable oil until golden brown.
  2. Add blended red bell peppers and tomato puree, cooking until the mixture thickens.
  3. Stir in thyme, curry powder, and salt.
  4. Add parboiled rice and cook until the rice absorbs the flavors and achieves the iconic reddish-orange hue

However, if the kitchen isn’t your preferred domain, fear not! OyaNow, your food delivery partner, has a diverse range of local restaurants ready to bring the authentic taste of Jollof rice, the Nigerian national treasure, right to your doorstep.

Do you run a restaurant and want everyone to try your jollof? Sign up on OyaNow. Your customers are on our timeline!

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