Cooking Guide:Ghanaian Jollof Rice

Authentic Ghanaian food is all about flavour! So, this classic Ghanaian Jollof Rice is not for the faint hearted. Mind you, you are the chef that will make this rice dish come together and you can control the amount of spice and chilli peppers. So ultimately, this Jollof Rice doesn’t have to blow your head off and you can put your own spin on it! In either case, this Jollof recipe is the type that you can eat directly out of the pot, as done so in some West African households.

With Ghanaian cuisine being vastly overlooked, this is your perfect chance to try something exotic. The preparation and cooking time of the Ghanaian Jollof Rice should be just a bit under an hour. It’s incredible what a flavourful and hearty meal you can concoct in this time frame! Before you start, make sure you’ve got all the spices and ingredients at home.

What is Ghanaian Jollof Rice?

Jollof Rice is a popular rice dish that you’ll find in Ghana, Nigeria and other West African countries. Basically, it is spiced rice dish with a tomato base, cooked in a stew, usually with vegetable or chicken stock. Also, it is cooked with chopped vegetables and pieces of meat, such as beef, chicken, goat or lamb. It is common to eat this dish for dinner or during celebrations such as birthdays or weddings. Most noteworthy, it is considered as one of Ghana’s national dishes.

The Tomato Puree

The tomato puree will make the Ghanaian Jollof Rice come together by fusing all the spices together. You can use any type of tomatoes for this step. However, I do recommend you sticking to the traditional Roma or Plum tomatoes. Generally speaking, they are best for purees because they are cultivated for preserving.

In terms of consistency, it is best if the tomato puree isn’t too thick or too runny. You can regulate the tomato puree with a little bit of water or chicken stock, which you’ll need for later use. Also, remember to add some seasoning. My secret ingredient for tomato puree is adding a fair amount of sea salt and a hint or ground oregano. What’s yours?

What You Need

For a serving of 4 – 6 

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 4 large onions
  • 6 cloves of pressed garlic
  • 2 chillies (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • vegetable oil
  • 500g of beef, chicken or lamb (alt: mixed vegetables)
  • 800g long grain rice
  • 1,5 litres of water or stock (± 1 stock cube, depending on how much meat is used)
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground white and black pepper


Put tomatoes into the blender and set aside. Then, in a non-stick pot, fry pre-cooked meat in oil. When these have browned, remove and set aside.

Add onions and fry until soft before adding garlic and blended tomatoes. Add meat stock and/or stock cube(s), tomato paste, ground white and black pepper and stir. Remember to season strongly because rice will later be added to this sauce.

Cook for ± 10 minutes on medium heat before adding rice. Stir and mix well before covering. Cook on low heat for ± 20 minutes. Add vegetables and mix well. Add about 1 cup more of water and continue to cook on low heat until rice is done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *