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My Neighbor’s Table: Jollof Rice

My Neighbor’s Table features recipes from communities across Washington for you to make at home. Whether it’s trying a new ingredient or falling in love with the flavors of a new dish, we believe food brings people together.

Jollof Rice is one of the oldest and most popular dishes eaten across all of West Africa. This iconic dish is a staple in celebratory and social gatherings. Many different variations can be found around the region. This one pot dish can be made with a variety of meats and vegetables and is high in protein and fiber.

Jollof Rice


  • 1/3 C oil (not olive oil)
  • 6 med plum/roma tomatoes
  • 6 poblano/red bell peppers* (no seeds)
  • 3 med red onions
  • 1 hot pepper* to taste (optional)
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 2 t Carribean/Jamaican style curry powder*
  • 1 t dried thyme*
  • 2 dried bay leaves*
  • 5-6 C of stock* (beef, chicken, vegetable)
  • 4 C of uncooked rice
  • 2 t butter*
  • salt and black* pepper to taste
  • In a blender (or by hand) combine tomatoes, red poblano/red bell pepper, 2 onions chopped, hot pepper (optional), and 2 C of stock. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large pot/pan and bring to a boil. Once boil is rolling, turn down heat and simmer partly covered for 12 mins.
  • In a large pan heat oil and add 1 onion thinly sliced, season with salt, and stir-fry for 3 mins. Add bay leaves, curry powder, thyme, black pepper, and stir-fry for 4 mins on med heat.
  • Add tomato paste, and stir for 2 mins. Add in blended mixture, reduce heat slightly, and simmer for 10 mins partly covered.
  • Add 4 C of stock to the sauce, and boil for 2 mins.
  • Add rinsed rice and butter, cover with foil, then lid and cook on lowest heat for 30 mins. OPTIONAL: add more butter, sliced onions and fresh tomatoes to taste, stir thoroughly.
  • Stir through, let rest and enjoy.