How to Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way

Two Methods:Ghanaian Jollof Rice #1Ghanaian Jollof Rice #2

Jollof (jol-ôf) rice is a popular dish that is enjoyed by Ghanaians, Nigerians, and other West Africans. Ghana is one of the several coastal countries of West Africa. Jollof has many variations; the dish can be made with meat, vegetables, or tofu. The uniquely colored rice is often enjoyed at dinnertime, but is also eaten at various parties and weddings. The origins of this dish stem from the Wolof people, an ethnic group found in the Senegambian region (Senegal and Gambia). Although most people know this dish as jollof, another name is benachin, which means “one pot” in the Wolof language. No matter the name, people from all over West Africa and -- now by emigration -- the world revel in this dish, whether it be at parties or in the comfort of their own homes.


Ghanaian jollof rice #1

  • Cooking oil
  • Onion
  • Chili pepper
  • Green pepper (bell pepper/capsicum pepper)
  • Fresh/ canned chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Stock cube
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Any other spice of your choice
  • Any other vegetable of your choice
  • Rice

Ghanaian jollof rice #2

Meat Preparation:

  • 1 ½ jumbo onion, diced
  • 1 habanero pepper, de-stemmed
  • 3 lbs smoked turkey
  • 7 cups water
  • ¾ tablespoon salt

Creating the Stew:

  • 2 cans Hunt’s tomato sauce
  • ½ jumbo onion, diced
  • 1 habanero pepper, diced and de-stemmed
  • ¼ cup of oil
  • ¾ tablespoon salt

Meat broth (from meat preparation step):

  • ½ clove garlic

Adding the rice:

  • 6 cups jasmine rice
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tablespoon salt

Method 1
Ghanaian Jollof Rice #1

  1. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 1
    Blend chili pepper and fresh/canned chopped tomatoes. Chop the onion, green pepper and any other vegetables into small pieces.
  2. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 2
    Pour the cooking oil of your choice in a saucepan and heat it. Add the chopped onions and green pepper pieces. Leave on the fire till you start smelling the green pepper.
  3. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 3
    Pour in the blended chili pepper and allow to simmer till it just begins to fry. Pour in the blended fresh/canned chopped tomatoes. Add the tomato puree. Allow to simmer.
  4. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 4
    When the stew thickens, add the stock cube and any other spice. Taste before adding salt to know if the salt already added is sufficient. Keep stirring to ensure that the stew does not burn.
  5. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 5
    Pour in the rice and stir, ensuring the rice has properly mixed with the stew. Keep stirring till you feel the rice has soaked up the flavours of the stew.
  6. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 6
    Add enough water to cook the rice. Taste to check the salt content again and cover the saucepan. Allow to boil.
  7. Image titled Cook Jollof Rice the Ghanaian Way Step 7
    Keep checking the progress to ensure that the rice cooks properly. Once the water drains from the rice and its softness or hardness pleases you, it is ready to be served.

Method 2
Ghanaian Jollof Rice #2

Preparing the meat

  1. 1
    Add 1 diced jumbo onion, 1 habanero pepper, 3 lbs smoked turkey, and ¾ tablespoons salt to a large pot.
  2. 2
    Add 7 cups water, or just enough water to cover the top of the meat in the pot.
  3. 3
    Cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes on medium-high heat. Or, cook until the broth in the pot is an inch (2.5cm) from the bottom. Be sure to watch the broth level! Make sure that the broth does not fall too low.
  4. 4
    Turn off the stove. Set aside the meat and broth.

Creating the stew

  1. 1
    Add ¼ cup oil to another pot. Turn the heat on medium-high.
  2. 2
    When the oil gets hot, add ½ diced jumbo onion to oil and spoon on the cooked

smoked turkey into oil and onions.

  1. 1
    Sauté the onions and turkey for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. 2
    Let simmer for 1 hour on medium heat. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. 3
    After simmering for 1 hour, add the broth (from the meat preparation section), ¾ tablespoon salt, and ½ clove of garlic to the pot.
  4. 4
    Stir and let simmer for 1 more hour. Stir every 10 minutes.
    • Watch the stew level. If the stew level gets below the halfway mark of the pot, add the water and salt as needed, to keep the levels high enough.

Adding the Rice

  1. 1
    Add 6 cups jasmine rice to a bowl and wash the rice. Add the rice to the stew by the spoonful, then add a quarter tablespoon of salt.
    • Be sure that enough rice is added. Also, do not add too much rice, or the dish will not cook well.
    • The rice level should stay 1- 1 ½ inches below the stew level, to avoid dryness.
  2. 2
    Cover and let cook for 20 minutes on low heat. If, after 20 minutes, the rice is still hard or grainy, then mix a ½ a teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of water together and sprinkle over the rice.
  3. 3
    Cook for 15 more minutes on low heat. Keep adding water on rice until rice is soft.
  4. 4
    Check the texture. The rice should now have a characteristic orange color. Add the ½ a clove of garlic to the rice. Let it cook for 10 more minutes.


  • Remember, its other name "Benachin" means "one pot", therefore anything goes, so long as you are comfortable with it.
  • Jollof rice can be served with chicken. In this instance, the chicken stock can be added to the stew in step 4 of Method One.
  • Jollof rice can also be served with meat cut into small pieces and added in step 5 of Method One, so that it ends up mixed with the rice.
  • Cook any vegetables that needs to be cooked ahead of time (carrots, beans etc) and add in step 5 of Method One.


  • Ensure that the rice is neither overcooked nor undercooked.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 large pots
  • 1 cooking spoon
  • 1 ladle

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Food Preparation