Jollof rice: A West African staple that’s delicious AND easy

Jollof rice is a one-pot rice dish popular in many West African countries—and every country has its own take on this versatile and delicious food. If you’re familiar with jambalaya, you’ll love this recipe, as some say jollof rice is possibly a progenitor to the famous Louisiana staple.

ONE Campus has adapted this classic to fit the tight college food budget. It’s the perfect side for any meal. Want to know what’s even better? It’s incredibly simple and customizable to any palate and culinary skill-level. 

This recipe was modified from New York Times Cooking. 

Yields: 7 1/2 cups


  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium Scotch bonnet pepper (or use a habanero pepper), add more if you like the heat
  • ½ medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 bay leaves

Time to make: 1 hour

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 ½ cups medium-grain rice
  • 1 ½ cup of frozen green peas
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lbs of medium sized shrimp (this dish is customizable—try chicken or add more vegetables!)


  • 1 ½ teaspoons hot ground chile pepper, such as African dried chile or cayenne
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste















In a blender, combine tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, and onions; purée. Pour out half the purée into a bowl; set aside. Add the bell peppers to the purée remaining in the blender and pulse until smooth. Add to the mixture that was set aside and stir to combine.


Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add blended vegetables along with the salt, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaves, ginger, and thyme. When mixed well, add your shrimp. Bring mixture to a boil.


Stir in the rice until well mixed, then reduce the heat to low.


Cover pot and cook until rice is al dente for about 30-45 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, add peas. Stir and get everything mixed. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. If the rice is sauce-logged, remove the lid to cook off the excess sauce. If rice seems dry, stir in 1 to 2 cups water. Allow the rice at the bottom of the pot to char a bit to infuse it with a smoky flavor.


Garnish and serve immediately!

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