No Nigerian wedding is complete without party jollof, and guests who will come to your wedding know that there’s ‘jollof rice’ and there’s ‘party jollof rice’ – the two are not the same at-all-at-all. That is why you should ensure that your catering team will cook the jollof rice right – to taste, look like and smell like ‘correct Nigerian party jollof’. Read on for the secret sauce and watch the cooking video tutorial; the cooking steps is below, if you prefer reading. Oh, and share this post with friends/ family who will help you cook and serve menu-menu. Watch the how-to-cook video below, and scroll down for the recipe list, a guide on how to serve jollof rice, and the ‘secrets’ that make Nigerian party jollof more special than the regular jollof rice.
Jollof rice is Nigeria’s favorite party/ wedding food – that’s what most of your wedding guest will ask for. So, if you’re a DIY Naija bride who does not want to hire commercial party cooks/ caterers or a foreign bride-to-be (getting married to a Nigerian man) that wants to incorporate Nigerian party food at your wedding, this post will show you how. Besides, learn – because after the wedding, you’ll want to be cooking this food for your hubby. Now, I can’t imagine a bride cooking on her own wedding day (don’t do that), but a good idea is to show this article to your catering team. If you’ve been wondering what the ‘secret’ ingredients and preparation steps on how to cook party jollof rice for your wedding reception, scroll down to follow the steps in the cooking video tutorial below – the list of ingredients is after the video. Enjoy!
Preparation Steps for Party Jollof
Watch the video above for instructions on how to prepare delicious party jollof rice, Nigerian-style. Prefer reading cooking instructions? If you prefer written explanation to videos, click here (Dooneys Kitchen) or here (AllNigerianRecipes) or here (Dobbys Signature) for recipe list and cooking instructions on how to make Nigerian party jollof rice.
Ingredients List: Nigerian Party Jollof Rice
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Tomato puree (canned/ tin, satchet or in any other package)
- Assorted Pepper – tatashe (red bell pepper), ata-rodo (scotch bonnet pepper), white pepper
- Fresh ginger
- Vegetable Oil
- Seasoning cubes (maggi/ knorr or any other)
- Spices: thyme, curry powder, bay leaves,
- Meat Stock (from beef or chicken boiled in mixed spices)
How to Serve Jollof Rice at Your Wedding Reception
Usually, delicious Nigerian party jollof rice is served with fried chicken and any of these: moin-moin, Dodo (fried plantains) and/ or salad/ coleslaw.
Party Jollof ‘Secret Sauce’ and Mistakes to Avoid
The aroma of party jollof is known to draw uninvited wedding party crashers. Hehehe, I’m just kidding, but it’s not a secret that Naija people obsess over the classic ‘party jellof rice’. Most people, Nigerians and Non-Nigerians usually ask ‘what is special or different about party jollof?’ or wonder ‘why is it that home-cooked jellof rice does not taste like jellof rice cooked for parties?’ It’s that distinct smokey, burnt flavour that puts party jollof rice in a class above the regular home-cooked jollof rice. However, it’s hard to ‘get it’, no matter the richness of ingredients you use; even many great Nigerian home-cooks fail at achieving that party jollof taste and colour. So, here are the 7 secrets to amping your cooking skills from ‘jollof level’ to ‘party jellof level’:
- Party Jollof secret sauce #1: Allow the rice to burn (not too much)
- Party Jollof secret sauce #2: Type of cooking pot used (use a pot that will allow the rice to burn) – the party rice pot is secret #1. Oyibo pots (non-stick pots) will not work – because those types will prevent the rice from burning, and so will not give you that party-jollof taste (burnt) and colour that you and your wedding guests crave.
- Party Jollof secret sauce #3: A generous quantity of fresh tomatoes and tomato puree. Even if you’re stingy with the other ingredients, you need to use plenty fresh tomatoes – if not, you won’t get that special party jellof taste and colour. NOTE: Too much fresh tomatoes will give your jellof rice a sharp, sour taste.
- Party Jollof secret sauce #4: Properly fry the smooth-grinded tomatoes and peppers (atarodo and tatashe)
- Party Jollof secret sauce #4: Properly seasoned meat stock – this is ‘the water; that will be used to cook the jollof rice.
- Party Jollof secret sauce #5: Bay leaves – gives party jollof rice a distinct aroma
- Party Jollof secret sauce #6: A generous quantity of curry and thyme
- Party Jollof secret sauce #7: The right quantity of water – too much water will cause the rice to become soggy, and this is likely to happen if you add plenty water at a time. It’s best to add water little by little, taste the rice and add a little more until done.
- For Extra Smokey Flavour: Cook your wedding jollof rice with firewood – somehow, somehow, party jollof cooked with firewood comes out with a better flavour than that cooked on gas/ electric cooker – the wood smoke seems to add a unique flavour. Naija party and wedding lovers will testify to that.
The Battle of Who Makes the Best Party-Jollof Rice?
So, there you have it – all the ingredients and steps on how to make the smoky-flavoured Nigerian party jollof rice that wedding guests love.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that there are other popular versions of jollof rice across West Africa, and Ghanaian Jollof rice is also popular, and you can find videos on Youtube on how to prepare it in any of those country styles. Anyways, we Nigerians believe that our own version of jollof rice is the best. Hahaha.
By the way, I know that some people love to add carrot and green beans when preparing jollof rice, I love mine plain (the traditional method) and sometimes with ground beef. I’d love to hear from you – how do you like your jollof rice cooked? Also if you make your own jollof rice differently, comment below to tell us. By the way, I’ve heard some people argue that the way the Yorubas cook their jellof rice is different from the method the Igbos prepare theirs. I also hear that there’s a slight difference in their recipe. Is that true?
Thanks for reading. Comment down below to tell us how you make or like your jollof rice, and who makes the best party jollof rice (between Nigerians and Ghanaians).
Image source: Nairaland