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 are below if you prefer reading. 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. Also, I included a guide to help you know the quantity of rice to cook for the number of people or guests you have. Enjoy!
Here are topics covered in this post – swipe down to the topic you want:
- Ingredients list (Jollof)
- Video 1 – Cooking Jollof Rice for 30 People (Recipe, Ingredients, and Steps)
- Video 2 – Cooking the Smoke-Flavoured Party Jollof Rice at Home (Recipe, Ingredients and Steps)
- Recipe for Cooking One (1) or Half Bag of Jollof Rice
- How Many People Can Half or One Bag of Rice Feed?
- When Serving Side Dishes Plus Rice like Moin Moin (Cooking Guide)
- ‘Secret Sauce’ and Mistakes to Avoid when cooking Jollof
- Tips for Serving Jollof Rice at a Party or Wedding
- Ghana Jollof vs Nigerian Jollof
#1. Watch How to Cook Party Jollof Rice for 30 People (Video + Steps)
- ALSO: How to Make Crispy Samosa Small Chops
- How to Make Doughnuts from Scratch (w/ Recipe for 100 Pieces)
- How to Make Crispy Spring Rolls (w/ Recipe for 100 Pieces)
Ingredients List (for Party Jollof Rice)
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Tomato puree (canned/ tin, sachet or in any other package)
- Assorted Pepper – red bell pepper (tatashe), scotch bonnet pepper (ata rodo), 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)
#2. How to Cook Party Jollof At Home
Ingredients and Recipe for Cooking One (1) Bag of Jollof Rice or 12 Custard/ Paint Rubbers
What quantity of each jollof rice ingredients do you require when cooking one bag of rice? In Nigeria, one bag of rice measures 50kg. Here are the measures of ingredients for cooking one bag of rice. Adjust the ingredients to half if you’re cooking a half bag of rice, or as appropriate, when cooking a quarter bag or less.
- 1 Bag of Rice (50kg), which is 12 Custard/ Paint Rubber Bucket Measure
- Fresh tomatoes – 4 dustbin-rubber measure
- Tatashe/ habanero pepper – 1 custard rubber measure
- Shombo Pepper – 2 dustbin rubber measure
- Tin tomatoes (4,400g) – 5 extra-large tins
- Vegetable oil – 7 liters (or 2 custard rubber measure)
- Butter (preferably topper brand) – 5,000g
- Meat stock 8 to 16 liters/ liquid measure
- Water plus meat stock – 20 custard rubbers
- Chicken stock cube (Knorr or Maggi) – 3 packets
- Onions – 10 bulbs
- Curry powder – 2 cooking spoonful
- Bay leaf – 16 pieces
- Maggi chicken powder – 2 baking cups
- Stock powders (Kitchen glory + sweet mama or spice city) – 2 big sachets each
- Salt – to taste
I found the above measurements that Ifi Fenkus Kitchen’s uses for cooking a half bag of jollof rice and doubled it. We have used it successfully to cook for my cousin’s traditional wedding and another event, and it worked smoothly.
Ingredients and Recipe for Cooking Half Bag of Jollof Rice or 6 Custard/ Paint Rubber Buckets
- 1 Bag of Rice (25kg) or 6 Custard/ Paint Rubber Bucket
- Fresh tomatoes – 2 dustbin-rubber measure
- Tatashe/ habanero pepper – Half custard rubber measure
- Shombo Pepper – 1 dustbin rubber measure
- Tin tomatoes (2,200g) – 5 extra-large tins
- Vegetable oil – 3.5 liters (or 1 custard rubber measure)
- Butter (preferably topper brand) – 2,500g
- Meat stock 4 to 8 liters/ liquid measure
- Water plus meat stock – 10 custard rubbers
- Chicken stock cube (Knorr or Maggi) – 1.5 packets
- Onions – 5 bulbs
- Curry powder – 1 cooking spoonful
- Bay leaf – 8 pieces
- Maggi chicken powder – 1 baking cups
- Stock powders (Kitchen glory + sweet mama or spice city) – 1 big sachet
- Salt – to taste
How Many People Can Half or One Bag of Rice Feed?
When cooking for a lot of people, as in weddings and other ceremonies in Nigeria, it can be hard to guesstimate the quantity of rice that will be enough. So, how do you know how much rice to cook for a party or wedding guests?
Here’s a rough guide to how much rice (quantity) to cook for any number of guests between 25 and 150 people.
- 8kg of rice feeds about 25 people
- 10kg of rice feeds 30 people
- 20kg of rice feeds 60 people
- 25kg (that is, half bag of rice) feeds 75 people
- 30kg of rice feeds 90 people
- 40kg of rice feeds 120 people
- 50kg (that is, 1 bag of rice) feeds 150 people
*NOTE: The above guide is for when serving rice alone. If you’re also serving the rice with other side dishes (such as moin moin, salad), you can feed double (times 2) the number of people listed above for each quantity of rice. That means if for each plate of rice, you’ll also be serving moin moin with or without coleslaw/ salad on the side, you will need to serve less rice per person.
When Serving Rice with Side Dishes: Cooking Guide
If you’re going to be serving rice PLUS some side dishes, then you won’t need to serve each guest a full plate of rice. In this case, you should serve half plate of rice plus moi-moi with/without any other side dishes. Here’s a cooking guide when planning to serve rice plus side dishes per plate:
- 8kg of rice feeds about 50 people (if served with moi moi and/ or salad) | 8kg rice can feed 25 wedding/ party guests if served without moi moi/ salad and the per-plate food portions are bigger.
- 10kg of rice feeds 60 people (if served with moi moi and/ or salad) | 10kg rice can feed 30 people if served without moi moi/ salad and the per-plate food portions are big.
- 20kg of rice feeds 120 people (if served with moin moin and/ or salad) | 20kg rice can feed 60 people, if served without side dishes and the per-plate portions are bigger.
- 25kg (that is, half bag of rice) feeds 150 people (if served with moin moin and/ or salad) | 25kg rice can feed 75 people, if served without side dishes and each plate portion is big.
- 30kg of rice feeds 180 people (if served with moin moin and/ or salad) | 30kg rice can feed 90 people, if served without side dishes and each plate portion is increased.
- 40kg of rice feeds 240 people (if served with moin moin and/ or salad) | If you serve a more rice per plate and no moi moi/ salad, 40kg rice can feed 120 wedding/ party guests.
- 50kg (that is, 1 bag of rice) feeds 300 people (if served with moin moin and/ or salad) | If the rice is served without side dishes (moi moi/ salad, and a bigger food portion is served, 1 bag of rice (50kg) can feed 150 people.
One of our readers, Nneka, rightly noted in the comments that: “One bag of rice can comfortably feed 300 people, depending on if it’s take away or served in plates. When it is served in dishes for eat-in and combined with other side dishes such as salads or moin moin, one bag can feed 350 people. There are 216 cigarette cups in one bag of rice. If 3 people are served 2 cups, then one bag will serve 324 people”.
Nigerian Market Rice Measures and Kilogram Conversions (Guide)
Custard/ Paint rubber bucket and Mudu/ Congo Measures – How Much Rice they Contain:
- Paint Rubber vs Bag: There are about 12 to 13 custard/ paint buckets in 1 bag (50kg) of rice, depending on whether it’s long or short grain rice.
- Mudu vs Bag: 1 bag of rice (50kg) contains about 25 to 30 Mudus/ Congos, depending on whether it’s long or short grain rice.
- Mudus vs Paint Rubber: There are about 3 Mudus/ Congos in 1 paint rubber of rice
- Derica: There are 64 Derica cups in one 50kg bag of rice
- Cups: There are 110 cups of rice in one 50kg bag of rice
Local Rice Measures Kilograms Conversion Guide: What a Mudu and Paint Rubber Rice Measures in Nigeria
- 1 Mudu/ Congo of rice contains 1.5kg to 1.6kg of rice (some types of Mudu contain between 1.2kg and 1.3kg of rice)
- 1 Paint Bucket/ Custard Rubber of rice contains 4 to 4.5kg of rice
- 1 Paint Rubber contains 4k to 4.5kg rice, which is also about 3 Mudus of rice (1 mudu contains 1.5kg rice). Also, because there are 12 to 13 Paint/ Custard Buckets in 50kg rice (1 bag) of rice, that means, you get approximately 4kg rice in one Paint Rubber Bucket (if you do the Math).
- 1 big Derica Cup is about 0.8kg rice AND 1 small Derica Cup is about 0.4kg
*Mudu and Congo or Kongo refer to the same thing – the name differs in different parts of Nigeria, usually Mudu is the term in Northern and Eastern parts of Nigeria, and Congo is what it’s called in the Yoruba-speaking parts. *Note also that the size of Mudu/ Congos vary across geographic regions is Nigeria, but the above measurements are based on the standard Mudu.
*Paint or Custard Rubber bucket are 4-liter plastic containers used as a measurement containers across Nigerian markets (they’re repurposed either from Paint or Custard Powder).
*Tiya is the term that Kano traders/ people use to refer to the Kaduna and Abuja Mudu, which is half the size of their own. In Kano, Tiya is a measure for ‘half mudu’. The standard Mudu used in Kano markets is two-times bigger than that used in Abuja and Kaduna markets.
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 desirable and 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 9 secrets to amping your Jollof cooking skills from ‘ordinary’ to ‘party Jellof’ level:
Party Jollof secret sauce #1: Allow the rice to burn a little (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 #5: Properly seasoned meat stock – this is ‘the water; that will be used to cook the jollof rice.
Party Jollof secret sauce #6: Bay leaves – gives party jollof rice a distinct aroma
Party Jollof secret sauce #7: A generous quantity of curry powder and thyme
Party Jollof secret sauce #8: 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 of 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.
Tips for Serving Jollof Rice at Your Wedding or Party
Usually, delicious Nigerian party jollof rice is served with fried chicken and any of these: moin-moin, Dodo (fried plantains) and/ or salad/ coleslaw.
Some of Our Readers Feedback
I followed your recipe and did little adjustments here and there. It came out wonderful, made the best party Jollof I’ve ever made. People praising me every now and then, so I said I must come back here to give testimony.
Ghana Jollof vs Nigerian Jollof: Who Makes the Best Jollof Rice?
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.
Anyway, Nigerians believe that our own version of jollof rice is the best. Likewise, the Ghanaians believe that their own version of jollof rice is the best. I guess that’s due to acquired taste – everyone likes best the taste of food they have been accustomed to.
I wonder what the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia would think of the Ghana vs Nigerian jollof King claim since they (Senegalese) are said to be the originators of the delicious ‘ jollof rice’ dish. Maybe, we should appoint some people from the Wolof tribe the judge. Hahaha.
Who Won the War At The World Jollof Festival? According to BBC, a few years ago, a Jollof rice cooking contest was held in Washington DC with 600 contestants from different countries. The judges did blind-tasting, so they dir not know sho made which dish. Guess what? A Nigerian woman won. One would think that that would be the end of the Jollof King debate between West African countries – but no. Here’s what I think – you let your tongue be the judge.
Watch the video above for detailed step by step instructions on how to prepare delicious party jollof rice, Nigerian-style. Prefer reading cooking instructions? If you prefer written explanation to watching videos, you can find them here (Dobbys Signature), here (Sisi Jemimah), and here (Chef Lola).
Wrapup: Things You Need to Cook Smoky and Spicy Nigerian Jollof Rice for a Wedding or Party
Jollof rice is Nigeria’s favorite party/ wedding food – that’s what most of your wedding guests will ask for. 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 how you like your jollof rice – with or without carrots? Do you prefer the spicy and smoky jollof rice or do you prefer the simple jollof? Comment to tell me down below.
There you have it – all the ingredients and steps on how to make the smoky-flavour Nigerian party jollof rice for a wedding or party. 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. If you’re planning to cook jollof rice for a wedding or party, share this post with friends/ family who will help you cook and serve menu-menu.
Do you have any ‘secret ingredient’ that makes your jollof rice taste better? How do you like your jollof rice – with or without carrots and peas? Comment down below to tell me. Also, if you have ever eaten Ghana jollof rice, do you like it less or better than Nigerian jollof? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below.
Image source: Nairaland