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)
- Recip for Cooking One (1) or Half Bag of Jollof Rice
- How Many People Can Half or One Bag of Rice Feed?
- ‘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)
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) or Half Bag of Jollof Rice
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)
- Fresh tomatoes – 4 dustbin-rubber measure
- Tatashe/ habanero pepper – 1 custard rubber measure
- Shombo Pepper – 2 dustbin rubber measure
- Tin tomatoes (4400g) – 5 extra-large tins
- Vegetable oil – 7 liters (or 2 custard rubber measure)
- Butter (preferably topper brand) – 5000g
- 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 spoonfuls
- 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.
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
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 7 secrets to amping your jollof cooking skills from ‘ordinary’ 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 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 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.
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. perhaps, 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 (Dooneys Kitchen), here (AllNigerianRecipes) and here (Dobbys Signature).
Wrapup: Cooking Nigerian Jollof Rice for a 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?
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