Jollof Rice Recipe from Ghana
Jollof rice is THE signature meal of Ghana. The classic Jollof recipe varies a bit region to region (in fact, Ghana and Nigeria have a friendly ‘rivalry’ over whose jollof is better). It is made using tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices from the region and is often served alongside fish or fufu.
In 2023 more than 18,000 meals were provided for children through Forward Edge’s program, Create Hope Ghana, and jollof rice was the most common meal served. It is often cooked in a large pot, feeding an entire family or community or served at a party, wedding or big get-together. 
Our Ghana program directer, Jonathan, is an excellent chef and cooks a fantastic jollof. In 2012, when I was living in Ghana with my mom and brother, we would share this meal often with him while watching a Chelsea soccer match, telling stories or discussing a passage from the Bible.
I have made jollof rice once before, during the COVID lockdown when I had extra time on my hands, but this was my first time making it for my own family. We all got together in the kitchen and helped out (while my toddler pointed at the stove and said “I try that” over and over). We really loved it and made enough for leftovers the next day! We already had all these items in our home too, so it’s easy to source the ingredients.
If you’d like to learn more about what our Christ-centered and holistic children’s program is doing in Ghana, you can do so here.

Jollof Rice (Ghana)

Jacob Nagy
Jollof rice is the signature meal of Ghana. It is often served alongside fish or fufu, a staple food made of boiled and pounded starchy root vegetables. Connect with our Ghana program by making this delicious dish and learn how we're helping children in Ghana at www.forwardedge.org/ghana.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, blended into a puree
  • 1 red bell pepper, blended into a puree
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch minced ginger
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are soft.
  • Add the minced garlic and ginger to the pot and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes and intensify the flavor.
  • Add the blended tomato/bell pepper puree to the pot, along with the thyme, curry powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. Cook the mixture for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the oil begins to separate from the sauce.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Once the sauce is simmering, add the rice to the pot, stirring to coat the grains evenly with the sauce. 
  • Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes, or until it's cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (if the rice is taking longer to cook and is still crunchy after 20-25 minutes, add more vegetable broth, make sure it's at a low enough temperature to not boil the liquid too quickly and keep cooking until it softens).
  • Once the rice is cooked, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the jollof rice hot.


Pairs well with fish.
Keyword ghana, jollof, rice
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Miredita (hello), my name is Ermal

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  • 13 yrs. old


Entered the program: September 2023

Ermal lives with his parents and two younger brothers in a one-room apartment. His parents don’t have stable employment and they often don’t have the money for the rent or utilities. Ermal tries to help the family by doing different jobs in the community. It is common for many children to have to help their families by working and Ermal's mother is afraid that they won’t be able to help him continue with school. Life for this family is very difficult.

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