Nigerian DishesRice Recipes

Perfect Jollof Rice Without Tomato Paste

When cooking Jollof rice, many people believe that, they must use tomato paste to achieve the signature red-ish/orange colour.

That’s not true. In this jollof rice recipe, I will be writing about how to cook a perfect jollof rice without tomato paste.

Try this recipe if you are trying to reduce your consumption of processed foods especially tomato paste.

Perfect Jollof Rice without Tomato Paste

Where did jollof rice originate from?

Jollof rice is a West African dish. This means that different West African Countries have their own special recipes.

For instance, there is Nigerian jollof rice, Senegalese Jollof, Gambian Jollof, Ghanaian jollof rice and many more.

Although over the years, there seems to be a light-hearted competition between Ghana and Nigeria about which country has the best Jollof rice.

Personally, I believe there is so much to explore when it comes to food and we have to explore with an open mind because Good food should be enjoyed always.

Now, as I continue with this recipe, listed below are the ingredients for party jollof.

Jollof rice Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • Beef
  • 20 cayenne peppers (shombo)
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 4 onions
  • 2.5 tablespoon seasoning powder2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 table spoon thyme
  • 0.5 table spoon rosemary ( optional)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Please note that you can use other types of protein such as Chicken, turkey or fish.

For this jollof recipe, I would be cooking with beef. If you would like to cook yours with chicken here is the recipe for you. Jollof Rice Recipe With Nigerian Peppered Chicken

Now the first thing to do is to cook the beef.

Peradventure you forgot to take out your frozen beef from the freezer to defrost and you had to do it in the last minute.

Below is how to cook frozen beef and this includes how to quickly defrost it.

How to cook frozen beef

  • Put the frozen beef into your pot
  • Slice one onion into the pot
  • Add 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon seasoning powder, half table spoon salt and half tablespoon rosemary
  • Pour 1.5 (one and half) cups of water into the pot
  • Set cooker to low heat
  • Place the pot on the cooker
  • Allow to simmer for 7 minutes
  • Check the beef cuts to determine if they are thawed and easily separated
  • Continue to simmer for 7 more minutes if they are not easily separated yet
  • After the extra 7 minutes the beef should be easily separated with some efforts from you
  • Please note that – If you use high heat the beef will burn, so you have to allow the beef to simmer on low heat to be able to easily separate the frozen beef.
  • Turn up the heat to high heat and add more water
  • Cook for 10 to15 more minutes on high heat
  • Boiled beef is ready
  • Remove the pot from the cooker

Fried Beef

After boiling the beef, it is advisable that you fry the beef. The reason is because, frying the beef intensifies the flavour in the jollof rice .

I will further explain more on this as I go further. Follow the simple steps below to fry the boiled beef.

  • Place basket in a bowl
  • To get the cooked beef ready for frying, separate the beef from the stock by putting the beef into the basket
  • Place your frying pan on the cooker
  • Pour 2 cups of vegetable oil into the frying pan
  • Let the oil heat up for 1-2 minutes
  • Gently put the cooked beef into the hot oil
  • Fry both sides on high heat for about 7 minutes in total
  • Scoop out the fried beef from the hot oil into a basket to drain excess oil.

This is the part where you have to exercise a high level of discipline so that you don’t finish eating the fried beef before the jollof rice is ready.

You can cook jollof rice with basmati rice or the conventional Nigerian long grain or short grain rice.

Nigerian rice image
Nigerian short grain rice used for this recipe.

For a great outcome, you need to parboil the rice first.

Parboiled Rice

Making parboiled rice is an easy way to reduce the starch in rice while cooking. This helps to stop the rice from being mushy or sticking together after cooking.

Here are the simple steps to reduce the starch in the rice you want to use to cook jollof rice.

  • Put the raw rice into a bowl
  • clean the rice multiple times with water
  • Set your cooker to high heat
  • Pour the washed rice into your pot and add water
  • Place the pot on the cooker
  • Allow the rice to cook until it starts boiling
  • Immediately it starts boiling take rice off the cooker
  • Drain rice water by pouring it into a basket
  • Set parboiled rice aside.

Now it is time to explain how to use the parboiled rice you just made to cook Jollof rice.

How to cook Jollof rice

  • Start by cleaning the tomatoes, peppers and peeling the onions
  • Slice one onions and set aside for later
  • Blend the tomatoes, peppers and onions to a rough texture – do not add too much water.
  • Set blended peppers aside
  • Place your clean pot on the cooker
  • Pour some of the vegetable oil used to fry the beef into the pot – This oil further intensify the beef flavour in the jollof rice.
  • Add sliced onions and fry for 1 minute
  • Pour the blended peppers and tomato into the pot
  • To avoid wastage, rinse out the blender with little water
  • Add other condiments such as thyme, curry, seasoning and salt
  • Pour the meat stock earlier set aside after boiling the beef
  • Mix well then cover the pot
  • Cook until the mixture begins to boil
  • Pour the parboiled rice into the boiling mixture
  • Mix well
  • Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 10-15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes taste the rice to ensure that it is has attained the preferred softness
  • If yes, Mix well
  • Colourful and delicious jollof rice is ready to be enjoyed.
jollof rice recipe on how to make party jollof rice

The secret to cooking party jollof rice without tomato paste is to use a lot of cayenne peppers.

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I do appreciate the time you have spent here today and I hope you would try this recipe.

A video version of this recipe is available on my YouTube channel. Come along to watch by clicking on the video icon below. While you visit my YouTube channel, please subscribe so that you will be notified when I upload new videos.

How to cook Jollof Rice at home from scratch without tomato paste

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