Origin: African, Nigerian
Method: Grill, Smoker, Open FireJump to Recipe
No good African Braai is complete without some African Party Rice. This smoky rice is the perfect accompaniment to African BBQ favorites like lamb sosaties or peri peri chicken. For this Party Jollof Rice recipe we are providing a base recipe that can be used as a side or a main attraction. To make it more of a main course just add chunked chicken, beef or lamb.
What is Party Jollof Rice?
Party Rice takes one of the most iconic African dishes, Jollof Rice, and takes it to a whole new smoky, delicious level by cooking the rice over an open flame or grill. This African rice is often a meal in itself, especially when cooked with the protein of your choice.
Most African countries have their own version of Jollof rice and Party Rice with small differences and variations. Our favorite thus far has been the Nigerian Party Rice, and that is the basis for our smoked Jollof recipe here. Nigerian Jollof uses a sturdier long grain rice, that serves as a perfect vessel to soak up all of the wonderful flavors of the dish.
Making the Nigerian Party Rice
Gathering your ingredients
The base flavoring of this smoked African Rice consists of tomatoes, red onions, sweet peppers, and scotch bonnet peppers. For substitutions, you can use 2 bell peppers to replace the 4 sweet peppers, or an equal amount of habanero peppers to replace the scotch bonnets. This smoked rice is not really spicy despite the hot peppers, but feel free to cut back if you are sensitive to spice.
To make the smoked Jollof Rice you will also need a high quality chicken stock, long grain rice, and a Caribbean or African curry powder. If you cannot find Caribbean curry powder try to find a curry powder using turmeric as a primary ingredient (it will be more yellow/orange). You can also purchase it on Amazon. Try to avoid red curry powders if possible.
Prepare the tomato mixture for the Jollof rice
In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes, sliced onions, scotch bonnet, and sweet peppers. Blend together until smooth. Set aside for use later.
How to Make Wood Fired Jollof Rice
This recipe can also be easily prepared on a grill, or even on a stovetop (though you will be missing out on some of that great wood fire flavor, and then technically it is not party rice). For this party rice recipe we chose to cook the smoked rice on our Breeo firepit.
Breeo with an Outpost Cooking System
For this recipe we are using our Breeo fire pit with an Outpost Cooking system. We love that this gives us the ability to cook the dish over an open flame, just like it would traditionally be cooked in Nigeria. If you are looking for more great dishes to cook on your Breeo or over an open fire, be sure to check out our recipes for Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip, Wood-Fired Seafood Paella or give our Picanha recipe a go.
Brief note on Palm Oil
Palm oil is traditionally used to make Nigerian Party Rice and can typically be found in Asian or African markets. Palm oil is produced from the fruit of oil palm trees. For quite awhile it had become the subject of deforestation concerns. Thankfully today concerns are starting to be addressed and more sustainable palm oil is being produced. If you cannot find palm oil, or object to its use, replace with a neutral oil with a high smoke point such as avocado oil.
Cooking the African Party Rice
Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the diced onions until soft.
Once the onions are softened add in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. You do not want the paste to burn but the paste may darken and the oil should begin to separate out.
Next, add in the blended onion-pepper mixture, followed by the spices and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken during this process.
Rinse your rice before cooking
While the mixture is cooking, rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes the surface starch which will help prevent your rice from becoming gummy. It also helps the rice cook more evenly, so you get a fluffier rice.
Add the rice to the cooked sauce and stir well to combine. The rice should be evenly coated in the flavorful sauce mixture.
Simmer and Finish the Party Rice
Next, add in the chicken stock and stir. Reduce the heat to a simmer, by moving the pan further from the flame.
Cover the smoked rice with foil and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil, stir the rice, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve warm with peri peri chicken, sosaties, grilled plantains, or your favorite African dish.
For more great rice recipes, be sure to check our Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules: Rice with Pigeon Peas, Caribbean Rice and Beans, and Flat Top Chicken Fried Rice.
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Nigerian Party Rice
- Blender or Food Processor
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 2 Cups Long Grain Rice
- 3 Roma Tomatoes chopped
- 2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers seeds and stems removed
- 2 Red Onions 1 sliced and 1 diced
- 1 Tab Minced Garlic
- 1 tea Caribbean or African Curry Powder
- ½ tea Thyme
- 3 Ounce Tomato Paste
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock
- 2 Tab Palm Oil or avocado oil
- 1 tea Salt
- 4 Sweet Red Peppers or 2 Red Bell Peppers seeds and stems removed
- In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes, sliced onions, scotch bonnet, and sweet peppers. Blend together until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the diced onions until soft. Add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in the blended onion-pepper mixture, followed by the spices. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the mixture is cooking, rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
- Add in the rice and stir well to combine. Stir in the chicken stock, mix and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cover the rice with foil and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil, stir the rice, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.