Jollof Rice (Vegan)

Vegan Jollof Rice

Last summer we had some builders in our house for about 6 weeks! During that time we became pretty good friends.  One of the popular topics of conversation, of course, was food.  I would feed them my concoctions and they would tell me about their favourite dishes from the countries of their heritage. One of the chaps was from Ghana and he mentioned that I had to try Jollof Rice.  Apparently, it was one of the best things you could eat, spicy, comforting and filling. I love trying new things so it sent me on a mission to come up with an easy vegan version of this traditional West African dish.

I have a friend from Sierra Leone called Santigie who helped me to devise this recipe.  He tried the test versions and said it was as good as anything his mum used to make, except not quite as spicy.  Apparently she used to make it so spicy he would eat and cry at the same time when he was a kid! 

Jollof rice is traditionally eaten with meat and cooked with chicken stock in countries like Ghana, Nigeria & Sierra Leone.  I veganised it using chicken seasoning (easy to buy herb and spice mix) and vegetable stock.  This is a hearty, easy dish to make which is lovely served (untraditionally) with black eyed beans. I hope you enjoy it!

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
(Serves 3 – 4)


400g (14 oz) basmati rice
200ml (6.7 fl oz) vegetable stock
½ – 1 scotch bonnet chillis (deseeded)
2 cloves of garlic
1 piece ginger – 1 inch
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 red onion
1 red pepper
2 tomatoes
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp chicken seasoning (herbs & spices)
2 bay leaves
(additional stock if required)


  1. Parboil the basmati rice 10 – 15 minutes (10 minutes for white and 15 minutes for brown)
  2. To a blender add scotch bonnet chillis, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, red onion, red pepper, tomatoes, vegetable stock.  Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large pot add blended mixture, curry powder, thyme, chicken seasoning and bay leaves.  Bring this to the boil and then simmer on a medium heat uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the parboiled drained rice and cook covered on low heat until the mixture is absorbed and the rice is tender.  If it dries out add a little more vegetable stock (50 – 100ml) and continue cooking on low until tender.
  5. The rice should be tender and fluffy.  It will stick together, but that’s part of it’s charm.
  6. Fantastic served with black eyed beans and greens or just on it’s own!

Watch me make it:


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