Orange-coloured grains of cooked rice with red and pink pieces of pepper and tomato

How To Make Tomato Based Jollof Rice With Fried Fish

Jollof rice is a delicious African dish (made mainly in West Africa).  The West African countries have a special delight in this dish and also have different ways of preparing it.  In Nigeria, jollof rice is a traditional and popular delicacy.  It is known for its mouth-watering sweetness and flavourful aroma.

Apart from the wholesomeness of carbohydrates the rice gives, the fresh produce and spices used in preparing the dish provide vital nourishment for the body.

Serving jollof rice with fried fish seems like the perfect way to enjoy the dish.  Here is the recipe for jollof rice with fried fish.  This recipe is for 6-8 people, you can halve the quantity for fewer people.


  1. Mackerel fillets (2 per person)
  2. Parboiled rice (500 grams)
  3. Vegetable oil (50 ml)
  4. Scotch bonnet peppers (2)
  5. Tomatoes (150 grams)
  6. Chilli bell peppers (2)
  7. Onions (2)
  8. Garlic (1 clove)
  9. Ginger (2 pieces)
  10. Passata (fresh tomato puree) (400 ml)
  11. Tomato puree/paste (3 tablespoons)
  12. Nutmeg (to taste)
  13. Bay leaves (optional) (3 or 4)
  14. Crayfish powder (optional) (to taste)
  15. Curry powder (1 teaspoon)
  16. Thyme leaves (1 teaspoon)
  17. Ground pepper (sprinkling)
  18. Salt (to taste)
  19. Seasoning cubes/powder (800 ml)


  1. Cooking pot
  2. Chopping board
  3. Grater
  4. Knife
  5. Cooking spoon
  6. Bowls (various sizes)
  7. Blender
  8. Frying pan
  9. Spatula


STEP 1.   To prepare the peppery tomato puree, wash and chop the following ingredients, put them into the blender, and blend until smooth:

  • Scotch bonnet peppers (seeds removed)
  • Tomatoes
  • Chilli bell peppers
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

STEP 2.  Pour the oil into the cooking pot, and allow it to heat up.

STEP 3.  Chop the onion, put it into the hot oil, and then fry until it’s translucent.

STEP 4.  Now add the tomato paste, stir, and let it fry for a couple of minutes.

STEP 5.  Pour in the pepper mix, then, except for the mackerel, rice, and bay leaves, add the other ingredients.  Stir and fry for 5-8 minutes.  (Note:  it’s not compulsory to use all the ingredients listed above, but for the best taste it’s necessary!)

STEP 6. Add water to about 70% of the pot and let it boil.

STEP 7. While Step 6 is in process, wash the rice until the starch has gone then parboil in a different pot for about 5 minutes until it’s chewy (al dente).washing of rice

STEP 8.  Add the parboiled rice to the hot boiling sauce, give it a stir and cover to cook for 30 minutes (ensure the rice is totally submerged in the sauce).

STEP 9.  After 30 minutes, open the pot.  At this point, the rice should be almost dried up.  Give it a gentle stir, place the bay leaves in the rice, and cover for another 10 minutes.

STEP 10.  After that, open the pot and remove the bay leaves.  The rice should be completely dried up by now and you can turn off the cooker.


  1. Cut the fish to the size you would like, and wash.
  2. Season fish with salt (to taste).
  3. Add oil to the frying pan and allow it to heat up.
  4. Put fish gently into the hot oil.
  5. Fry the fish, turn over with a spatula, and fry until the fish is at the desired texture.
  6. Remove the fish from the oil and allow it cool.

Fried mackerel, grey and silver with orange spices, in black pan

Jollof rice can also be served with beef , chicken, turkey, or whatever you desire.

You might also like to try my traditional Nigerian recipe How To Make Akara And Pap

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