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Coconut Jollof Rice

December 6, 2010 | 31 Comments

coconut jollof rice

Coconut Jollof Rice is a play on your regular Jollof Rice, and the main difference between both would be the addition of Coconut Milk. Jollof Rice, is simply rice cooked in a tomato/pepper base which gives the dish its signature deep orange (oft times borderline red) color.

If you already know how to make jollof rice, this should be a breeze for you and if you’ve never made jollof rice before, this is also a good way to learn and get started. Be sure to read the notes for some tidbits!

To learn how to make Coconut Jollof Rice, here’s what you’ll need:

Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 50 mins Difficulty: Easy Serves: 2-4

coconut jollof rice

1. Wash and rinse tomatoes and peppers

2. Cut up tomatoes, onions and peppers; add to blender along with 1 cup waternigerian stew, red stew, smoked turkey stew

3. Blendcoconut jollof rice

4. Keep blending till relatively smoothcoconut jollof rice

5. Turn stove on to medium heat, add oils and blended pepperscoconut jollof rice

6. Add curry powder and bay leavescoconut jollof rice

7. Add knorr cubes; stir coconut jollof rice

8. Add coconut milk to boiling pepperscoconut jollof rice

9. Stir, let boil 10 minscoconut jollof rice

10. Add tomato pastecoconut jollof rice

11. Stir tomato paste into boiling peppers till it dissolves, add 2-3 cups water. Add ricecoconut jollof rice

12. Stir rice into peppers till evenly distributed. Let cook over low-medium heat for 25-30 minutescoconut jollof rice

13. Rice should be a tad firm, but almost soft at this point, and should still have some liquid in itcoconut jollof rice

14. Heat oven to 350 degrees, insert pot into oven uncovered; bake 10-15 minutes till liquid dries & rice is softcoconut jollof rice

15. Turn off oven and remove pot, let stand 5 minutes before servingcoconut jollof rice

16. It’s a wrap!


  1. If you’ve never seen what coconut milk looks like, see below photos:coconut jollof rice.coconut milk
  2. It has more of a thick cream consistency as opposed to actual (watery) milk.coconut jollof rice.coconut milk
  3. There is usually some coconut liquid in the middle/bottom of the can when you scoop the top off. Just mix it together.coconut jollof rice.coconut milk
  4. Coconut milk has a delicate flavor that can get lost flavor-wise when its cooked with stronger flavors like bell peppers, onions, ginger and garlic.
  5. In this recipe, you could get a hint of coconut as a back-flavor (like at the back of your throat when eating/swallowing), but nothing that you’d immediately smell or taste.
  6. If you’d prefer a stronger coconut flavor/taste, I’d recommend using sweetened coconut flakes which you could add while the peppers are still boiling (before adding the rice) or after you’ve added the rice, but before its cooked.
  7. However, the coconut milk does add an extra level of moisture to the rice. Now, I don’t mean you’ll get sticky icky rice, but if you’ve ever had a problem with dry jollof rice or have ever eaten dry jollof rice, I think adding coconut milk might help combat that.
  8. Typically, I don’t use tomato paste in cooking jollof rice as the red bell peppers give me enough ‘redness.’ However, with coconut jollof rice, once you add the coconut milk to the blended peppers, it changes color from deep orange/red to a light/mid orange shade (similar to a pumpkin).
  9. The addition of the tomato paste is just to make it a darker orange/red. Without the tomato paste, you’ll end up with jollof rice that is light orange in color. If that’s okay with you, then by all means, skip the tomato paste. I don’t like jollof rice too orange/red, but when I think of jollof rice, what you see in the first photo, is the color I think of!
  10. You don’t have to use the entire can of tomato paste, you can use 1 or 2 tablespoons. I actually started out with 1 tbsp, but there wasn’t that much left in the can anyway, so I just decided to use it all.
  11. If you decide to use 1 tbsp, store the rest in a plastic bowl not in the tin. The exact reason why escapes me, but something about the tin being exposed to air and possibly contaminating the contents (it is metal after all). Don’t quote me on that though! ;)
  12. If your knorr cubes don’t crumble easily, just drop them in the pot o’ boiling peppers. They’ll dissolve in there, I promise!


  1. I used unsweetened coconut milk for this recipe, though you can very well choose to use the sweetened kind. However, keep in mind that the sweetened kind will be more of a sugary and/or salty flavor.
  2. Don’t care for palm oil? Try Annatto Oil instead.
  3. No knorr cubes on hand? Maggi should work just fine.

Serving Suggestions:

  1. With baked smoked turkey…coconut jollof rice.baked smoked turkey
  2. With fried plantains…
  3. With fried chicken/meat…


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Rating: 8.3/10 (17 votes cast)
Coconut Jollof Rice, 8.3 out of 10 based on 17 ratings

31 Responses to "Coconut Jollof Rice"

  1. Fran says:

    Hiya! When I saw what the latest meal was – I was like yay!!! I’ve been wanting to try coconut rice for a while now and I will use your tip about adding coconut flakes for added flavour. I find the canned coconut milk/cream a little bit bland.

    Thanks and God Bless xxx

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Fran!

      Yup, coconut flakes will give a much stronger coconut taste than the milk. Hope you enjoy it!

      God bless you too!

  2. Azuka says:


    My mom makes a variant of this she calls Calypso rice. Jollof rice has always been hit and miss with me — sometimes I get it right, other times I get some part of it cooked while the other remains raw. What brands of rice should I avoid when making jollof rice?

    When I’m lazy I use Uncle Ben’s or some other variant of parboiled rice because I can keep adding water without having to worry about turning everything into a paste.

    Sorry this is quite long. Please let me know any recommendations you have.


    • Azuka says:

      Oh, and I miss most when I use jasmine rice.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Azuka!

      Oooh, I like the sound of her version! If some parts of it are cooked while other parts remain uncooked could be because the rice is not all cooking at an even temperature and the heat doesn’t reach all areas of the rice in the pot. I usually recommend cooking jollof rice at low-medium heat, anything higher or even variations of that could quite possibly burn the rice and give you mixed results.

      Any rice that is NOT parboiled long grain white rice, should definitely be avoided for cooking jollof rice or most Nigerian dishes that call for rice. So, for instance, basmati and jasmine rice are definite no-no’s. Jasmine rice especially, tends to give a clumpier, stickier consistency when cooked as opposed to the fluffiness of long grain.

      Any brand of rice that says parboiled long grain white rice on the packaging should be good to go. I’ve tried Uncle Ben’s in the past, but never for jollof rice, just for plain white rice. Typically, I purchase Goya Golden Canilla parboiled long grain rice or Riceland parboiled long grain rice. I usually get them at the African store or Hispanic stores that carry African ingredients. The Canilla has smaller sizes starting around ten bucks or so. Both are really the only brands of parboiled long grain rice I buy and use for cooking rice dishes.

      Oh no, no worries, I don’t mind questions :) Hope that helps!

  3. DELPHINE says:

    awesome food very appetizing a must try in KENYA

    • Yetunde says:

      Hi Delphine!

      Thank you! Hope you try and like :)

  4. Kanyin says:

    OMG I didnt know this actually existed! I made this mean jollof rice last week and i was wondering what would happen if i added coconut milk! Now i’m gonna have to make this!

    • Yetunde says:

      Lol, get on it! ;)

  5. chinwe says:

    This like the best recipe online I’m too embarass to ask my mom who I don’t live with to reteach me what she already taught me. The steps are excellent, in detail with pictures and its not confusing either. Good job

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Chinwe!

      Aww, thank you!! I’m glad you find the recipe helpful :)

  6. phebby says:

    i cook coconut rice but i used fresh coconut. i deshell, grate, blend and extract the milk using hot water to to rinseout the milk and dispose the shaft. it could be time consuming but being on the plump side i try to reduce consumption of canned foods. however i’ve never tried the coconut jollof rice, that’s next on my plan. i’ll try it tomorrow and let u know what i got.

    • Yetunde says:

      Fresh coconut is always best, but like you rightly said, it can be time consuming.

      I try to use fresh ingredients most of the time, but in certain cases, canned food products are just quicker to use.

      Let me know how it goes though, would love to know!

  7. Nicky says:

    Hi !
    I can’t thank you enough! My entire family loves this rice which my Nigerian neighbor often sends over with fish stew. I’m Asian Indian and my entire family prefers it over anything Indian. I tried it today minus the coconut milk…..It was amazing ! Will try the fish stew next week…

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Nicki!

      Aww, you’re welcome! Glad it came out well! Let me know how the fish stew turns out as well.

      Hope to see you around more! :)

  8. moyin says:

    Up yetty!!!

    just came across ur site n anytym am on d net, i find myself checking it out again n again.
    I love the recipes n d pictures. U r doing a great job.

    PLSS keep them coming!!! Thnks

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Moyin!

      Lol, thank you! As much as you keep checking it out, have you tried any yet?

      Thanks again!! ;)

  9. msphareedah says:

    Tried this and it turned out fab, sooo proud of my self, onto the next recipe :D

    • Yetunde says:

      Yay! Good for you :) Let me know how the next one goes!

  10. Taiwo says:

    Hi, thanks very much 4ur site I love it .when I tried the coconut rice my husby and kids loves it so much.it’s was so yummy.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Taiwo!

      You’re very welcome! Glad they all loved it! :)

  11. jessica says:

    Hi.. Can I substitute bay leaves with thyme?? Cos I honestly dnt knw wat bay leaves r bt I think it performs dsame function as thyme.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hi Jessica!

      Bay leaves are more of an aromatic or ‘scent’ leaves, so they lend more to the aroma than they do taste and with thyme, it lends more to taste than it does aroma. So, I wouldn’t add thyme and if you prefer not to, you don’t have to add bay leaves, it’s optional.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Oiza says:

    Hi Yetie,
    I tried your coconut jollof rice recipe for sunday lunch and it was wow! yay!
    I spiced mine up with some diced chicken gizzard and green beans.
    Keep up the good work u doing here.
    Will be tryring the puff puff recipe. I pray some puff puff luck comes my way

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Oiza!

      Yay! Glad it went down well! Nice, I love the way you added the gizzards and green beans, awesome! Thank you, I appreciate it.

      Sending you lots of puff puff luck, lol. Let me know how it goes!

  13. Princess says:

    Thank God i found this website!!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Princess!

      I’m glad you found it too! Hope to see more comments from you!

  14. Toyin says:

    I just stumbled across your website as I had an idea to make Jollof rice with coconut and wanted to know how to go about it. I do use Basmati rice as that seems to be a big thing over here in London, UK.

    Gonna try your version tomorrow and see how it turns out. Can’t wait!…I’ll let you know how it goes

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Toyin!

      Interesting about basmati being big over there, hmm, good to know as I always wondered, some other readers often asked about it and they were London based. Did you try it out? How did it turn out?!

  15. Toyin says:

    Hi Yetunde,

    Thank you for your wonderful recipe. It came out really well with Basmati and tastes much better with long grain so will be using your way from now on. I’m so impressed with your website. You are absolutely amazing!!!
    Thanks for all your hard work and efforts.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Toyin!

      Yay, glad it came out well and you were able to customize the recipe for yourself using Basmati! Thumbs up love!

      Thank you, thank you, making my head swell ;)

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