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Shirley’s Gambia Jollof Rice Recipe

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Gambia Jollof Rice is a popular and delicious West African dish. This hearty dish is packed with protein and veggies, making it a nutritious meal. It is a one-pot dish with rice, fresh fish, onion, tomato, and spices. Gambia Jollof Rice is known for its bold flavors and vibrant color. It is a bright orange rice dish with green veggies and tender fish, a tasty treat for your eyes and tummy.

Equipment Required:

You will need the following things to make Gambia Jollof Rice Recipe:
Large pot: To cook the rice and veggies together.
Sharp knife: To cleanly cut the fish and veggies into bite-sized pieces.
Cutting board: Use to cut fish and veggies.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 8


To make Gambia Jollof Rice, you will need to collect things such as:
2 lb Fish (cleaned and cut in halves)
3 cups rice
2 cups vegetable oil
4 large onions, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp tomato puree
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 red bell pepper chopped
2 hot peppers (minced)
1 1/2 tablespoon Shirley’s Jollof Paste (adjust to your spice preference)
2 Bay leaves
Salt to the taste
6 cups water

How to Make Gambia Jollof Rice Recipe?

1. Fry the fish:

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large pot. Fry the fish until both sides are browned. Remove the fish from the pot and set aside for later.

2. Fry the veggies:

Add onions, chopped tomato, and tomato paste to the hot oil. Cook for 15 minutes or until browned. Stir it occasionally to prevent burning at the bottom.

3. Add Shirley’s Jollof Paste:

Add Shirley’s Jollof Paste into the pot and stir to mix well.

4. Add vegetables:

Add the chopped cabbage, carrots, bay leaves, red bell pepper, and chili pepper. Add salt to the taste. Cook for 5 minutes, then add water. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Use a large spoon to dish out the vegetables from the pot.

5. Wash and add rice:

Wash the rice with cold water thoroughly until the water comes clear. Add the rice to the pot and stir continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom.

6. Cover the pot and simmer:

Cover the pot with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook the rice for 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Serve hot Gambia Jollof Rice with fried fish and veggies. Enjoy a delicious and hearty meal.

Before frying, you can marinate the fish in olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and salt for 30 minutes. This will give a tangy flavor to the dish.

Tips and Tricks.

Use fresh herbs and spices: Use fresh and high-quality herbs and spices to enjoy the savory flavors of this recipe.
Use Shirley’s Jollof Paste: Use Shirley’s Jollof Paste to make your Gambia Jollof rice or other versions of Jollof rice. It has a perfect blend of spices and gives your Jollof rice recipe a spicy twist.
Play with the veggies: Add your favorite veggies to the Gambia Jollof Rice. Feel free to swap out the cabbage and carrots; just adjust the cooking time.
Use a non-stick pot: A non-stick pan can prevent the sticking and burning of the rice. Use a non-stick pot for cooking the Gambia Jollof Rice.
Cook the rice in chicken or vegetable stock: Add chicken or vegetable stock to the rice. It adds an extra flavorful twist to your Gambia Jollof Rice. So cook the rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of water.
Serve Gambia Jollof Rice with fresh fruits: Pair your Jollof rice with fresh fruits as a side dish to balance the savory flavors. Serve the dish with sliced mango or pineapple for a tasty and refreshing treat.

How You Can Use the Gambia Jollof Rice Recipe?

You can use the Gambia Jollof Rice dish in many ways, such as:

Main course: It is usually used as a main course for lunch or dinner. Enjoy this heart and satisfying meal with your family for lunch or dinner.
Side dish: Gambia Jollof Rice is often paired with grilled or roasted meats for a flavorful taste and flavor.
Meal prep: Use this dish for easy and nutritious weekday lunches. Make a large batch of this recipe at the beginning of the week and make portions.
Party food: Jollof rice is the perfect party food. Make this recipe for your next gathering and impress your guests with this vibrant and tasty dish.
Picnic food: You can also enjoy your Jollof on a picnic. Pack a cold serving for an easy and tasty picnic dish.

What to Serve with Gambia Jollof Rice Recipe?

Here are some tasty and flavorful ideas to make your meal filling and perfect.

1. Fried plantains:
These are most commonly paired with Jollof rice. The sweetness of fried plantains balances out the savory flavors of this dish.

2. Grilled meats:
It is one of the most loved side dishes with Jollof rice. Grilled chicken or beef pairs best with the bold flavors of Gambia Jollof Rice.

3. Steamed greens:
This healthy side dish adds nutrition and flavor to your Jollof rice. Serve your Jollof rice with steamed collard greens or kale.

4. Spicy dips:
If you like your Jollof more spicy, add spicy dips like Sriracha or Harissa. It will add some heat to your Gambia Jollof Rice.

5. Fresh fruit:
This idea will add a little twist to your Jollof rice. Serve your Gambia Jollof with fresh mango or pineapple to balance the savory and spicy flavors with sweetness.

What Variations Can You Do in the Recipe?

There are so many versions of Jollof rice; here are a few of them:

Vegetarian version: In this, you can swap the fish for tofu or chickpeas to make a tasty vegetarian version.
Seafood version: Instead of fish, you can use shrimp, calamari, or other seafood to make Jollof rice.
Spicy version: Jollof rice is famous for its spicy and aromatic flavor. But if you love spicy food, this version is for you. Add extra red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your Jollof rice for a spicy and savor dish.

What Other Possible Substitution Can You Do in Recipe?

Jollof rice is a popular dish in West Africa and worldwide. Many countries make this dish with different ingredients. Here we share some possible substitutions in the recipe:

Fish: Substitute the fish and make Gambia Jollof rice with chicken, beef, lamb, or tofu.
Cabbage: We use cabbage in this recipe, but you can substitute the cabbage with spinach or kale for an extra-nutritious twist.
Rice: Jollof can be made with a variety of rice. But you can substitute the rice with quinoa, millet, or couscous for a grain-based alternative.

How to Store and Reheat the Gambia Jollof Rice?

You can easily store the leftover Gambia Jollof rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also freeze for up to 2 months. To enjoy your Gambia Jollof rice the next day, reheat the dish in the microwave or stovetop. Add a splash of water to prevent drying out.