Jollof rice is the crown jewel of Nigerian cuisine, known for its rich flavors and vibrant colors. While it’s often associated with special occasions, you don’t need a hefty budget to enjoy this delicious dish.

Sapa Nigerian jollof rice basically means jollof rice that is prepared with a strict budget in mind.

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Let’s walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to make cheap Nigerian jollof rice the authentic african way. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds without breaking the bank!

Nigerian jollof rice

Ingredients For Nigerian Jollof Rice

  • 2 cups of native rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes, blended or 1 can of tomato puree
  • 1 red bell pepper, blended
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder or cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: chili powder or scotch bonnet pepper (for heat)
  • Water for cooking


  • Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear. Parboil the rice by boiling it for about 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pot and sauté for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Incorporate the blended tomatoes (or tomato puree) and red bell pepper into the pot. Stir well and let it cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to reduce and thicken.
  • Add the tomato paste, curry powder, thyme, paprika, bouillon powder or cubes, and salt. Stir to combine all the ingredients thoroughly. If desired, add chili powder or chopped scotch bonnet pepper for some heat.
  • Add the parboiled rice to the pot and mix well, ensuring every grain is coated with the flavorful tomato mixture.
  • Pour enough water into the pot to cover the rice, approximately 1 inch above the rice level. Stir gently to distribute the ingredients evenly.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and let the rice simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked and tender. Avoid stirring the rice during this time to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  • After the cooking time, gently fluff the rice with a fork. Add the chopped green bell pepper and give it a quick stir to incorporate.
  • Cover the pot again and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Remove the lid, and your delicious budget-friendly jollof rice is ready to be served!
  • Nigerian jollof rice

Serve your jollof rice alongside your favorite protein such as chicken, beef, fish, or plant-based alternatives. You can also pair it with a side of fried plantains, coleslaw, or a simple salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

Making delicious Sapa jollof rice the Nigerian way doesn’t have to break the bank. By using budget-friendly ingredients and following these easy steps, you can enjoy a flavorful and authentic jollof rice experience without compromising on taste.

So, gather your ingredients, embrace your inner chef, and delight in the flavors of this beloved Nigerian dish without stretching your budget. Happy cooking and happy eating!

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