Shola Oladipo Shares Healthy Twist on Jollof Rice Preparation


As part of Public Health England’s (PHE) Better Health campaign, which encourages adults to eat better, lose weight and get active, registered dietitian and member of the British Dietetic Association (BDA)Shola Oladipo shares a healthy twist on how to prepare popular West African dish Jollof Rice.

Jollof rice (made with brown basmati rice)

Preparation time:  20-25 minutes

Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 3 cups brown basmati rice  
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves  
  • 1-inch ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper or 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil 
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste or puree
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes 
  • 650 ml water 


1.Wash the brown rice thoroughly in a colander and allow to drain

  1. Using a blender – blend tomato puree, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and scotch bonnet pepper until smooth. Add sufficient water to blend to a thick but pourable consistency.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat, add pureed ingredients and cook for 3 minutes. Then add curry powder, vegetable bouillon cubes (crushed), and thyme.

 4.Cook this mixture for about 2 minutes. 

  1. Stir in the rice and 650 ml water – ensure all grains are sufficiently coated with the tomato mixture.
  2. Bring to boil stirring carefully. 
  3. Cover pot and reduce heat to low and cook until rice is tender and fluffy. 

*Remember brown rice takes longer to cook – so allow 50-60 minutes.

Serve with grilled chicken, plantain and salad 

The Better Health campaign provides a variety of free tools and apps to help you become more active and make healthier food choices. This includes the new FREE 12-Week NHS Weight Loss Plan, which helps people eat better and learn skills to prevent weight gain.

Visit to start leading a healthier lifestyle today

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