Vegetarian Joloff Rice

Joloff Rice is a famous West African dish which usually contains chicken or beef but is just as good when prepared with vegetables instead. There are many variations of this dish through out West Africa.

6 Portions
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 60 minutes


Joloff Rice

  • 2 large green plantains or unripe bananas, sliced at an angle into large pieces
  • 750g pumpkin cut into wedges around 7-8cm long and 2-3cm thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, dried or fresh finely chopped
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp palm oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 200g green bean, sliced into 3-4
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 green pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 400g long grain rice, rinsed until the water runs clear

To Serve

  • handful of shredded and chopped cos or iceberg lettuce
  • 4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered


  1. Pumpkin and Plantain: Season the plantain and pumpkin slices with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate high heat. Seal the plantain and pumpkin slices in the oil so that they are golden on all sides. Remove them from the pan and set them aside
  3. Pour out a little of the oil leaving enough to cook the onions in. Reduce the heat slightly and add the onions to the remaining oil and cook them for a couple minutes until they are tender and translucent.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree and chili to the onions and cook them for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have reduced by half. Take a third of the tomato mixture from the pan and add it to the pan with the pumpkin and plantain.
  5. Pour enough boiling vegetable stock over the pumpkin and plantains so that they are well covered and briefly stir it so that it is combined with the tomato mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer it gently for 10-15 minutes until the pumpkin and plantain are tender. Then set it aside until ready to serve.
  6. Add the green beans, mushrooms, green peppers and rice to the pan with the tomato mixture. Stir the ingredients over a moderate heat so that the rice and vegetables are well coated in the tomato mixture.
  7. Stir in 600ml of the vegetable stock and bring it to the boil then reduce it to a low simmer. Cover the pan with foil and leave the vegetable and rice to cook for 15 minutes over a moderate low heat until the rice is tender. If the rice still needs more cooking add a little water and continue to cook the rice for a further 5 minutes.
  8. To Serve: Reheat the pumpkin and plantains with the tomato stock, simmering it so that the sauce reduces. Serve the rice in one large bowl or distribute it among 4-6 plates or bowl. Distribute the pumpkin and plantain with a little of the stock over the rice. Garnish the rice with the shredded lettuce, parsley and boiled egg quarters. Serve.