9 min read

Esther Soyebi

Of all the traditional meals we know, rice is praised to be a special meal for which no feast, festival or gathering is complete without this delicacy, especially when it is served in a different format.

Rice is one of the most common staple foods in Nigeria. Most families eat a rice dish at least twice a week, either for lunch or dinner and even sometimes for breakfast.

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We have different ways of cooking rice in Nigeria; White rice can be cooked as jollof, coconut rice or fried rice which is where the ingredients are added into and cooked with the rice.

Also, rice can be boiled and mashed to get a fufu meal that we eat with Nigerian soups

Cooking white rice or Ofada rice is as easy as boiling eggs for breakfast, it is usually cooked plain with no added ingredient except salt which is sometimes optional.

However, here we would expatiate on how to cook local white rice.

Note, before cooking your rice, it is advisable for you to parboil it so as to reduce the starch content and make it rich in fibre, vitamin and other nutrient content.

Ingredients for rice

– Nigerian White or Brown Rice  

– Salt [ optional ]

Cooking direction for the rice #

* Wash the rice in a cold water [optional] and place in a pot.

* Add some water about twice the level of the rice.

* Set on the stove or gas and leave to cook.

* Note when the water starts boiling and leave to cook for 5 minute.

* Pour the content of the pot into a sieve

* Place the sieve

[with the rice]

in a bowl of cold water.

* Rinse the rice and change water if necessary.

* Leave in the sieve to drain off all the water.

* Then the rice is ready to be cooked again.

Note; we parboil or pre-cook rice so as to reduce starch and increase grain hardness in order to stop rice breakage.

Cooking directions for re-cooking Nigerian rice.

* Put back your par-boiled rice on gas/stove

* Add water to the level of the rice and add a little salt if necessary

* Note when the rice is soft and if not, add a little more water.

* Then the rice is ready to be served.

In furtherance, rice can also be prepared as jollof rice, fried rice, coconut rice, tuwo shinkafa, masa/sinasir, kunun gyada, rice cookies or even be eaten pure with chicken and beef stew.

Jollof rice;

This is a very popular tasty and palatable meal to eat. it is usually made with rice and mixed with ingredients like pepper, onion, tomato, butter, oil, crayfish and other necessary ingredient. it can also be paired with moi-moi, vegetable salad or fried plantain.

Fried rice;

This is also a popular tasty and palatable meal that has almost the same cooking process with jollof rice. Fried rice is cooked with rice and some other ingredient like; fresh vegetable {carrot, sweet corn, sweet peas, green bean, ball pepper}, salt, maggi, crayfish and beef with chicken or turkey.  It can also be paired with moi-moi, vegetable salad or fried plantain.

Coconut rice;

The method of cooking coconut rice is almost the same as cooking fried rice is just that coconut oil and milk is usually added to it.It can also be paired with moi-moi, vegetable salad or fried plantain.

Tiwo shinkafa;

This is a rice meal that is popular known in the Northern regions of Nigeria. it is a rice recipe that can also be mashed to make a mass fufu. Tiwo shinkafa is usually served with Northern Nigerian soups including Miyan Kuka, Miyan Taushe and more. it can also be paired as swallow with other Nigeria soups.


This is another Northern Nigeria rice recipe consumed mostly by the Hausa people. Masa/Sinasir is simply rice pancakes, prepared with the same soft variety of rice used for Tiwo shinkafa. It is made by blending the rice till smooth, adding yeast and onion, sugar and salt after the mix has risen, then frying in oil. It is traditionally made into an oval shape which is popular and seen at most Suya stands.

Kunun Gyada;

This is a light porridge made from Kunun Gyada which is much like pap (Akamu or Ogi). It is made from raw groundnut and rice instead. To prepare this meal, simply boil groundnut milk and add to rice blended with cool water. 

Rice cookies;

This is another method of making a rice recipe using rice flour and plain flour. The rice cookies is similar to the way pancake is usually made. It’s Ingredients consist of butter, baking powder, ground cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and egg.

Rice and stew/sauce;

This is a very common meal combo in Nigerian. The rice is simply boiled with salt and normally paired with either tomato stew or any other sauce ranging from Ofada sauce, Ofe Akwu, Vegetable sauce and even broths like pepper soup and gravy. 

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