Nigerian Fried Rice: A Flavorful Fusion of Cultures

Traditional Nigerian Fried Rice Recipe - Easy & Authentic

Discover the vibrant flavors of Nigerian Fried Rice, a dish that beautifully blends Indian and Chinese culinary influences. This colorful, aromatic rice dish is a staple at Nigerian celebrations and a beloved comfort food in homes across the country.

Nigerian Fried Rice stands out with its golden hue and medley of vegetables, offering a delightful mix of textures and tastes. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various proteins for a complete meal.

The Secret to Perfect Nigerian Fried Rice

The key to achieving the ideal texture lies in using converted or parboiled rice. This type of rice ensures each grain remains separate and fluffy, absorbing the rich flavors of the dish without becoming mushy.

A Rainbow of Vegetables

What makes Nigerian Fried Rice truly special is its colorful array of vegetables. Carrots, bell peppers, green beans, and sweet corn not only add visual appeal but also contribute to the dish’s nutritional value and complex flavor profile.

Spices That Sing

The signature golden color and warm, inviting aroma come from a blend of Nigerian-style curry powder and dried thyme. These spices infuse the rice with a depth of flavor that sets it apart from other fried rice variations.

Now, let’s dive into creating this mouthwatering dish!

Nigerian Fried Rice Recipe


  • 2 cups converted rice (13 1/4 ounces; 375g), such as Uncle Ben’s Original or golden sella basmati
  • 3 1/2 cups (825ml) Nigerian-style stock, divided, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot (2 3/4 ounces; 75g), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small red or white onion (2 1/4 ounces; 60g), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45g) green beans, stem ends trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, ends trimmed, white and green parts separated, and each thinly sliced crosswise, divided
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper (2 3/4 ounces; 75g), stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper (2 1/4 ounces; 60g), stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch dice, divided
  • 1/4 cup (60g) drained canned whole kernel sweet corn
  • 2 teaspoons Nigerian-style curry powder (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) full-fat coconut milk


  1. Start by giving your rice a thorough rinse. Place it in a large bowl, cover with cool water, and swish vigorously for 30 seconds. Drain and repeat until the water runs clear. This step ensures your rice will be fluffy and free from excess starch.
  2. Time to par-cook the rice. In a medium pot, bring 2 1/2 cups of stock to a boil. Add the rinsed rice, return to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. The rice should be about halfway done. Spread it on a baking sheet to cool for 10-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  3. Now for the veggie prep! Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and green beans with a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes until they’re glistening with oil.
  4. Time to build those layers of flavor. Add scallion whites, red bell pepper, half the green pepper, and corn. Cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, thyme, black pepper, and bay leaves. Your kitchen should be smelling amazing by now!
  5. Let’s bring it all together. Add the par-cooked rice and gently stir to combine. Pour in the coconut milk and remaining stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 12 minutes until the rice is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If needed, add more stock in 1/4 cup increments to achieve the perfect texture.
  6. For the finishing touch, stir in the scallion greens and remaining green bell pepper. Cover and let it steam for 2 minutes. This keeps the peppers vibrant and adds a fresh crunch to your dish. Serve hot and enjoy your homemade Nigerian Fried Rice!

Recipe Notes

For a coconut-free version, simply replace the coconut milk with an equal amount of stock. Craving more coconut flavor? Try using half stock, half coconut milk for the cooking liquid.

Lion curry powder is the gold standard for this dish, but Ducros or Jamaican/West Indian curry powders make great substitutes.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Your Nigerian Fried Rice will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, sprinkle a bit of water over the rice before microwaving or warming in a pot over low heat. This helps restore moisture and prevent the rice from drying out.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
10g Fat
19g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 372mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 24mg 122%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 236mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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