“We have taken the most African dish and gentrified it, but don’t worry, my Sierra Leonean elders gave me a pass, and it also tastes nice. This is an embodiment of my love for West African and Italian food,” says TV presenter, rapper and foodie Big Zuu. “Finally they’ve come together to create this mighty ball of tastiness.”

Jollof arancini from Big Zuu’s Big Eats
(Ellis Parrinder/PA)
Jollof arancini from Big Zuu’s Big Eats
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Jollof rice balls with scotch bonnet sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 505 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 567mg25%
Potassium 952mg27%
Carbohydrates 76g25%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 2014IU40%
Vitamin C 77mg93%
Calcium 115mg12%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Jollof rice balls with scotch bonnet sauce

West Africa meets Italy in these arancini balls
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course, starter
Cuisine: African, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 505kcal
Author: Big Zuu


  • Saucepan
  • Deep-fat fryer
  • Casserole dish


  • 400 g leftover Mumma Zuu’s Jollof Rice (see below)
  • 60 g mozzarella cut into 8 pieces and drained well
  • 1.5 l vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 50 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 quantity of Scotch Bonnet Sauce (see below)

For Mumma Zuu’s Jollof Rice:

  • 800 g lamb leg diced
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose seasonng
  • 1 l vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 - 2 Scotch bonnet chillies depending on how hot you like it, chopped or whole
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 600 g plum tomatoes chopped
  • 4 Maggi or other vegetable stock cubes crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch each of white pepper and ground black pepper
  • 500 g basmatic rice rinsed
  • salt

For the Scotch Bonnet Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 Scotch bonnet chillies depending on how hot you like it, pricked
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2.5 cms piece fresh root ginger peeled and grated
  • 800 g tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 Maggi or other vegetable stock cubes
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • Make the jollof rice: Toss the lamb in two tablespoons of the All Purpose Seasoning. Place in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring up to the boil. Simmer for 40 minutes to one hour until just tender, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Drain the lamb, reserving the cooking liquid. Dry the lamb pieces on kitchen paper.
    Preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 170°C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a medium-high heat to 170°C. Then, working in batches, carefully fry the pieces of lamb for two to three minutes until they are golden brown and crisp all over. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
    Heat the three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large casserole and add the onion. Cook for 10–15 minutes over a medium heat until the onion is golden, then add the garlic, Scotch bonnets, tomato paste and remaining All Purpose Seasoning. Cook for another two minutes before adding the tomatoes, stock cubes, bay leaves, salt and a pinch each of black and white pepper. Simmer for five minutes before stirring in the rice and the cooked lamb.
    Measure the leftover cooking stock from the lamb into a jug. You need 850ml – if there isn’t enough, top up with water. Stir this into the rice, cover with foil, put the lid on and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 25–30 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and leave the rice to stand, covered, for 15–20 minutes before serving – or saving for jollof balls.
  • Make the scotch bonnet sauce: Add the oil to a saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 15 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelise. Add the chillies, garlic and ginger and fry for two to three minutes more before adding the tomatoes, three tablespoons water, the vinegar, sugar and the stock cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes to a thick, spicy sauce. Blend to a smooth sauce using a food processor or stick blender.
  • Divide the leftover Jollof into eight patties. Take a patty in the palm of your hand and place a piece of mozzarella in the centre. Wrap the rice around it using your hand and shape into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the balls and chill in the fridge for 15–20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oil in deep-fat fryer to 170°C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a medium–high heat to 170°C.
  • Put the flour, beaten eggs and panko in three shallow dishes. Roll each rice ball in the flour, then egg and then panko, coating well.
  • Carefully drop the rice balls in the fryer or saucepan and, working in batches, fry for three to four minutes until golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper and serve immediately with Scotch Bonnet Sauce.


Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 567mg | Potassium: 952mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2014IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 4mg

Big Zuu’s Big Eats by Big Zuu is published by Ebury Press. Photography by Ellis Parrinder.  

Big Zuu's Big Eats: Delicious home cooking with West African and Middle Eastern vibes
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Zuu, Big (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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