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South-African Yellow Rice Recipe

South-African Yellow Rice Recipe

South African Yellow Rice, also known as "Geelrys," is a vibrant and flavourful dish that holds a special place in the culinary landscape of South Africa. This dish, characterized by its bright yellow colour and sweet, aromatic flavours, is a staple in many South African homes and is often served alongside traditional dishes such as Bobotie or as part of a larger feast.


  • 250g long-grain white rice
  • 500ml water
  • 5ml turmeric powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g raisins (optional)
  • 5ml salt
  • 15ml butter
  • A pinch of saffron threads (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Begin by rinsing the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This step helps to remove excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming too sticky.

2. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed rice, water, turmeric, cinnamon stick, and saffron (if using). The turmeric and saffron are responsible for giving the rice its distinct yellow colour.

3. Bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the rice to cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

4. Once the rice is cooked, remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the sugar and raisins (if using). The sugar adds a subtle sweetness to the dish, while the raisins provide texture and a burst of flavour.

5. Finally, add the butter and mix through the rice. The butter adds richness and helps to separate the grains of rice.

6. Serve the yellow rice hot as a side dish. It pairs wonderfully with a variety of main courses, particularly those with a bold flavour profile.

South African Yellow Rice is more than just a side dish; it's a celebration of the country's diverse cultural heritage. The use of spices like turmeric and cinnamon reflects the influence of the Malay cuisine, a testament to the melting pot of cultures that South Africa is known for. This dish is not only delicious but also visually appealing, making it a festive addition to any meal. Whether it's a family dinner or a special occasion, South African Yellow Rice is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Visit our grocery page 

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