I still can’t believe how is it that the yellow theme on this week’s menu passed by without my noticing. How could I not see it? I mean, GEELRYS!! It translates to YELLOW rice. What’s wrong with you Gamma? So obviously in my face and I didn’t notice. Oh well, what’s done it’s done, and the food was good and for the most part, true to South African cuisine. 

Very seldom you see yesterday’s Bobotie without a side of Geelrys served on it’s side. They obviously don’t have any issues with the yellow over yellow thing. I’m glad I didn’t notice, that way I didn’t change the choices and get to experience it the way the do there. The rice is brightly dyed yellow with turmeric, a beautiful contribution to the South African spice rack from Indian immigrants. Other than that, the rice is typically flavoured with cinnamon and raisins, and in some cases, sugar and saffron. 

To tell you the truth, I was not in love with the Bobotie and Geelrys combination. This rice is beautiful in color and delicious in flavour, slightly sweetened with the raisins and very aromatic with the saffron, cinnamon and turmeric. But the Bobotie was also slightly sweet, so I felt there wasn’t a good balance there. Next time I’d rather pair this rice with some spicy chicken breasts or a nice black pepper tuna fillet. A bit of salad on the side would work nicely as well. 

Geelrys, Yellow Rice, Rice, South Africa, South African cuisine, turmeric

Good rice, don’t get me wrong. That would be MY personal choice, that’s all. It is indeed a very festive looking rice, perfect for any celebratory occasion. Adding dried fruits to rice always makes it look like a jeweled treasure, a special treat. And with the added health benefits of turmeric, this is a recipe worth repeating many times over (with another main dish )

Serves 6
A classic of the South African cuisine. Geelrys, a rice dyed yellow with turmeric, sweetened with raisins and enhanced by fragrant cinnamon.
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 4 cups water
  2. 3 cups rice
  3. 1 cinnamon stick
  4. 2 tsp ground turmeric
  5. large pinch of saffron
  6. 3 tbsp butter
  7. 2 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Place all ingredients in a big pot over high heat.
  2. When the water starts to boil, mix well, cover and bring the heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 25 - 30 minutes until rice is done.
  3. Serve warm.
Boil and Trouble


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