Geelrys, South African yellow rice, is a traditional South African recipe, which comes from the great culinary tradition of the Cape Malays – originally brought in as slaves in the 17th century. Geelrys, South African yellow rice, is easy and plain, but great with meats like venison, corned beef tongue or any meat with gravy. During the week, I’m always looking for a way to get beyond ordinary b-b-boring boiled rice. Our friends of South Africa… they have the answer with Geelrys, which literally translates to “yellow rice”. Imagine a pot of turmeric and raisin bejeweled rice… a simple side dish as flavorful as it is gorgeous. Geelrys tastes like a sunrise on the most beautiful morning of your life. Or, like happy a hug from a good friend. Or, maybe it just tastes like really, really good rice. While you can make Geelrys with any kind of rice you like, I prefer it with Basmati, as does my South African friend, Janine. The cooking time for Basmati is longer than standard white rice, but much gentler; the end result is tantalizingly delicate. There’s really nothing to it… Yellow Rice is definitely weeknight friendly.
1 cup long grain white rice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 tablespoons white sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup dark seedless raisins
1 tablespoon butter
2 1⁄2 cups water
In a saucepan, combine the rice, salt, turmeric, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, butter and water. Bring to a boil uncovered.
When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until rice is fluffy and water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Keep South African yellow rice warm until serving time.