Geel Rys Recipe - Delicious South African Vegetarian Dish

Geel Rys

Geel Rys Recipe - Delicious South African Vegetarian Dish
Region / culture: South Africa | Preparation time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Geel Rys
Geel Rys

Geel Rys, also known as Yellow Rice, is a traditional South African dish that is both flavorful and colorful. This dish is a staple in many South African households and is often served as a side dish to complement a variety of main courses.


Geel Rys has its origins in Cape Malay cuisine, which is a fusion of South African, Indonesian, and Malaysian flavors. The dish is believed to have been brought to South Africa by Indonesian and Malaysian slaves in the 17th century. Over time, Geel Rys has become a beloved dish in South African culture and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.


How to prepare

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and cover with 2 cm (1 inch) of water over the top of the rice.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.


  • Add chopped nuts, such as almonds or cashews, for added crunch and flavor.
  • Mix in diced vegetables, such as bell peppers or peas, for a more colorful and nutritious dish.
  • Substitute the raisins with dried apricots or cranberries for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to rinse the rice before cooking to remove excess starch and prevent it from becoming sticky.

- Adjust the amount of turmeric to your preference for color and flavor.

- For added sweetness, you can add more raisins or even a touch of sugar.

Serving Suggestions

Geel Rys pairs well with a variety of main dishes, such as curries, grilled meats, or roasted vegetables. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a light and satisfying meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key to making perfect Geel Rys is to cook the rice until it is fluffy and tender. Be sure to monitor the cooking process and adjust the heat as needed to prevent the rice from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have raisins on hand, you can substitute them with dried cranberries, chopped apricots, or currants. You can also use brown rice or basmati rice instead of white rice for a nuttier flavor and chewier texture.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare Geel Rys ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Geel Rys in a colorful dish or garnish it with fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, for a vibrant and appetizing presentation. You can also sprinkle toasted coconut flakes or sesame seeds on top for added texture and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Geel Rys pairs well with a variety of dishes, such as chicken curry, lamb stew, or grilled fish. For a complete meal, serve it with a side of vegetables or a fresh salad.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Geel Rys in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave it until heated through or warm it on the stovetop with a splash of water to prevent it from drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Geel Rys typically contains around 200-250 calories, depending on portion size and ingredients used.


Geel Rys is a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the rice and raisins. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body and are essential for overall health.


This dish is low in fats, making it a healthy option for those looking to reduce their fat intake.


While Geel Rys is not a significant source of protein, you can pair it with protein-rich main dishes to create a balanced meal.

Vitamins and minerals

Rice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and iron. Raisins also provide some vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and iron.


This recipe contains rice and raisins, which are both gluten-free and suitable for those with gluten allergies. However, if you have a nut allergy, be cautious of potential cross-contamination with other ingredients.


Geel Rys is a nutritious and flavorful dish that is low in fats and provides a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.


Geel Rys is a delicious and versatile dish that is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. Whether served as a side dish or a main course, this flavorful rice dish is sure to impress your family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the thrill of stumbling upon this recipe for Geel Rys. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in South Africa. My grandmother, who was a wonderful cook, had taught me the basics of cooking and instilled in me a love for experimenting with new flavors and ingredients.

One day, while I was helping my grandmother prepare our family's Sunday lunch, she pulled out an old, weathered recipe book that she had inherited from her own mother. As she flipped through the pages, she came across a recipe for Geel Rys, a traditional South African dish made with fragrant spices, raisins, and rice. I was immediately intrigued by the exotic ingredients and the promise of a delicious meal.

My grandmother explained to me that Geel Rys was a dish that had been passed down through generations in our family, originating from our Dutch and Malay ancestors. She told me stories of how the recipe had been brought to South Africa by Dutch settlers and had been adapted over the years to include local spices and flavors.

As my grandmother read out the ingredients and method for making Geel Rys, I listened intently, eager to learn how to recreate this dish for myself. She showed me how to toast the spices in a hot pan until they released their fragrant aroma, and how to cook the rice with a mixture of water and coconut milk to give it a creamy texture.

I watched as my grandmother added the raisins and almonds to the rice, explaining that they would add a sweet and nutty flavor to the dish. She then showed me how to layer the rice in a serving dish, sprinkling each layer with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and butter to create a rich and indulgent topping.

As the Geel Rys baked in the oven, filling the kitchen with a tantalizing aroma, my grandmother shared with me the importance of preserving our family recipes and passing them down to future generations. She told me that food was a way of connecting with our past and our heritage, and that each dish we cooked carried with it a story of who we were and where we came from.

When the Geel Rys was finally ready, my grandmother served it up with a generous dollop of homemade chutney and a side of spicy chakalaka. As I took my first bite, I was transported back in time to a world of flavors and traditions that had been lovingly preserved through the generations.

From that day on, Geel Rys became a staple in our family's Sunday lunches, a dish that brought us together and reminded us of the rich tapestry of our culinary heritage. Whenever I cook Geel Rys now, I think of my grandmother and the many lessons she taught me about the importance of food, family, and tradition.

As I pass on the recipe for Geel Rys to my own children and grandchildren, I know that I am carrying on a legacy that stretches back through the ages, connecting us to our ancestors and the stories of our past. And with each mouthful of this delicious dish, I am reminded of the thrill of stumbling upon a recipe that has brought so much joy and connection to my family over the years.


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