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  • Writer's pictureCampbell Whitman

South African "Yellow Rice"

Rice flavored with herbs, spices, coconut and/or citrus zest is a true treat. If you have never tried it, you will be surprised once you do. It's the quickest way to brighten up a rice side dish. You can of course experiment with any kind of herb or spice mix you desire until you find a combo you think works well. For herbed rice dishes, I recommend using a blender to really infuse the herbs into the liquid for maximum flavor before adding it to the rice. For spiced rice dishes, I recommend cooking the spices in the pan with the oil before adding the cooking liquid in order to "wake up" the spices through the heat.

South African Yellow Rice

1 c basmati rice 190g

2 c boiling water

25-50 g raisins (2-4 T)

55 g carrots (very small dice)

60 g celery (very small dice)

75 g onions (very small dice)

1 t turmeric powder

¼ t cumin powder

¼ t paprika powder (sweet)

½ t lime zest (only the green-no white)

4 T toasted shaved almonds

1 T butter

1 T olive oil


Rinse the rice well in cold water.

Get the 2 c. water boiling

Using a pan with a good sealing lid, warm up the butter and oil. Cook the carrots on a medium-high heat for 1 minute. Then add the celery-cook for 1 minute. Add the onions-cook for another minute. Cover with a lid, lower the heat to medium and cook for up to 5 minutes.

Add the raisins, spices and s&p (be liberal with the salt!). Stir well. Next add the boiling water, lime zest and rice. Stir all of it well together. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to low and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the water is all absorbed. Serve alongside an African bobotie or curry to go for authenticity. Serving it alongside a roasted chicken wouldn't anger the Gods in anyway. It's a match for many meat/fish/roasted vegetable main dishes.


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