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Cape Malay Yellow Rice Recipe

This Cape Malay yellow rice recipe makes the perfect accompaniment for a richly spiced Cape Malay curry. The sweet yellow rice is done in a rice cooker, however, you could cook it on the stove. Add buttery roti and a refreshing tomato and onion sambal and cucumber sambal and you’re set for a Cape Malay feast. Like the curry, we recommend making more than you need, as it’s fantastic as leftovers.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cape Malay, South African
Servings: 4
Calories: 522kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 2 cups basmati rice or other long grain white rice
  • water as per rice cooker indicator
  • 100 g raisins
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 12 cardamom pods crushed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper


  • 1 tsp fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  • Use a fine mesh strainer to wash the rice under a running tap until the water is clear to remove impurities, then shake any excess water off, and transfer to the rice cooker.
  • Add water according to the rice cooker indicator, then add the raisins, spices, sugar, salt, and white pepper, stir well to combine everything, and turn on the rice cooker.
  • Once the rice cooker turns off, leave it for 5 minutes, then open the lid a little so as not to release all the steam, then stir to combine the flavours and fluff up the rice. Don’t worry if it looks a little wet, as you’re going to close the lid and leave it for another 5 minutes or so for the moisture to evaporate and flavours to meld.
  • Transfer the rice to a bowl, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lemon zest, and serve immediately with your Cape Malay curry and sambals.


Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 404mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 3mg