It comes across in different ways: as yellow in flavour, and in different textures.
So saffron is often used as a substitute for rice, and is most often eaten fresh, raw, on its own.
In India, the rice that we have the most access to is the kurma rice from south-west Pakistan.
This is grown in large underground pits called ghar, or rice fields, and harvested later that day. It’s been traditionally used as a rice substitute and is delicious in rice curry, especially with lemon.
In this dish, I added more of the same saffron, in the form of two tins of lentils and green peas.
The rest of the ingredients are pretty universal: tomatoes, onion and garlic.
When preparing saffron makhani, remember it’s one of the few vegetables that can actually be eaten raw. It tastes more than one way – it’s one of the spices.
It’s great for salads, soups and more. Make sure you eat it as its natural flavour and texture adds flavour and makes it a great choice for cooking.
Makes 3 large rice makhani
How to cook makhani
The first step is to cook the rice on a low heat. That’s because when it’s simmering, the flavours, if you can call them that, will mix with each other and create an incredible flavour combination.
But make sure that you put enough water in the pan to cover the surface (the bigger the pan, the easier this will be).
Next, add the diced tomatoes, followed by the onion, tomatoes and garlic.
Once that’s all chopped up, it’s time to add a lot of water. Use enough so the rice isn’t dry, and make sure to add enough so there isn’t too much water left over (which can ruin the recipe).
Then add some salt (you can add a little more, but it will create a really interesting flavour).
You’re going to add the rice and all the seasoning that you want. Don’t worry – it’s pretty safe to add a little more salt, if it will really mix well with the tomatoes, onion and garlic.
When you’re ready to serve, top the rice with a bit of makhani cream for texture and flavor.
Serve this with some ketchup or your traditional flat paratha, if you can