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Dal Makhani with Baked Saffron Rice

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I have a folder on my computer called “future blog” wherein lies all the pictures of food I’ve made that I want to post recipes for.  There are currently 150 pictures in it, which may explain why it has taken me so long to post this recipe!  I have less time time to post recipes than I used to, so I usually just scan the folder when I have a minute and pick whatever picture stands out.  Today, this one winked at me, reminding me how much I enjoyed it and how sorry I should be for having forgotten to post it sooner.

Sorry, dal makhani. You deserve better.  I’m not worthy!

Dennis (the picky eater) and I both enjoyed this Indian dish so much the first time that I ended up making it two weeks in a row, which is rare since I like to try new things constantly.  It’s a very simple recipe, but it is bursting with flavor!

Dal Makhani with Baked Saffron Rice

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Dal Makhani:
1 cup dried lentils
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
fresh cilantro for garnish

Saffron rice:
1 cup long grain white rice
1 tablespoon butter
2 chicken bouillon cubes
½ teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups water

Place the dried lentils in a medium pot and add cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but not mushy. Drain and return to the pot. Place the pot on the burner again.  Add the tomato sauce, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and butter. Stir and let the mixture simmer over low heat, covered, for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the rice: Spray a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with cooking oil and measure rice and butter into it. Heat the bouillon, saffron and water together until boiling and pour over the rice. Cover and bake 30 minutes.

Taste the dal makhani mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more cayenne if you’d like it spicier. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cream. Serve with minced fresh cilantro over saffron rice.

Recipe sources: Jenna’s Everything Blog and ifood.


About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

16 responses »

  1. I have never cooked with saffron, I don’t know what it tastes like but I have heard it’s good. This LOOKS good!

    If I don’t write down a recipe as a post right away, I totally forget about it and I forget what changes I made to the recipe. Though I still have a backlog of drafts waiting to be written up and posted! Can’t wait to see the rest of your recipes!


    • I was expecting something crazy delicious based on the price ($11 for a gram!) but it was just “good enough,” IMHO. You could also use turmeric, which is sometimes called the poor man’s saffron. It will give you that same yellow color and probably will taste just as good.


  2. I LOVE Indian food. Love Love Love. Thank you for sharing this….it looks delicious!


  3. This looks great Veronica and I’m glad Dennis liked it too. I also like to try new things and ended up making Asian dumpling soup twice in one week b/c it was sooo good!! (Posting soon :)) Turmeric in my opinion IS just as good. It is hard to get saffron here unless you’re willing to travel.


  4. What an exotic meal! Now i have a use for the saffron i bought months ago.
    I am also looking forward to S’s Asian Dumpling Soup.. yum!


  5. I just got back from the store and I happened to buy buy both lentil and tomato sauce….now I have an actual recipe for dinner tonight. thanks! looks delicious!

    – Katherine from PA.


  6. Mmmm, Indian food is always a hit at my house! Actually, Mike and I are having date night tonight at our favorite Indian restaurant tonight! I could seriously be just as satisfied with your gorgeous dal makhani at home though. (But then I’d still be stuck with the dishes, lol!)


  7. I’m glad you guys liked this recipe so much! =) That reminds me–I need to make it again! It’s so simple but so tasty.


  8. Dal Makhani Bukhara with saffron rice looks mouth watering and colorful.


  9. Nice post. I love dal makhni, but as I am weight conscious i like to cook it diet style. Check the recipe for diet style dal makhni here –


  10. Pingback: Curried Red Lentil Soup | Veronica's Cornucopia

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