150 g Basmati rice, washed and soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to cooking
1 red onion, peeled, cut into thin rings and fried in vegetable oil until golden brown, drained and kept to cool
1/2 stick cinnamon
4-5 green cardamom pods, bashed open
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
Salt to taste
Water at hand
Nuts and dry fruit:
A handful of shelled unsalted pistachios
A handful of skinned whole almonds
A handful of sultanas
(save a bit for garnish)
ghee to fry
A few mint leaves
1/2 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
2-4 whole thin green chills
1 generous pinch of saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp boiling water
A saucepan with a tight fitting lid
Begin with par-boiling the soaked then drained rice, strain and then set rice aside until later. Fry the nuts and then the sultanas in a little ghee and also fry your onions are explained above. Set all this aside for now.
Heat about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the saucepan over medium heat and once hot, throw in all the whole spices, once the start to splutter, add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry stirring continuously, do not let this brown. Once the raw smell of the garlic and ginger evaporates, add the par-boiled rice and fry for a minute or two. Turn the heat to medium low. Add the fried nuts (safe a few for garnishing) and mix with the rice.
Now pour over the saffron, shove the lemon slices and a few mint leaves into the rice, sprinkle the fried onions. Add a little water to the pan, about 2-4 tbsp. Place a piece of foil to cover the top the pan, tightly fit the lid and turn heat to low.
Leave to infuse and cook for about 15-20 minutes, not longer. Turn heat off and lift off lid and foil. The rice should be steaming and aromas should now be developed! After a gentle stir, serve immediately.