Yield: Serves 4-6
2 cups long-grain rice, preferably Basmati
8 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cardamom pods
One 2-inch piece of cinnamon
3 Tbsp vegetable oil (or ghee if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon dark mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 Place rice in a sieve and run cool water through it to rinse it until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cool water for 30 minutes. Drain.
2 Bring 8 cups of water and the salt to a boil in a large pot. Add the rice and stir. Add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste the rice, and test if it is done to your taste; rice can take more or less time to cook depending on how old it is. If still too firm, cook a few minutes longer.
3 When the rice is cooked to your liking, drain the rice into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop if from cooking. Remove the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and discard. Set the rice aside to drain.
4 In a pan large enough to hold the rice, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and the chile flakes. Cook until the mustard seeds start popping, then add the onion. Sauté until the onion begins to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
5 Add the garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and mix well. Sprinkle the turmeric over the rice and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often.