Before serving, remove whole spices if desired, or simply advise guests to leave them to the side of their plate
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin
2-inch piece cinnamon
2–3 whole green cardamom pods
5–6 whole black peppercorns
4–5 whole cloves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 finely minced garlic cloves
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cups long-grain rice, preferably basmati
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin and sauté just until aroma arises, avoid burning. Stir in cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and cloves; sauté for 10 seconds. Add onion, garlic and ginger; sauté until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally so spices don’t burn or stick.
Add rice and salt to taste; mix well and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 3 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, until all water is absorbed and rice is tender. Serves 4 to 6.