Basmati Rice with Black Cardamom
A smoky dish that hails from Kashmir, this is known as a pulao. Western culture would call it a pilaf.
1 Cup Basmati Rice
2 Tbsp. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
5 Black Cardamom Pods
2 Bay Leaves
1 Small Red Onion – Thinly sliced
1/4 Tsp. Saffron
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
Rinse the rice in cold water until the water is relatively clear. Drain the rice and then cover with fresh cold water and let sit at room temperature until the grains begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the ghee in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the cardamom pods and bay leaves. Cook until they swell up and smell aromatic. Immediately add the onion and cook, stirring until it is light brown, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the saffron. Add the drained rice and toss gently with the onion and spice mixture. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cold water and add the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for a full ten minutes.
Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve. Be sure to not eat the cardamom pods or bay leaves as they can be rather bitter.