Don’t have cardamom? No worries. You can sub in a wide range of spices, the point is that your rice should not be plain. Indian cuisine is a riot of flavor and scent, and there’s no reason your rice cannot be either! Other spices you can use in this are: cumin, coriander, curry leaf, mustard seed, and fenugreek. The idea is to play around and get to the spice mix you like the best!
2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
4 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
To make sure you get lovely fluffy rice, wash it in several changes of cold water, then leave to soak for about 30 minutes in fresh cold water. If you don't have time for this, place in a sieve and wash under the cold tap for a minute or so.
Cook the onion in the butter for around 5 minutes until softened. Add the spices, saffron and bay leaves and cook for a couple more minutes. The spices will give a wonderful fragrant flavor to the rice. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in the butter before stirring in the stock or water and salt.
Bring to a simmer and then cover with lid. Cook for 10 minutes before turning off the heat. Don't remove the lid; just leave the rice to continue cooking in the pan for about 5 minutes until you're ready to serve.
The rice should have absorbed all the water and will just need fluffing up with a fork.
Serve alongside your curry, poriyal, and don’t forget the chutney! And while it’s traditionally naan/roti OR rice, I’m not looking and neither is anyone else so do what pleases YOU.