This makes a perfect side dish for Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, or Tandoori. Rinsing the rice is an important step which delivers a light and fluffy dish with grains that are separate and distinct.
1 ½ cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3 whole cloves
2¼ cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon table salt
*Note: For basmati rice with a bright yellow color, add ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric and a pinch of saffron threads with the water in step 3.
- Place rice in fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Place strainer over bowl and set aside.
- Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin, cardamom, and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add water, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 17 minutes. Let stand, covered, off heat for at least 10 minutes. Discard cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Fluff rice with fork and serve.