This is from A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey, but she in turn acknowledges Naheed Anees for this particular variation of a common dish in the area.
The photo: honestly. Close your eyes. Imagine a bowl of cooked rice with bits of orange and green in it. Isn’t that enough?
Basmati rice: 450 ml in a measuring cup
1.5″ cube of ginger peeled and chopped
6-8 large cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
4 tblsp ghee (or oil)
3 green cardamom pods*
1″ stick of cinnamon*
2 bay leaves*
1/4 teasp black cumin seeds*
1/2″ piece of whole mace*
medium onion peeled, cut lengthwise in half and then cut into very fine half-rings
2 small carrots peeled and chopped into about pea-sized pieces
1 cup of peas, fresh or defrosted
salt to taste
Wash the rice and then soak it for half an hour. Drain for half an hour.
Put the ginger, garlic and 1 tblsp water in a blender, turn to paste.
Heat the oil in a heavy pan over a med-high heat. When very hot put in the whole spices (I have marked them). Stir once, put in onion slices and fry until they are reddish-brown. This takes quite a while and can’t be made quicker. Add the ginger-garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots and peas, stir to thoroughly mix. Add the rice and salt. Making sure the rice doesn’t burn – lower the heat as necessary – stir for 2-3 minutes. Next add 600ml water and bring to the boil. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for 25 minutes.
The perfume of even such a small amount of black cumin makes a big impact on this dish.
I use chicken stock instead of water and salt if I have it to hand.
This is a lovely rice accompaniment, but good enough to eat almost on its own, for example with yoghurt and tomato. I’ll add that recipe soon.