This recipe uses basmati rice, the undisputed queen of rice. It actually triples in length as it cooks and fills the house with the most heavenly scent. Of course, you can omit the spices and bay leaf if you are serving it with more Oriental inspired dishes.
- Wash the rice in numerous changes of cold water until the water runs relatively clear. Cover with more cold water and leave to soak for 7 minutes, then drain well.
- Heat the butter in a heavy-based pan that is approximately 20cm in diameter, add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and cook gently over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until they start to smell aromatic.
- Stir in the rice, add the boiling water and salt, then quickly bring to the boil. Stir once, cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and cook over a low heat for 12 minutes.
- To serve, uncover the rice, fluff up the grains with a fork and place in a large warmed bowl or use as required.
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