Basmati Rice Pilaf

Course : Indian
Serves: 4
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1 cup Basmati rice
1 small onion
3 medium carrots
1 piece bay leaf
2 whole cloves
4 pieces black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt -- (or to taste)

Preparation / Directions:

Wash the rice in cool water, squeezing gently with your fingers, until the water runs clear. Put the rice in about 2 cups of cool water to soak for 20 minutes. Strain soak water into saucepan and heat. Leave rice to dry in strainer. Preheat oven to 350F. While rice is drying, chop onion finely and set aside. Dice carrots and set aside. Measure spices. When rice is dry, heat oil over medium-high flame in heavy, oven-proof skillet or casserole dish. Add spices. When spices become fragrant, add butter and onions. Cook until onions are tender and light golden brown. Add carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring very gently for 5 minutes. Add salt and heated soak water, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until water on top of rice has boiled off. Cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

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