Best Indian Rice Recipe

Internet is back!!  I am back with a recipe given to me by my dearest aunt, Patricia.  Auntie Pat, was brought up in India.  She cooks the BEST Indian dishes I ever had and I am very proud to present one of the most delicious Indian rice recipes ever.  Thank you auntie for sharing your secrets with me and my fellow readers!!!
The only changes I made to this recipe (due to my diet) was to use only 2 tablespoons of Greek Olive Oil instead of frying oil.  I also saute, instead of frying, two large onions instead of one.

Aunty Pat’s Rice Recipe
Serves 8-10

2 Cups raw basmati rice (wash well in about 5 changes of warm water till water is clear)
1 large onion
Cooking oil
2 inch stick of cinnamon broken into two
4 cloves
4 black pepper balls
4 cardamoms (just squeeze the tip of the seed casing a little so that there is an opening for the flavors to escape)
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Frozen peas as required
Salt to taste
Wash the rice and leave to soak while you prepare the spice mixture.

Finely slice the onion.

In a large frying pan or saucepan, using about 2.5ozs cooking oil, gently fry the onions till they are slightly opaque, then add cinnamon sticks, cloves, black pepper balls, cardamoms and bay leaf, fry for a further 2-3 minutes continuously mixing. Add the turmeric powder and mix for a further minute or so.

Drain the rice from the water and add to the prepared mixture above. Mix this well till all the rice has been coated with the mixture, then pour the entire contents into a square (or whatever shape you want) cooking tin.

Add enough water to cover the rice about, 3/4 of an inch above the rice. At this point you can add your peas and salt. Cover with foil which seals the contents well, and place in a preheated oven (170 C) for approximately 20-30 minutes.

Remove the tin from the oven, gently lift the corner of the foil and check that the water as evaporated, if so, check the rice is cooked, if so, leave covered for at least 10 minutes, before serving. If the water has not evaporated, replace in oven for a further few minutes.

In case you do not like the black peppers, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf. you can remove them before serving.

I normally garnish this with fried onions, a boiled egg, cucumber, and tomato which is optional. (Fry two medium onions till they are brown. Lay on kitchen towel for oil to drain, then sprinkle on rice - gives it a sweet taste) on top of this lay alternative slices of tomato, egg and cucumber)