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East Indian Rice Palou

1 medium onion thinly sliced (length wise)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 pods of cardamom
1/2 stick of cinnamon
2 whole cloves
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 pinch of saffron
Salt to taste (I generally add 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup golden raisins or currents
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Rinse the basmati rice and let it soak in some water while you sauté the onion.

In a medium to large sauce pan, heat the olive oil, then add the butter on medium or medium high heat, once melted add the cumin seeds, pods of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and infuse the oil with all the spices for about 30 seconds, then add the sliced onion and sauté until lightly golden in color, then add the water and bring it to a roaring boil, add the salt and saffron, and then drain the rice and add to the water. Lower the heat to medium low and let rice simmer partially covered until you see pockets of water bubble then add the raisins, chopped almonds, and cilantro. Gently stir the rice once only and cover with a lid and after a minute turn off the heat and let the rice steam cook for about 15 minutes. Serve as a side dish or with alone - goes great with Chicken Masala.

Note: the rice should not be sticky; you should be able to count each grain of rice.

By: Jitendar Chadda
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