Mattar Pulao (a great way to use up those pesky frozen peas crowding your freezer)
2 cups basmati rice
3/4 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
1 medium onion, sliced fine
1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup milk
3 1/2 cups hot water
2-inch cinnamon stick, broken
3 pods green cardamom
1 bay leaf, broken
1 tsp dried mint or 4 tbsp finely shredded fresh mint
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
ghee, for frying
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350F.
Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak rice in water for 30 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, heat 3 tablespoons of ghee in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot. Fry the onion until it begins to colour. Remove onion from pot.
Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat in the pot. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and green cardamom. Fry until the cardamom pods puff up and the cinnamon stick begins to unravel, about 2 minutes.
Add cumin seeds and fry until they splutter. Drain soaked rice and add to the pot.
Stirring constantly, fry rice until grains are all well coated with ghee.
Transfer rice mixture to a wide, shallow saucepan or baking dish.
Add salt, milk and 3 1/2 cups hot water and mix well.
Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes, or until the rice has nearly absorbed all of the liquid. Stir in the peas. Reseal the baking dish and return to oven to finish baking.
Remove from oven. Fluff with a fork. Mix in dried fenugreek and mint leaves. Drizzle lemon juice.
Let stand 2 minutes, uncovered. Fluff again.
Rice should be fluffy and a bit sticky.
Serve with daal palak, or other saucy curries.