Basmati Rice Salad
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1/2 cup clarified butter or vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons sliced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 6 cardamom seed pods, crushed to release the small seeds and pods discarded
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup fresh peas, or defrosted frozen peas
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Place the rice in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Place the rinsed rice in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups of water. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the water for cooking.
In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds. Add the cardamom seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, salt, coriander, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved soaking liquid and raisins, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, stir, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Combine with the remaining ingredients and remove the cinnamon pieces and bay leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.