Soak the rice in water for at least 15 minutes. Then rinse it under running water until the water runs clear.
In a medium-sized pot, heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds, chili, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Cook for 15 seconds, when the cumin seeds start spluttering, add the diced green chili and the rinsed rice. Saute for a minute.
Add water, and salt and give the rice a quick stir. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible. Let it cook for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to rest for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork, gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.
Instant Pot Method:
Wash the rice with water very well, until the water runs clear. This is the secret to separated grains (you don't want mushy rice!).
On the Instant Pot, press on the SAUTE-normal setting, add butter or ghee, and once it melts add the cumin seeds, diced green chili, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves and saute for 20-30 seconds.
Add the washed and drained rice (2 cups), water (about 1 and 1/4 cups), and salt. Give everything a quick mix and cover with the lid.
Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 4 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 6-7 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, allow it to naturally release the steam for 15 minutes. If there's any pressure left after 15 minutes, then quickly release it.
Carefully remove the lid, remove the whole spices, fluff with a fork, and gently stir in chopped cilantro before serving.
It is VERY important to always wash your rice very well. You need to get rid of the debris, and any excess starches, and this is the secret to perfectly fluffy and separated grains of rice.
The recommended portion of rice per person is 1/2-1/3 cup (90-60 grams). In our family, we usually go for 1/3 cup per person.
Substitute the ghee (clarified butter), with butter or oil.
Recipe VariationsAromatics - For extra flavor you can saute an onion after tempering the spices. You can also add garlic and ginger if you like.Spices - Add garam masala, coriander seeds, and dried chilies if you like. Make sure that the main ingredient is cumin seeds so that the other spices are not overpowering.Vegetables - You can add frozen peas and carrots to make the rice extra flavorful and filling, this is not authentic but definitely a great way to add extra veg!