Basmati Rice and Vegetable Pulao

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

* 1 cup Basmati rice
* 2 1/2 cups pure water
* 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables of your choice (peas, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans, for example)
* 3-4 strands of saffron, crushed
* 1/2 tsp rock salt (optional)
* 1/8 tsp black pepper
* 1/8 tsp cinnamon
* 1/8 tsp ground cumin
* 1/8 tsp ground coriander
* 1/8 tsp ground clove
* 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
* 1 bay leaf
* 12 raisins
* 2 tbsp ghee

Preparation

1. Wash the rice thoroughly by rinsing it several times. Drain.
2. Melt half the ghee in a pan till it is clear. Add all the ground spices and sauté briefly to release aroma. Add the vegetables and sauté for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pot.
4. Add the rice, the bay leaf, the vegetable-spice mixture, the saffron and the salt, and stir once to mix.
5. Turn heat down to low, cover the pot and let the pulao cook for 20 minutes. Do not stir. When done, the water should all be gone and the rice grains tender but separate.
6. Melt the rest of the ghee in a pan until it runs clear. Add the raisins and stir until raisins plump up.
7. Remove from heat.
8. Fluff rice pulao gently with a fork and garnish with raisins.
9. Enjoy hot.