Rice Pillau

2 cups basmati rice
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1 cm dice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2" cinnamon stick, optional
3 cloves, optional
2 bay leaves, optional
3 1/4 cups water
1/2 cups peas
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Wash and rinse the rice thoroughly place in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain rice in a sieve.
In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic and onion and saute until onion begins to turn translucent. Add garam masala and cumin seeds and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add drained rice and gently stir to coat rice with oil and seasoning mixture. Add the carrots, salt, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover pot and let simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender.
Add peas to rice and cover again. Remove from heat and let sit for another 15 minutes.
Just before serving, gently stir rice and remove cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Makes 6 servings

Adopted from Seductions of Rice by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid