Wash the rice in several changes of cold
water, drain well and set aside.
Heat the butter
and oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the onion. Stir and cook
over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the chilies, cardamom, cinnamon,
cumin and bay leaves.
Add the rice to
the pan and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and boiling
water, season with salt and pepper and bring back to the boil. Cover
tightly, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan
from the heat and leave the rice to stand, covered and undisturbed, for 10
minutes. Fluff up the grains of rice with a fork and serve garnished with
crispy fried onions.
Flavored with the aromatic spices cardamom
and saffron, this fragrant rice dish makes a delicious centerpiece for
any Indian meal.