This is a staple recipe from my favorite restaurant in the world: Vij’s in Vancouver. You can half the recipe if you wish.
- 2 c basmati rice
- 3 c cold water for soaking
- 1/4 c canola oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 c finely chopped onions
- 3 3/4 c water for cooking
Wash rice twice in cold water. soak rice in the 3 cups of cold water for 15 minutes, or while you are sautéing the cumin seeds and onions. The reason for this: it makes the rice fluffier.
Heat oil in a medium pot for 1 minute on medium-high heat. add cumin seeds, stir and allow to sizzle for about 30 seconds.
Add onions and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until just the edges are brown. turn off the heat. Brown the onions a bit for a stronger flavor.
Drain the rice as much as possible. Add rice and the 3 3/4 cups of water to onions, and stir well to combine. turn on the heat to high and bring to a boil. once the water is boiling vigorously, lower the heat to just a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 18 to 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. take off the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and serve.