This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two.
| 10 fl oz (275 ml) carnaroli rice|
| ¾ level teaspoon cumin seeds|
| ½ level teaspoon coriander seeds|
| 2 cardamom pods|
| 1 dessertspoon groundnut or other flavourless oil, plus 1 teaspoon|
| 1 oz (25 g) pine nuts|
| 1½ oz (40 g) currants|
| 1½ oz (40 g) ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces |
| 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece cinnamon stick|
| 1 bay leaf|
| 1 large red onion |
| 3 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped|
| Maldon sea salt |
|For the dressing: |
| 2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil|
| 4 tablespoons lemon juice|
You will also need a lidded frying pan with a diameter of 8 inches (20 cm).
First roast and crush the spices. To do this you need to place the cumin and coriander seeds and cardamom pods in the frying pan over a medium heat and stir and toss them around for 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to look toasted and start to jump in the pan. Now transfer them to a pestle and mortar and crush them to a powder.
After that, add the dessertspoon of oil to the frying pan set over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the pine nuts, currants and apricots until the nuts are golden brown.
Next stir in the rice and roasted spices, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and turn the grains over in the pan till they're nicely coated and glistening with oil. Now pour in 1 pint (570 ml) boiling water, add some salt, stir once only, then put the lid on, turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the rice cook for exactly 15 minutes. Don't remove the lid, and remember – absolutely no stirring.
While the rice is cooking, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting. Peel and slice the red onion into ¼ inch (5 mm) rounds, then brush one side with half the teaspoon of oil, place them on a grilling rack directly under the grill and cook till the edges have blackened – 4-5 minutes – then turn them over. Brush the other side with the rest of the oil and grill them as before. After that, remove them and let them cool.
When the rice is cooked, take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a clean tea cloth for 5 minutes to absorb the steam. Now empty the rice into a warm serving dish and add about two-thirds of the spring onions. Whisk the oil and lemon juice together and pour this over the rice before fluffing it up with a fork, then garnish the salad with the grilled onions and remaining spring onions before serving.