Pinch of saffron threads, pounded
2 tbsp hot milk
225g/8 oz. basmati rice, washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
1 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
2 star anise
475ml/16fl oz. hot water
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Melt the ghee gently and then sizzle the whole spices in it. (The ghee has to be fragrant before adding the rice.) If using butter, remember to add a bit of oil so that the oil does not burn. Allow to sizzle for about 30 seconds.
Then add the drained rice. Then add the saffron milk, hot water and salt. Let the water come to the boil. As soon as the water boils, cover well with a lid and cook on very low heat for about 8 minutes. Then allow to rest for a further 8 minutes before uncovering.
Uncover and fluff up the rice with a fork. Avoid using any other spoon. Then serve on a dish and garnish with rose petals, roasted almonds or cashewnuts, caramelised onion, etc.