4 tbsp vegetable oil
¾ tsp cumin seeds
7.5cm/3in piece cinnamon
3 green cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp chopped blanched almonds
2 tsp raisins
200g/7oz basmati rice, washed until the water runs clear, drained
400ml/14fl oz water
pinch saffron strands soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
2 ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped, plus extra to serve
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a low heat. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and fry for 20-30 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant.
Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Add the almonds and raisins and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the rice and stir well to coat it in the spiced oil.
Add the water, saffron water and half of the chopped figs and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until the rice is tender but still has a slight bite.
Add the remaining figs and the chopped nuts and stir well, fluffing the rice with a fork as you stir. Set aside for 4-5 minutes to allow any excess water to evaporate, then serve.
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