1teaspooncumin seedsif you want it more fragrant, you can add more
1green chili pepperThai green chili preferred, finely chopped - sub with Serrano otherwise
1teaspoonsaltoptional (I use salted ghee)
First, rinse the basmati rice thoroughly - at least 3x until the rinsed water runs mostly clear. Cover the rinsed rice with fresh water and soak for at least 20 mins (and no longer than 30 mins)
With five minutes to spare, in a medium pot that can hold the rice, heat ghee or avocado oil. On low to medium flame, when the ghee or oil is hot, add cumin seeds and wait for it to sputter (it will start to smell delicious already)
Add chopped green chili pepper and stir a couple of times - don't let it brown, 20 seconds is good!
Now, drain the rice and add it to the pot - don't stir too much but toast the rice for a minute or two (stirring too much can break the rice, but you don't want it to stick to the bottom)
Transfer the toasted rice into another pot or the bowl where you soaked the rice. Add water and salt to a pot (the water will be salty to taste) and bring to a boil
Once the water is boiling (rolling bubbles on top) - cover and cook rice for about 4 to 6 minutes. I suggest checking after 4 minutes. If it looks mostly done, turn off the heat and let it sit uncovered for another minute or two.
The water should have evaporated by now and the rice should be ready - top and mix with chopped cilantro and serve hot!
If using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, add slightly more water (about ¼ cup). For a pressure cooker, typically one whistle is sufficient. For Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then manual pressure release for a couple of minutes before quick releasing the pressure.
If Thai green chili peppers are unavailable, the next best option is Serrano peppers
If you'd like to make this a one pot rice, then I suggest adding water directly to the pot after toasting rice, but in this case, you want to start the timer right after you add the water. Then, once the water starts boiling, just turn the heat down to medium and let it finish cooking.