1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 two-inch cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of ground cardamom
1 small tomato, finely chopped
3 tablespoons golden raisins or regular raisins
1 tablespoon xawaash spice mix
1 ½ cups boiling waterPreparationPlace the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold tap water, stirring the rice gently with your hands, until the water runs clear.
Place the rinsed rice in a bowl, cover with cold water and let it soak for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Warm the oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cloves and cook, stirring, until the mixture smells very fragrant (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the garlic and cardamom and cook, stirring, until they’re also quite fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the tomato and a large pinch of salt, then increase the heat to high.
Cook, stirring, until the juice from the tomato has evaporated and the mixture is like a thick paste, about 2 minutes.
Drain the rice and add it to the pot, along with another large pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring, until the mixture is quite dry and the rice smells nutty and is opaque, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the raisins, spice mix and boiling water. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender, for about 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes before fluffing with a spoon or fork. If you can find the cinnamon stick and cloves, fish them out and discard them (otherwise, just warn your guests to avoid eating these). Serve the rice immediately, while hot. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and rewarmed in a 300-degree oven or in a skillet over low heat.