Wash the rice, drain completely. Add 2 cups of water and leave aside to soak.
Meanwhile take 2 cups of water, add mint leaves and fennel seeds. Heat until boiling. Lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Strain and measure the liquid. Add enough water if needed to make it 2 cups.
Heat the ghee or oil in a thick pan, preferably non stick.
Add cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Add onion and fry till golden brown. Add the rice with the soaking water. Add the mint liquid and salt. Add paneer.
When the liquid begins to boil, cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat.
Leave undisturbed till the liquid is evaporated and the rice is cooked. (You will notice there is no more steam escaping from the lid. To test further, gently push a little rice away from the side of the pan with a flat ladle or a spatula. There should be no liquid at the bottom of the pan)
Switch off the heat. After 10 minutes, gently stir the rice without breaking the grains and serve hot with a kurma/ curry/ and/or raitha.
To Prepare this Recipe in an Electric Rice Cooker:
Follow instructions for steps 1 and 2.
Switch the cooker on and press the switch to cooking. Complete steps 3 and 4.
When the rice is done the switch will move to keep warm mode. Leave undisturbed for 15 minutes.
Then stir the rice gently without breaking the grains and serve hot or leave to remain hot till time to serve, up to 1 hour.
If left on keep warm mode for a longer period, the rice may dry out and the bottom layer may become brown and roasted.
Ingredients: 200 g - paneer, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 cup - basmati rice
2 cup - water
1 cup - mint leaves, packed
1 cup - onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp - fennel seeds (saunf)
3 tbsp - ghee or oil
4 - cloves
2 to 3 pieces - cinnamon, 2 cm long
4 - cardamom
salt to taste