Crisp fried shallots are sold already prepared in Asian markets. But as with most foods, their flavor is sharper and cleaner if you fry them up fresh: simply slice shallots thinly and fry them in vegetable oil over medium to medium-low heat until they turn golden and crispy; keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Drain them on paper towels.
1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cardamom pod
, split open
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon salt
crisp fried shallots for garnish
chopped hard-boiled eggs for garnish
Soak the rice in cold water for least half an hour, but one hour is preferable.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin until the onion turns transparent and golden.
Drain the rice and add it to the skillet; sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the peas, salt, and 2 cups water and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook the rice for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. Scoop the rice onto a serving platter and garnish it, as desired.
As prepared, each serving contains 380 calories, 14g total fat, 520mg sodium, 56g total carbohydrate and 8g protein.