In this recipe from chef Eberhard Mueller of Bayard's in New York City, the basmati rice's natural nutty aroma is enhanced with cinnamon and clove. Serve with Orange-Rosemary Chicken.
Tie bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and clove in a small piece of cheesecloth. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine rice and 2 cups water. Add herb sachet, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until water has been absorbed and rice has cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove sachet, check seasoning, and serve immediately.