Onions and butter. So much butter. So much guilt over the quantity of butter. You know what? Screw the guilt. "Screw you," I said, prodding angrily at the onions. They shrivelled and turned brown.
A dainty sprinkle of chilli flakes. "Restraint," I muttered to myself, suppressing the urge to sprinkle turmeric. We don't want garish yellow rice.
One clove of garlic. I peered at the bulb, looking for the smallest clove. They all seemed unrestrainedly large. I peeled the smallest one, smashed it between my fingers and cast it in. The smell from the pot changed from oniony to garlicky. I took a deep sniff and coughed from the noseful of chilli.
Finally, the rice. It was partially cooked and drained, then thrown into the pot with the onions and garlic, water and salt, to cook some more. Then I covered it with a lid and fidgeted. It had to cook in its own steam, undisturbed.
I cursed and opened the pot to throw in a single pod of cardamom. The rice must be perfumed. I noticed the onions were rehydrating, plumping. Lid closed.
Ten minutes later, I was back at the pot, listening. The sounds inside had gone from bubbling to hissing. The starch from the rice was finally coming in contact with metal, the buffer of water evaporated. I chuckled to myself and turned off the heat.