Wash the rice thoroughly in cold,
running water, then leave to soak in a
bowlful of water for 1 hr. Once soaked,
drain, then cook in plenty of boiling salted
water for about 8 mins until 90 per cent
cooked. Drain again and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the
onions and fry until golden brown. Lift out
half the onions with a slotted spoon and
set aside. Continue frying the rest of the
onions at a high heat until really crisp,
then lift these out with a slotted spoon.
Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a
little salt and set aside until ready to serve.
Return the first reserved batch of
onions to the pan. Fry with the ginger
and garlic for 1 min, then stir in the
tomatoes, all the spices, the bay, yogurt
and some salt. Cook for a few mins until
the oil separates out, then add the
potatoes and carrots with 400ml water.
Gently cook for 20-30 mins or until the
veg are almost cooked and saucy (splash
in more water if the sauce gets too thick).
Turn off the heat and stir in the peas.
Spread half the cooked rice over the
bottom of a large casserole dish. Spread
the saucy vegetables on top, sprinkle
with the chopped coriander, then evenly
cover with the remaining rice. Dampen
a clean, thick tea towel, lay it over the
casserole and put on the lid. Set it over
a very low heat and cook for about
30 mins. Spoon into a large shallow dish
to serve, gently mixing the vegetables
and rice as you go, then scatter over
the crispy onions.