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If you have time, tip the rice into a large bowl and soak in cold water for 30 mins. Rinse in cold running water, then drain well, rinse and drain again. Repeat until the water is only slightly cloudy, then leave the rice in a sieve set over the sink to drain completely.
Heat the butter or oil in a lidded pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion with a large pinch of salt, stirring occasionally for 10 mins until soft and golden. Stir in the whole spices and the bay and cook for 2 mins more. Add the ground coriander and turmeric, and cook for 1 min more. Gently stir in the drained rice to coat it in the onion mixture, then pour over the stock or water and stir well.
Cover the pan with the lid and turn up the heat. Once hot, remove the lid, stir the rice, cover again and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 mins, then turn the heat off completely and leave to stand for 10 mins without removing the lid. Uncover, stir well, then cover again and leave to stand for a final 5 mins. Fluff up with a fork before serving.