Yemeni Style Rice

Growing up, the only time I got to enjoy this dish was at big dinner gatherings. My favorite part about being in the kitchen loading up trays of rice to serve was sneaking mouthfuls of this rice. Typically this is made on a bigger scale, but I sized it down to a family appropriate amount. Usually, there is meat served on top. Roasted lamb or chicken is usually what pairs with this rice. What You'll Need (For the Rice) -2 cups uncooked basmati rice (rinsed in cold water until it runs clear) -3 1/2--4 cups of water -salt to taste -oil (For the Sauce) -1 medium onion, sliced -2 cloves of garlic -1 cinnamon stick -2-3 cloves -2-3 cardamom pods -1 can of tomatoes (diced, sauce, stewed, strained, its up to you) -1/4 cup of tomato paste -1/2 cup of chopped cilantro -hot pepper to taste -2 teaspoons yemeni hawaij -salt and pepper to taste -2 small potatoes, cut into fries -oil for frying -saffron or yellow food coloring Ideas/suggestions -In place of hawaij you can use cumin, turmeric and paprika -Other rice won't come out the same as basmati, try to stick with basmati for this recipe. -Salt rice water generously -If you soak your basmati, use less water to cook it. -You can layer higher in a deeper dish -Top with haneeth or roasted chicken