2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds, optional
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Special equipment: deep saucepan, 9 1/2-inch diameter, with lid
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