Rice with Shredded Carrots and Coconut

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji

               This is pale golden rice marbled with shredded carrots and toasted shredded coconut. A touch of raisins adds a little sweetness. You may want to remove the whole cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick before serving, as they are not meant to be eaten. This is a good choice for luncheon or evening menus along with any dal soup or tossed salad. This dish is quick, colorful, aromatic and, most important, delicious.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 5 minutes         
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Serves: 3or 4

1 cup (95 g) basmati or other long-grain white rice
2 table spoons (30 ml) ghee or vegetable oil
1 table spoons (22 ml) sesame seeds
6 whole cloves
6 black peppercorns
1 inch (4 cm) piece of cinnamon stick
3 table spoons (45 ml) fresh or dried shredded coconut
1 2/3 -2 cups (400-480 ml) water
1 cups (360 ml) scraped and shredded carrots (about 8 ounces/230 g)
1 teaspoons (6 ml) salt
2 table spoons (30 ml) raisins or currants

1.    If basmati rice is used, clean, wash, soak and drain as explained on page 4.
2.    Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy 1 -quart/liter nonstick saucepan over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the sesame seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and coconut. Stir-fry until the coconut turns light brown. Stir the rice into the mixture and fry for a few minutes until the rice grains are slightly translucent.
3.    Add the water and the remaining ingredients raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil.
4.    Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently simmer without stirring for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and the vegetables are tender-crisp and all of the liquid has been absorbed.
5.    Turn the heat off and let the rice sit, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the fragile grains to firm up. Just before serving, remove the cover and fluff the piping-hot rice with a fork.