We got a rice cooker, probably because I am destined, as a half-Sicilian woman who is by nature required to ask for seconds, to have the kind of arms I can swat flies off of my pies with, and rice is good for growing these babies. Who cares. I like rice.
The simple directions: in the rice cooker, simmer some spices in butter, sauté some rice in the spices, add a few more spices and salt, add water to cover the rice by 1", turn to the rice setting, and let it go. The only dish you have to clean up is the rice-soaking bowl because you're going to fill the little teacup you soaked your saffron in with delicious rice.
I don't measure stuff. I think you know that.
rice-cooker Indian rice
basmati rice, soaked, rinsed, and drained
some spices that you like... I used these:
a few cardamom podsa little stick of cinnamon
a few cloves
a handful of slivered or sliced almonds, or some of each, or if you're absolutely insane, cashews
a pinch of saffron, soaked in some hot water, not drained
Get your rice soaking in a little bowl, and get your saffron soaking in a little teacup of hot water, for about 15 minutes or so.
While that's happening, turn the rice cooker on to simmer (if your rice cooker is different, I suppose you'll just turn it on) and melt the butter in the rice pot.
Toss in some spices - less is more - and let them sizzle until they smell good. Add the almonds or cashews and let them toast just a bit.
Add in the soaked, rinsed, and drained rice, and stir it around. You'll hear it pop when it's toasting, but don't brown it. Add a little bit of turmeric (not too much - about a tsp for 3 cups dry rice) and some salt (whatever you'd use for your amount of regular rice) and stir it around again.
Dump the saffron and its water into the rice, fill the pot to 1" above the top of the rice with water, and stir it once more.
Turn the cooker on to the white rice setting and then go insane with the amazing smell of the spices until you hear the beep. Fluff it up a little bit. Eat it. Pick the cardamom pods off your spoon, preferably before you bite into them, even if you really love cardamom.
It's even better as leftovers.