Rinse 250 grams of basmati rice in water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.
In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil. Add 1 bay leaf, 2-3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1-inch cinnamon stick, and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds. Fry the spices for a minute until they release their aroma.
Add 1 finely chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
Add the soaked and drained rice to the pan and gently stir to mix the rice with the spices and onions.
Add 500 ml of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of biryani masala powder. Mix well.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then, gently fluff the rice with a fork.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fried onions, if desired. Serve hot with raita or your favorite curry.