Soak the rice in 6 cups water for minimum 30 minutes. I generally soak them for 1-2 hours.
Grind the ingredients mentioned under the spice paste with little water. Set aside.
Heat the oil/butter/ghee in a large dutch oven or pressure cooker. Throw in the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaf. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Then add the green chilies and saute for 30 seconds. Add the onions and sauté till lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Mix in the ground spice paste and fry for another 4 – 5 minutes on a low flame. Keep stirring to prevent the onion mixture from getting burned.
Add the mixed chopped vegetables, beans and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and cook covered for 15 minutes. Cook the veggies until 3/4th done.
Pour 3 cups of coconut milk. Add salt to taste.
Bring the liquid to a boil.
Add the rice to the boiling coconut milk mixture, simmer the flame to the lowest flame/heat. Cover and cook on low flame for about 15 minutes.
Switch off the flame and let it rest. Don’t open and meddle with the rice. After 15 minutes, using a fork fluff out the rice. Serve hot with onion raita and spicy chicken/shrimp or vegetarian kurma.