Add half of the butter (or ghee) to a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add the ground turmeric, curcuma, cinnamon, clove and bay leaves. Season with a pinch of pepper and salt.
Stir the spices and gently fry them for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the chopped onion, garlic and grated ginger to the pan.
Stir well. Cook the onion and garlic for 2 more minutes. Then also add the basmati rice, cardamom pods and star anise.
Stir fry the rice and spices for about 3 minutes. Then pour in the vegetable stock.
Stir the rice. Turn the heat very high until the rice is boiling. Then immediately turn the heat very low again and cover the pan. Cook the rice for about 20 minutes or until tender. Stir regularly. Check the tenderness every now and then. Don’t overcook the rice. Once the rice is nearly cooked, stir in the remaining unsalted butter or ghee.
Check the seasoning of the pilau rice and add extra pepper or salt to taste. Remove the clove, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Scoop the pilau rice into bowls and serve hot.