Simmer meat, onions, cilantro, cardamom pods, salt and pepper in 1 cup water in a covered saucepan over low heat for 1 hour or until tender. Add water if pot dries. Remove meat, set aside and keep warm.
Add 2 cups water and milk to stock in which meat was cooked. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and cook very gently over low heat until the rice is nearly cooked, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steam 10 minutes longer.
Place rice on a large serving platter and pick out the cardamom pods. Arrange pieces of meat on top. Pour melted butter over rice and meat. Serve with a vegetable salad.