Soak the rice for 1 hour, wash and drain. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the sliced shallots, stirring all time, for 2 minutes.
Add the rice, turmeric, coriander and cumin, stir fry for another 2 minutes and then put in the coconut milk and the other ingredients.
Boil the mixture, uncovered, stirring it once or twice with a wooden spoon, until the liquid has been soaked up by the rice. Then cover the saucepan tightly and leave on a low heat, undisturbed, for 10 minutes, or finish cooking in the oven or microwave.
Transfer it to a serving dish and take out and discard the cinnamon stick, cloves and kaffir lime or bay leaf.
Serve hot as an accompaniment to savoury meat or fish dishes and vegetables.