Your sense of smell comes into play when toasting the cardamom and coconut, and sautéing the garlic, as each ingredient releases its unique fragrance to indicate that it has cooked enough.
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups long-grain rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cardamom; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 15 seconds). Transfer to a small bowl.
Add coconut to pan; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and just beginning to brown (about 2 minutes). Add to cardamom.
Add oil and garlic to pan. Sauté, stirring often, just until garlic is fragrant but not browned (about 20 seconds). Stir in rice; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in reserved coconut mixture, water, and salt; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Add butter, stirring gently until melted. Stir in cilantro.