Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, and in it fry all the spices and leaves until fragrant. Stir in the rice, the lemon zest and juice, and then add the water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, cover, and reduce to the lowest possible heat.
Leave for 15 minutes or so until the rice has absorbed the water. Remove the leaves and lemon grass. Fork in the nuts and sultanas, and heap the rice in a serving bowl. Decorate with fresh herbs, such as coriander.
To slice nutmeg, I use a truffle grater, or the slicing side of a grater. It can also be grated, and this is probably safer for the knuckles.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.