The rice can be cooked in a pressure cooker or a covered container. In the cooker pan, add oil and let it heat up on medium heat.
Add in cumin seeds and wait for 2-3 minutes or until they start browning and giving out an aroma.
Add in the chopped garlic and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the rice and water and salt and give the mixture one slight whirl and keep the rice for cooking. 1 whistle in pressure cooker and 10-15 minutes on covered container. The rice should be cooked to almost cooked, but not fully cooked. Keep rice aside.
In a large pan, heat oil and Add in the chopped onions and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add in the Serrano peppers and red chili and mix well.
Add in the cumin and coriander powder, turmeric and asafetida and mix well.
Add in the rest of the spices(bay leaves, cardamom,. cinnamon, cloves) and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add in the thawed vegetables, salt and ginger and mix well.
Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are half cooked.
Reduce heat to low and spread out the veggies to cover the bottom evenly. If you have a slim pan with more depth, you can keep some veggies to add another layer.
Top the veggies with half of the coriander and mint leaves.
Top this off with rice and sprinkle the saffron water on the rice.
Sprinkle some lemon juice on it as well.
Top the rice with the remaining coriander and mint leaves.
You can add addition veggies and rice layers. I made only one layer.
Cover the container and cook on low for 10-15 minutes.
Garnish with 1/2 cup fried cashews and 1/2 cup fried onions.