Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until shimmering. Add the cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, discard the spices and serve.