How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the rice, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring back to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the sesame oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the shallots, star anise pods, ginger, pepper and turmeric and cook, stirring, until the shallots are softened and starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the prunes and pistachios and season with salt. Discard the star anise pods.
Fluff the rice with a fork and discard the bay leaves. Spread the rice on a platter. Top with the pistachio-and-prune mixture and serve.