Heat oil and add the onion slices and bay leaves. Fry just for a bit and add the chopped vegetables, cumin seeds, powdered dry red chilies, ginger paste, turmeric powder and salt. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and cook until the water dries up a bit and oil starts to float on top.
Now add the dal, rice and 8 cups of water. Also add the ghee and cardamoms, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Stir well and put the lid on for 30 minutes on high heat.
Turn the heat down-cook for another 20 min.The water will dry up when the vegetables, rice and dal are cooked.