Rinse rice 3 to 4 times and transfer to a bowl; cover with water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir cumin until starting to pop, 2 to 4 minutes. Add cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, and bay leaf; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Drain rice and mix into spice mixture; add 1 1/2 cups water and salt. Cover skillet and cook on high for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let rest with cover on, about 15 minutes.
Remove cover and fluff rice with a fork. Remove bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves, and peppercorns.