In a medium bowl, soak the rice in the water, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the cinnamon, carda¬mom pods, biriyani or pulao masala, and black pepper until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes.
Mix in the ginger-garlic paste and cranberries and stir about 2 minutes. Then add the rice with the water it was soaking in and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pan (partially at first until the foam subsides, and then snugly), and cook until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is done, 10 to 12 minutes.
Lightly fork in the jaggery and cilantro, and allow the rice to rest undisturbed about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, fluff with a fork, and serve.