Green cardamom is a fantastic flavor that can bring even the simplest flavor pairings to life. We’ve written a whole post about ten everyday flavor pairings for cardamom to provide you with some inspiration, but if you’re still unsure of what to do with these little green pods and their pungent seeds, then here are three easy things to try.
Make your own chai
Chai has surged in popularity in recent years and can now be found on the menus of most modern coffee shops, but that shouldn’t stop you from making some at home! A blend of some of the most fragrant spices - ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove, and in some cases also black pepper and star anise - mixed with black tea, it creates a delicious warming drink that has a high antioxidant load, is anti-inflammatory, and can also aid digestion. Chai can be made as a latte with plenty of milk or can be brewed with just water for a healthier version. Here’s how to make basic chai tea:
You will need:
- Thinly sliced ginger
- A cinnamon stick
- Whole cardamom pods
- Whole cloves
- Any other chai spices you want to use
- Milk, or non-dairy alternative
- Sugar, honey, or maple syrup to taste.
To make your chai:
- Add your sliced ginger and all of your chai spices to a saucepan with two cups of water and bring to the boil.
- Simmer your spice mixture for five minutes.
- Next, add two black tea bags and allow them to steep for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove the whole spices and the teabags before adding two cups of your preferred milk, and also your sweetener to taste.
For a creamier chai, try reducing the amount of water and upping the amount of milk. Or for a lighter chai, just use water.
Cardamom and rice have been paired together for centuries, and for a good reason - it tastes incredible! On its own, rice can be bland, but with a little cardamom, it turns into a dish all of its own. Here’s how to make a simple cardamom pilaf.
You will need:
- 1 tbsp of oil
- Seven cardamom pods
- 1 cup of long-grain basmati rice
- 2 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon zest (optional)
To make the pilaf:
- Gently crush the cardamom pods to extract their seeds, then add them to a pestle and mortar and crush but do not powder.
- Add 1tbsp of oil to a saucepan and gently fry your cardamom seeds to release their flavor.
- After 1-2 minutes, add in your rice before also pouring in your choice of broth.
- Add the lemon zest if you are using it, along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper - stir - and then decrease the heat and cover.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes covered until all the water is absorbed, then remove from the heat.
- For fluffy rice, leave it for two minutes once cooked before fluffing with a fork.
Lastly, if you are looking for a way to elevate virtually any dessert, then why not try your hand at making your own cardamom whipped cream. With just three ingredients and a little elbow grease, there’s no reason not to.
You will need:
- One cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- ½ a teaspoon of ground cardamom
To make the cardamom cream:
- If grinding your own cardamom seeds, then ensure that they are as fine as possible.
- Add all of your ingredients to a bowl and then whip until the cream forms stiff peaks.
- If you like your cream a little sweeter, then add more powdered sugar to taste.
So there you have it - three easy recipes to help you use cardamom. Which one do you want to try?