Curries, cakes and a little bit of Christmas: we look at why this spice is right for December.
Quick cardamom facts
There are two types of cardamom and both are seedpods from plants in the ginger family. Green cardamom is what you’re most likely to find in supermarket spice aisles. It works in sweet and savoury dishes and is popular in Swedish and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Black cardamom’s hint of smokiness makes it better for savoury food, although it does still pop up in sweet dishes. It has distinctive dark brown pods that are larger and more gnarled than the green ones. It’s a little harder to come by; your best bet is health food shops or online.
Use and store
With both varieties, you can use the whole pod, just the seeds or ground to a powder. Use whole pods for its strong and sweet flavour (left intact or ground in a pestle and mortar or spice blender). The powdered spice is handy but won’t give the same punch.
Whole pods will also keep better than ground powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight. Kept like this it should last for at least a couple of years.
Curry up with cardamom
Marinated with a generous dose of cardamom, this Gurkha chicken curry is set to be a new curry night favourite. No cheating with pastes here – this is a recipe to throw all sorts of spices at for lip-smacking results.
Ready in just half an hour, this roast cauliflower korma is easy peasy and wonderfully fragrant. Pop on a bed of basmati rice with warm naan on the side.
This parsnip, haddock and cardamom kedgeree has a bit of a bonus: it makes extra curry powder that keeps for two months – perfect for another meal. Take care when toasting the spices in a frying pan as if they catch they’ll be unusable.
Bake it special
Fill the kitchen with heavenly smells when you bake this coffee and cardamom cake. Topped with coffee flavoured mascarpone and roasted pistachios, it’s hard to stop at just one slice.
For the ultimate cardamom traybake, we’re looking to past Bake Off winner Raul and his spiced lemon drizzle number. The sensational results more than makeup for the fiddly bake and lengthy list of ingredients; a little help won’t hurt though.
A pinch of Christmas
Perfect for Christmas breakfast or a festive mid-morning treat, these cardamom and clementine morning buns are said to be an indulgent croissant/cinnamon bun crossover – as if we need any more persuading!
And for a Christmas showstopper, try this cardamom cake with eggnog buttercream. Fruitcake dodgers – this one’s for you.
If you’re looking for a new spice to fall in love with this winter, cardamom over…