Whether you’re spicing up a dish or using it as the main even, cardamom is a beautiful smelling spice used the world over to enhance all kinds of dishes. When putting together a recipe that features cardamom as one of its main stars, you should be aware that out of ten cardamom pods, you will typically get 1.5 teaspoons of ground cardamom. This will give you a good idea of how much you’ll need for your typical meal, and how much to stock up on when you start putting it in everything.
Chai Tea with Cardamom
Ginger and chain combine beautifully, but add a touch of ground cardamom to bring out the subtle aromatics that make a good chai tea more than just a nice drink. Cardamom, like many spices, truly shines when it has been properly heated and combined with complementary flavors. In a warm, spiced drink like a chai tea, cardamom helps both primary flavors.
Aromatic Cardamom Rice
Cardamom is a friend to both sweet and savory dishes, and paired with rice it can add an herbal balance on its own, or when combined with a turmeric-cooked protein like chicken or even tofu. Adding other aromatics like lemongrass will also help emphasize what the cardamom is already bringing to your dish of choice.
Cardamom in Salad
Cardamom does its best work when ground up and heated up in a pan. One way to take advantage of this flavor is to add it to a warm entrée dish, but you can also add it to a cold salad, as long as the elements of your salad are properly balanced. One way to do this is to add pickled veggies and chile powder to your salad for an additional kick and balancing element, with a little bit of acid. Cardamom thrives in a well-balanced (flavor-wise) meal.
Tikka Masala (Meat or Tofu)
Preparing your chicken, tofu or other protein with yogurt will tenderize the meat and add a zing to your tofu. Adding aromatics and other spices like ginger and garlic will help the overall flavor. The balance, though, comes in the sauce of the United Kingdom’s official meal. Adding cardamom powder into the tomato sauce will add to the richness and fullness, making for a decadent tikka masala.
Heating up a nice adult beverage can be nice, but you have to get the flavors right. Adding cardamom to warm, cider-based toddy will bring a fullness and richness you don’t normally find in this drink.
Especially if cardamom is a new spice to you, you might be surprised at the variety of foods it can enhance, or even the way it stands alone as its own, delicious ingredient. The key to figuring out what recipe works best for you is to experiment. You aren’t beholden to amounts, but do try and figure out your tolerance for certain flavors, as well as which flavors work best with cardamom in the first place.