12 Recipes Using Green Cardamom Pods

Thai green
prawn curry

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and cook for two minutes, taking care not to let them brown.
  3. Add the turmeric and cook for a few seconds, then pour in the coconut milk. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring right from the bottom of the mixture.
  4. Season with salt, then add the cardamom, cloves, curry leaves and cinnamon. Simmer for a couple of minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly, then add the coriander and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add the prawns and cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on their size. Cover the pan, remove from the heat and set aside for about five minutes. The prawns will continue to cook in the residual heat of the curry (more cooking on the stove will spoil the prawns by overcooking).
  6. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a fresh onion salad.

Suriani home-style
chicken curry (‘ishtu’)

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken stew

For the sweet and sour rice

METHOD

  1. For the chicken stew, heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan or sauté pan. Add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, followed by the garlic, ginger, onions, chillies and curry leaves. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the chicken, salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Pour in the coconut milk and 125ml/4fl oz water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, soak the rice in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain well. Heat the oil in a large, lidded saucepan. Add the star anise, cardamom and bay and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the onion, curry leaves, salt and sugar and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, 300ml/10fl oz water and then the rice. Mix well, then simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 7–8 minutes. All the liquid should be absorbed.
  4. Take off the heat and stir. Cover with the lid again and set aside for 10 minutes to let the rice finish cooking in its steam.
  5. To serve, add the vinegar to the stew, sprinkle over the garam masala and mix well. Remove from the heat and serve with the sweet and sour rice.

Chicken with
spinach

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. In a food processor, blend the spinach to a purée using one or two tablespoons of water to loosen the mixture. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cardamom pods, bay leaves and cinnamon and fry for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add the green chillies and onion and continue to fry for 4-5 minutes, or until caramelised.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the ginger, garlic and tomatoes to a smooth paste in the food processor.
  5. When the onions have caramelised, add the paste, chicken pieces and remaining spices to the pan and stir well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring regularly.
  6. Add the yoghurt, stir well and continue to simmer the mixture until the sauce has thickened and almost dried out.
  7. Stir in the spinach purée and continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then serve with rice.

Mixed vegetable and
almond briyani

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed, lidded saucepan. Fry the onions with the salt for 10 minutes, or until soft and just starting to brown.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, until aromatic. Add the cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and cardamom pods. Fry again for another minute and crumble in the stock cube.
  3. Add the vegetables and rice, and stir until everything is well coated in the onion spice mixture.
  4. Add 600ml/1 pint of water and turn up the heat to bring the rice to the boil. Put on the lid and reduce the heat as low as it will go, then allow to steam for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow the rice to rest, lid on, for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, toast the almonds over a medium heat in a small frying pan until golden, and roughly chop the coriander.
  7. Remove the lid from the rice, and pick out the cardamom husks that should have worked their way to the top. Fluff up the rice with a fork, and stir in the flaked almonds, chopped coriander and the lemon juice before serving.

RECIPES TIPS

Making the perfect biryani is dependent on a number of factors, especially how much control you have over your heat source (if you are cooking on a gas or electric hob, for example), how heavy the bottom of your pan is and how tight a fit the lid is. If your biryani is slightly undercooked, return it to the heat with a splash more water until it is all absorbed. If it is slightly sticky, reduce the quantity of water by 25ml next time you make it.

Chicken
korma

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and add the chilli flakes, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Stir well and leave to marinate for 5–10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole and gently fry the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom for a few seconds before adding the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and pale golden-brown, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the spiced chicken pieces and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until lightly coloured on all sides, stirring regularly. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for another minute. Pour over the coconut milk and add the yoghurt. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Butternut squash and
chickpea curry

INGREDIENTS

To serve (optional)

    • 3 x 250g/9oz pouches ready-cooked pilau rice
    • cucumber, tomato and red onion salad

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat, then add the mustard and cumin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, or until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
  2. Add the onions to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown.
  3. Toss the garlic and ginger into the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat a little, stir in the ground spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the butternut squash, bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the coconut cream, chickpeas and beans and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until the liquor is reduced and thickened slightly.
  6. Meanwhile heat up the pouches of rice (if using), following the packet instructions.
  7. Serve the curry in warmed bowls, with the hot pilau rice and a cucumber salad on the side if you like.

RECEPI TIPS

To freeze, let the curry cool, then freeze. Defrost fully in the fridge overnight, then reheat in a saucepan over a medium heat until hot all the way through. You may need to add a little extra liquid to loosen the curry as you reheat it.

Lentil
curry

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry for two minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the spices and cook through for two more minutes.
  3. Add the tomato purée, lentils, and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes.
  4. Add the cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. To serve, pour the lentil curry into a warm bowl with the warm chapattis served on a plate alongside.

Spinach and paneer wrap
with mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

For the spinach paste

For the tandoori mushrooms

For the paneer

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100ml/3½fl oz water
  • 300-350g/10-12oz paneer, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced

To serve

    • 5 ready-made flour tortillas, wrapped in foil and placed in the oven for the last five minutes of cooking
    • You’ll need 5-6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for half an hour

METHOD

  1. For the spinach paste, place all the spinach paste ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. For the tandoori mushrooms, place all the ingredients except the mushrooms into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Add the mushrooms to the paste and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  4. For the paneer, heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the spinach paste and the water and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the paste starts to thicken. Add the paneer and the onion and cook for another minute, or until the onion just starts to soften.
  5. Meanwhile, thread the marinated mushrooms onto skewers, place onto an oiled baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Once cooked, add the mushrooms to the paneer mixture.
  6. To serve, divide the filling into five portions and place each portion onto a warmed tortilla. Roll up and cut on the diagonal.

Mutton
saag

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Heat three tablespoons of the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook the onions gently for 20 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.
  2. Meanwhile place the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and pound lightly to split the pods. Tip onto a board and open each pod, scraping the seeds back into the mortar. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick and grind into a fine, dry powder.
  3. Remove half of the onions and transfer to a plate. Return the pan to the heat and stir in chillies and garlic and cook for three minutes. Add the ground spices, ground coriander and turmeric and fry, stirring constantly, for two minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
  5. Add 300g/10z spinach to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, scrape into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
  6. Return the pan to the heat and add one tablespoon of oil. Season the mutton all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the mutton over a medium-high heat in 2-3 batches until nicely browned on all sides, adding a little more oil if necessary. As soon as one batch is browned, transfer to a medium flame-proof casserole while the rest is fried.
  7. Transfer the spiced onions and spinach to a food processor and blend to a thick green paste. Stir into the casserole dish with the lamb and add the bay leaf, tomato purée and 800ml/1⅓ pints cold water. Season with a teaspoon of sea salt flakes, stir well and bring to a simmer.
  8. Remove from the heat and cover the surface of the curry with a piece of crumpled baking parchment. Place a lid on top of the casserole and cook in the oven for 2½-3 hours or until the mutton is very tender and the sauce is thick.
  9. Stir in the reserved onions and the remaining spinach. Cover with the lid and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes or until the onions are hot and the spinach has wilted. Serve with rice or warm naan bread.

Cardamom and rosewater
cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

For the tropical fruit salad

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Put the biscuits in a food processor and whizz to make crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix together.
  2. Press the biscuit mixture into the base and sides of a 23cm/9in fluted loose-bottomed flan tin. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the icing sugar and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Stir in the cardamom and ginger.
  4. In a separate, large bowl, beat the double cream. Fold in the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Spread the mixture on top of the biscuit base and place back in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the fruit salad, boil 50ml/2fl oz water with the sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the rosewater and lemon and leave to cool.
  7. Scatter the pistachios on top of the cheesecake, sprinkle with a little of the rosewater syrup and decorate with some petals.
  8. Combine the fruit in a large bowl and pour over the remaining rosewater syrup. Mix together and serve with the cheesecake.

Spiced rhubarb
crumble

INGREDIENTS

For the crumble

For the filling

  • 15g/½oz butter
  • 750g/1¾lb rhubarb, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 2.5cm/1in lengths.
  • 2 green cardamom pods, split
  • 100g/3½oz muscovado sugar
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water, or to taste

To serve

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
  2. To make the crumble, put the flour, sugar, ground almonds and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time, rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. To make the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the prepared rhubarb, sugar, cardamom, orange zest and juice. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the cardamom pods, and add the orange blossom water to the mixture. Pour into a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown.
  5. To serve, spoon out portions into bowls and serve with hot custard.

Paneer and
vegetable skewers

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade

For the skewers

  • 300g/10½oz paneer, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • 1 large onion, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • 1 green and 1 red capsicum pepper, cored and cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • oil, for greasing
  • 6 wooden skewers, soaked for an hour
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted, for drizzling
  • chaat masala (a dried spice mixture available from Asian grocers), to sprinkle

METHOD

  1. For the marinade, mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the paneer, onion and peppers. Cover with cling film and allow the paneer and vegetables to marinate for 30-40 minutes, or longer, in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and oil a baking sheet.
  3. Thread the vegetables and paneer alternately onto the skewers. Bake in the oven for seven minutes, drizzle over the melted butter, turn and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until charred at the edges.
  4. Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve. They are also great served with a green chutney.

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