Recipe: 3 Ways with Cardamom

A fragrant aromatic that adds a different dimension to dishes
ByJasmine BandaliWednesday , 30 September 2015
Recipe: 3 Ways with Cardamom
© StockFood

CARDAMOM AND VANILLA FILO PARCELS
SERVES 6
These divine bites are the perfect contrast of textures, marrying a smooth velvety custard with a hint of satisfying crunch

INGREDIENTS
6 sheets filo pastry
40ml melted butter
1 medium egg, beaten
40g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
FOR THE FILLING
150ml double cream
225ml full fat milk
2 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
8 cardamom pods
60g cornflour

METHOD
1 Make the filling. Crush the cardamom pods and place in a saucepan together with the milk and cream to infuse.
2 Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Add the cornflour and beat well to incorporate.
3 Add the egg mixture to the pan of milk and cook, stirring, until thickened.
4 Strain the mixture through a sieve, to remove the cardamom pods, into a 20cm x 20cm cake tin, placing a sheet of clingfilm directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool before placing in the refrigerator to cool and set completely. Once set, cut into 5cm x 5cm squares.
5 Preheat the oven to 180C.
6 Working two sheets at a time, brush each of your filo sheets with butter and place them on top of one another. Cut into quarters to form squares. Repeat with the remaining pastry.
7 Place the custard squares in the middle of each pastry square. Brush the border of each square with beaten egg, bringing up the sides of the pastry to form a parcel. Squeeze the edges firmly so that they stick. Repeat until all the pastry sheets have been used up.
8 Brush each parcel with melted butter.
9 Mix the caster sugar, vanilla powder and ground cinnamon together in a bowl, and dust each parcel lightly.
10 Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool slightly before servig.

CARDAMOM BANANA BREAD
MAKES 1 LOAF

A teatime treat that’s amazing served with a little cottage cheese and a drizzling of honey or maple syrup

INGREDIENTS
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp almond extract
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom pods, or cardamom powder

METHOD
1 Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Grease a large loaf pan.
2 In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice, molasses and almond extract and stir until thoroughly mixed.
3 Set a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pineapple juice mixture and the raisins and bring to a simmer, stirring intermittently. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4 In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, brown sugar, sunflower oil and eggs with an electric hand mixer for 1 minute.
5 In another bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cardamom.
6 Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture with a spoon until well combined, then add the walnuts and finally the soaked raisins. Stir a final time to combine, then pour the batter into the prepared tin.
7 Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow bread to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

CHICKEN BIRYANI
SERVES 6
This dish is a firm favourite of the Indian subcontinent – that’s some 1.7 billion people! Try your hand at it and you’ll soon realise why it’s so popular

INGREDIENTS
2½ cups white basmati rice, washed in several changes of water and then drained
1 kg chicken pieces, skinless but with bones
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 cup sunflower oil
18 black peppercorns
9 pods green cardamom
3 pods black cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp. cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
2 dried bay leaves
6 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 tbsp garlic puree
1 tbsp green chilli puree
¾ tbsp ginger puree
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
½ tsp turmeric
Salt, to taste (start with 1 tsp and add as required)
¾ cup mint, chopped
¼ cup coriander, chopped
40 threads saffron, crushed (heaping ½ tsp.)

METHOD
1 Heat ¼ cup oil in a saucepan set over a high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until dark brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2 Heat the remaining oil in the saucepan set over a high heat. Add the garam masala, chilli flakes, turmeric, 10 peppercorns, 5 green cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pods, and 1 cinnamon stick. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3 Add the garlic, tomatoes, chillies and ginger and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, then
add the chicken and the salt. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
4 Cover and reduce the heat to medium, until the chicken is cooked right through, about 30 to 40 minutes.
5 Add the fried onions, yoghurt, ½ cup mint, and 2 tablespoons of coriander and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Set aside.
6 Place the saffron in a bowl and cover with ½ cup hot water; set aside.
7 Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the remaining peppercorns, green and black cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and bay leaves along with the rice. Season with salt and cook rice until al dente, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
8 Remove half the chicken curry from the saucepan to a bowl.
9 Top the chicken with half the rice.
10 Pour half of the saffron mixture onto the rice and mix in using your fingers.
11 Top with the remaining chicken curry and then the remaining rice.
12 Drizzle the remaining saffron on top and mix through the rice again.
13 Steam, covered, over a low heat until the rice is cooked completely, about 10 minutes.
14 Garnish with the remaining mint and coriander.

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