Cardamom is such an amazing spice. I just love its distinct flavour. Apparently it’s the world’s third most expensive spice by weight! A well-deserved title I think.
I went a bit crazy with it tonight, cooking two recipes that involved it – one was a spicy chicken recipe which I cook every so often, and the other was a pilaf which I had not tried before but was delicious. My husband really liked it as well so looks like that recipe’s a keeper too! Both of these recipes come from some old Taste magazines.
I find that it’s really worth buying the whole cardamom pods and then taking the time to split them open to get the seeds. It’s a better flavour and it really keeps its fragrance for a long time in the pods.
6 chicken drums and 4 thighs, skin on and bone in
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
12 whole cardamom pods, split to release seeds
1/4 tsp each: ground cinammon, ground cloves and ground mace
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbsp plain yoghurt
Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Mix all the spices in a large bowl with salt, garlic and yoghurt. Marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fanbake). Bring chicken to room temperature, then place in a large shallow roasting tin lined with baking paper. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning several times during cooking, especially towards the end.
Check that the chicken is cooked all the way through, remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Pilaf with cardamom and pine nuts
2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely crushed
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
1 C jasmine rice
1/4 C currants
finely grated zest 1/2 lemon, plus extra for garnishing
2 C light chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 C pine nuts
Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp butter, let it melt, then add onion. Cook gently until softened, then increase heat a little and let onion colour to pale gold. Add garlic, cumin and cardamom seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add rice, currants, lemon zest and stock.
Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to very low and cover pan with a lid. Cook for 12 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave rice for a further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add remaining butter. Once sizzling, add pine nuts and cook gently, turning often with a spoon, until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, then sprinkle with sea salt.
Fluff up pilaf with a fork, transfer to a heated bowl and scatter the pine nuts over the top. Garnish with lemon zest and serve immediately.