Home Cooking 26

Working with Cardamom Seeds and Pods: Help!!!

opinionatedchef | Oct 1, 2011 01:42 PM

Even the excellent spice books , Spice and Herb Bible and Herbs and Spices, have no compassion/ prep tips for the home cook working with cardamom pods and seeds. I loooove cardamom. I add it to my caramels, nut toffee, cookies, brownies, truffles, ginger syrup, etc etc.I started out using ground cardamom but quickly realized it just doesn't have enough flavor. Even with freshly ground(by me) green cardamom, I need 2 1/2 T. for 4c. flour> to give adequate cardamomness to a blueberry lemon cake. (Recipes calling for 1 tsp per 2 c. flour- do nothing for me.)

But it is such a labor of love to remove the seeds from the pods. So I am finally appealing to you brilliant CHs, hoping you might have some special tips.

Do you find that the seeds removed by you from the pods- are stronger flavor than the seeds packaged in Indian stores? If so, how do you most efficiently part the pods from their seeds? I've been using a mortar and pestle to grind the pods til they come apart, and then picking out the pod pieces before grinding the seeds to 'powder'. whew! :-{

Maybe it would be easier if i only worked 2T. at a time instead of 1/3 c.? would a kitchen aid w/ a paddle work better? It's so discouraging when preparing the cardamom component takes twice as long as making the cookies, etc.!

And lastly, almost every recipe I find for Indian kheer and other cooked sweets- has the cardamom being added at the end , post- cooking. I have always thought cooking or steeping with the seeds or cracked pods- would impart more cardamom flavor.Any thoughts about this? Thanks so much for your help.

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