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Thread: Cardamom pod vs. seed

  1. #1
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    Post Cardamom pod vs. seed

    In the May issue of CL there is a recipe for Egyptian Greens and Chicken Stew which calls for cardamom pods. I only have ground cardamom. Does anyone have any idea of how much ground I should use to equal to pods? Any help would be appreciated as the recipe sounds interesting.

  2. #2
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    I second chefbec. Too much cardamom will overpower the dish and make it taste like dessert (well, ok, I think ground cinnamon in a meat dish makes it taste like dessert -- that's why I always substitute stick cinnamon). You can even drop it (but there will be a difference).

    I haven't made this recipe, but I make an indian recipe that looks somewhat similar, it's simpler, and doesn't ask for cardamom. Maybe it gives you some ideas.

    Palak Murg

    This mild chicken dish is both quick and simple to make and the combination of chicken with ginger, coriander seeds, and chili powder is a highly successful one.

    3 tbsp oil
    2 onions, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, chopped
    2 tsp ground coriander seeds
    1 tsp chili powder [just ground hot pepper, like cayenne]
    1 1/2 lb chicken legs and tighs, skinned
    1 1/2 lb fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
    milk (optional)
    salt

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and cook until golden. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, chili powder, and salt to taste and cook gently for 2 minutes, stirring.

    Add the chicken and fry on all sides until browned. Add the spinach, stir well, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

    Stir in 2-3 tbsp milk if the mixture becomes too dry during cooking [it won't if the spinach was still wet]. If there is too much liquid left at the end, uncover and cook for a few minutes until it has evaporated.

    Serves 4.
    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
    (From Complete Indian Cooking bu Hamlyn)

    Sorry, no nutritional info. I sometimes add a bit of lemon juice before serving.


  3. #3
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    That Murg Palak recipe looks awesome, Luiza!

    That's why I have to be sure to read each and every post on this bb. You never know where you will find a little gem of a recipe.

    I copied it into my mastercook program. The fat content was higher than I expected. It is based on using 1 1/2 pounds of skinless chicken thighs (as opposed to a mixture of legs and thighs).

    In case anyone is interested, here is what mastercook calculated:

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 271 Calories; 15g Fat (47.3% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 81mg Cholesterol; 221mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fat.

  4. #4
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    Many thanks chefbec, Luiza, and valchemist. I think I will add just a pinch of the ground as cardamom pods are hard to find out here. (Of course, there's always Penzeys.)Luiza, would your recipe be OK if I lowered the fat content by using less oil? (Am on WW) It's looks wonderful. It's nice to have this BB and know that someone out there will probably be able to answer all one's questions.

  5. #5
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    I would not use ground. It's a very strong flavor, and the pods don't get eaten. You cook with them, then remove them (or push them aside). So I would either go out and buy pods, or just put in a tiny "pinch".

  6. #6
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    Carolyn,

    I was thinking that when I make this, I am going to try reducing the amount of oil.

    When I changed the "3 Tbsp. oil" to "2 tsp. olive oil" I got these results in my MasterCook:

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 200 Calories; 7g Fat (29.2% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 81mg Cholesterol; 221mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.


    Much Better! (I hope the recipe still tastes great.) It seems strange that the nutrition could be improved that much from a simple change such as the one I made. I am not sure how accurate the nutritional analysis is, but I think it is certainly in the ball park. (I don't know why it would be incorrect now since it has always worked for me before.)

    Valerie

  7. #7
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    I'm a big cardamom user---seeds, pods, ground--you name it. I don't know this to be a "fact" but I find the ground is SIGNIFICANTLY less aromatic and flavorful than the seeds. So, you may need to experiment to come up with the right conversion.

    Kristi

  8. #8
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    Whoa! OK, maybe I didn't want that nutritional analysis after all I'm quite surprised how much difference some extra oil can make. It comes out to one leg a person, like in the Hoisin Barbecued Chicken recipe (which I just made last night), and that recipe has only 23% from fat...

    I have cooked the Palak Murg recipe in my "eternally-stick" large skillet, with the full amount of required oil, and in a non-stick skillet with much less oil (2-3 tsp), and possibly a splash of cooking spray before browning the chicken. The only difference was that it took longer in the second case for the onions to become golden. I learned this onion-browning technique from my other (lower-fat) Indian cookbook: heat the non-stick skillet, add the onion, then reduce heat to medium-low. "Stir the onions only occasionally; excessive stirring will draw the moisture from them and inhibit the browning process." This technique takes some time, but it works like a charm, and it needs a lot less oil.

    Valchemist, Carolyn, I hope you'll enjoy this recipe. It's really tasty served over basmati rice. And Carolyn, do tell us how the cardamom experiment turned out. It would be useful to know.

    [This message has been edited by Luiza (edited 05-12-2001).]

  9. #9
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    Thanks for that onion cooking tip, Luiza. I checked and re-checked the MasterCook calculation and it keeps coming up the same way for the original and the "lighter" version. I will definitely be trying this soon and I'll serve it over basmati.

    Thanks, Kristilyn1, for posting about your experiences with cardamom.

    From what I gather on this thread (chefbec, Luiza, and Kristilyn1), seeds are stronger than ground and ground is stronger than pods?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by valchemist:

    From what I gather on this thread (chefbec, Luiza, and Kristilyn1), seeds are stronger than ground and ground is stronger than pods?
    Valchemist, definitely the pods are the least strong. Some recipes require you to bruise the pods -- thus exposing the seeds -- then the cardamom flavour is a lot stronger. It's true that the flavour of ground cardamom decreases very fast with time. That might be the reason the seeds are stronger.

    Last night I ate a milk pudding flavoured with mint and cardamom at an Afghani restaurant. It was divine! I have to find a recipe for it. As you can see, I have cardamom on my mind lately

  11. #11
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    I was wondering about this recently, I had made the Egyptian greens and chicken stew last week. I had Cardamom seeds( I think they are) I used 2 as directed thinking that they were the same as the pods.I found the end result bland and lacking in flavor. I am sure that because I only used 2 seeds instead of 2 pods was the reason it was so blaahh. I will probrably not make this recipe again even with my newfound knowledge because it also wanted you to mash cooked onion, which I thought was a bit odd. I have also put aside the Palak Murg recipe from Luiza because it looks like the type of ethnic dish I am craving.

  12. #12
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    misstapioce,

    A pod contains several seeds - maybe 5 - 10. So, your dish was missing perhaps 8 pods for flavouring. That will explain some of the blandness.

    HTH! YP
    Adele

    My Blog - http://passioknit.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    val,

    i don't know about you, but i find most indian recipes out of cookbooks call for WAY too much oil. i usually cut down on the oil to the bare minimum and the flavor isn't affected.

  14. #14
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    I have seen recipes that call for cardamom pods - bruised. What does that mean exactly?
    kathyb


    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Kathy B
    I have seen recipes that call for cardamom pods - bruised. What does that mean exactly?
    Kathy...smash the pod(s) with the flat side of your knife like you would garlic cloves. Smashing or brusing helps to open up the pod for flavor. If you were to need ground cardmom than you would smash, remove the seeds and then grind.

    YP...what does HTH mean. Is it "heart to heart", "house to house"...just curious!

  16. #16
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    Mamasue, I think HTH is "Hope that helps"!
    HTH
    Clotilde.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by clotilde
    Mamasue, I think HTH is "Hope that helps"!
    HTH
    Clotilde.
    Correct!

    HTH Mamasue!
    Adele

    My Blog - http://passioknit.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    Thank you ladies!

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