Cardamom is a highly under-appreciated spice.


Green cardamom by quinn.anya, on Flickr

Cardamom is actually the seed pods, or sometimes just the ground seeds, of various plants in the ginger family. The two major kinds are known as green cardamom (astringent with faint hints of cinnamon, citrus and ginger) and the fire-dried black cardamom (sweet and smokey with a hint of mint).

While most familiar to domestic diners in Indian cuisine, in Finland, it’s used in a sweet bread called pulla. Pulla is a bit like an Italian Easter bread or a challah in some ways; slightly sweet, often braided, with crushed cardamom and often raisins and sliced almonds.

The natural sweetness of corn ought to be an equally good pairing.

From a box sold in Chicago, Illinois.

Corn Bread

1-1/2 cups wheat germ
3 cups yellow corn meal
1-1/2 cups rye flour
1 level tsp. turmeric
2/3 tsp. cardamom
2 cakes yeast
4 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup thinned honey

Combine wheat germ, corn meal and rye flour in bowl. Add turmeric, cardamom and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Dissolve yeast cakes in warm water. When dissolved, add oil and thinned honey to yeast mixture. Add dry ingredients.

Pour into oiled baking pan. Let rise, then bake in moderate oven for approximately 30 minutes.

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