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Travel Photo of the Day: Cardamom

Travel Photo of the Day: Cardamom


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From a tooth-cleaning mechanism to a perfume to an exotic spice used in different cultures worldwide, cardamom has a variety of applications.

Click here to see the Travel Photo of the Day Slideshow!

Next to saffron, cardamom is one of the more expensive spices. It is native to southern India, but now also grows in the tropical climates of Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Indochina, and Tanzania.

The spice itself comes from the seeds of a "ginger-like plant." They’re known for their pungent and warm smell that’s reminiscent of "eucalyptine [aromas] with camphorous and lemony undertones." There are several varieties of cardamom, but the most prized are Malabar and Mysore.

Craving cardamom? Check out our recipe for a blood orange and cardamom mojito with basil!

Do you have a travel photo that you would like to share? Send it on over to lwilson[at]thedailymeal.com.

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Follow The Daily Meal’s Travel editor Lauren Wilson on Twitter.


Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped and have a triangular cross-section. The pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole or ground. The seeds are small and black, while the pods differ in color and size by species.

There are two main types of cardamom: black cardamom and green cardamom, and there is also white cardamom which is a bleached version of green cardamom. Green cardamom is the kind found most often in Nordic and Middle Eastern cuisine, while recipes in India and Asia will often specify whether green or black cardamom is used.

Green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomom) is known as true cardamom. This is the most common variety you will see sold in the spice aisle of the supermarket.   It is the top choice for sweet dishes but also works well in savory dishes. The bleached version, white cardamom, has less flavor. It is grown in tropical areas including India, Malaysia, and Costa Rica.

Black cardamom (Amomum subulatum) has larger pods that are dark brown. It has a smoky element that makes it more appropriate for savory dishes, but it is used in sweet dishes as well in southern India. It is grown in the eastern Himalayas.

Cardamom is found in Indian cooking as well as Middle Eastern cuisine. In Indian recipes, whole cardamom pods are used in preparing basmati rice and various curries. In Middle Eastern recipes, ground cardamom spices certain desserts.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups lard for frying

In a large bowl, beat egg and yolks together. Stir in the cream, sugar, melted butter and cardamom. Mix in enough of the flour to make a soft but manageable dough. Handle the dough as little as possible or cookies will be tough.

Heat oil in deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a floured cloth, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 2x2 inch diamond shapes.

Fry in hot lard until lightly browned. Drain on paper and dust with confectioners' sugar when cool. The cookies should be uniform in size and thickness and shouldn't be fried too dark or too light.


Ka’ak asawer (bracelet cookies)

Photo: Victor Besa / The National

Recipe contributor May Al Moghrabi says: “Date cookies or ka’ak asawer are definitely a Palestinian staple. Traditionally, they are made in the villages, where semolina is less commonly used. As a child, I used to look forward to Eid mornings and the heavenly aroma of freshly baked ka’ak asawer. Now I make them year-round for family and friends to enjoy with a morning coffee or afternoon tea. The key to this recipe is to heat the oil and ghee before adding it to the dry ingredients.”

May Al Moghrabi with her daughter, Youmna. Victor Besa / The National


A little sneak peek.

Keto: High protein for effective weight loss #2

Losing weight has never been more satisfying or delicious. Get all of the nutrients your body needs, while enjoying dishes like Keto chicken and mushroom casserole and our Garlic steak bite salad with tarragon dressing.

Most of the recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare and will keep you below 20 grams of net carbs per day.

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Colonial Recipes: Sally Lunn Cake

On a visit to Colonial Williamsburg last weekend, I picked up a booklet of recipes sold by the reconstructed village's Raleigh Tavern Bakery. The cover promised A Collection of the Most tasteful and Approved Recipes in Virginia Cookery.

Though the language was old-fashioned, the recipes for treats like "ginger-bread cakes," "pear pye" and "apple pasties" (turnovers) sounded pretty familiar. "Shrewsbury cakes" didn't ring a bell, until the notes added by modern authors explained that these are simply sugar cookies.

But the enigmatic "Sally Lunn" was translated into modern English as a recipe for, well, Sally Lunn. It seems to be a type of cake or bread made with yeast, flour, sugar, shortening, milk, eggs and salt. (I haven't tried making it yet because I don't actually own any cake or bread pans. But read on—apparently these can be formed as buns, too.)

Well, that's hard to say. She might have been a real woman, a French-born pastry cook named Solange Luyon who fled to England as a refugee in the late 17th-century. A modern-day bakery and museum called Sally Lunn's still stands on the site in Bath where she is said to have baked and sold a distinctive type of bun:

But other stories abound. A 19th-century British book says the buns in question were invented by a French refugee named Madame de Narbonne, who established a bakery in Chelsea, England sometime around 1800. She specialized in "a particular type of tea cake" which became quite popular in local households, and Sally Lunn was the name of the Scotch maidservant who delivered it.

Or perhaps there was no Sally Lunn, and the baked buns got their name from their appearance, round and contrasting (the bottom side being dark from baking), like the sun and the moon: Soleil et lune, in French, transformed by cockney British accents into something more like "Solly Lun."

On the flipside, another story claims that the recipe originated in Britain and was appropriated by a visiting French chef named Marie Antoine Careme, who soon "invented" a slightly adapted version of the sweet bread, called it a solilemme.

Whoever invented Sally Lunn bread in its various forms, it seems clear that British colonists enjoyed this food tradition enough to carry it across an ocean, where it continued to evolve in form and recipe throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. An 1892 newspaper article claims that George Washington was so fond of Sally Lunn that it became known as "Washington's breakfast bread" or "federal bread."

Personally, I don't think the plain, round versions pictured on the Sally Lunn's bakery Web site look all that enticing. I'm more tempted by the bundt-cake version of Sally Lunn, topped with cardamom sugar, on the Brooklyn Farmhouse blog, and the Sally Lunn herbed rolls featured on the Food Channel.

Have you ever tried a Sally Lunn?

Here's the circa 1770 recipe which was reprinted in the Williamsburg cookbook:

About Amanda Fiegl

Amanda Fiegl is a former assistant editor at Smithsonian and is now a senior editor at the Nature Conservancy.


White Peach Cardamom Crumble.

This is especially annoying when you live in an area that gets roughly 27 good peaches a summer split between thousands of people.

And I can’t stop talking about them. Actually, I’m sort of depressed sharing this recipe with you today, because I have another totally outrageous, inappropriate and insane (and better?) peach recipe to share with you in the next week. I mean, I hesitate to say better because this crumble was pretty incredible… and I should know since I ate almost the entire thing with one spoon. Like, singular. One single spoon.

Oh well. Time to deal with peaches.

White peaches are so pretty, right? I know. I just want to eat them up.

And the cardamom? Well, I love me some cardamom but I sort of think that it tastes like… Christmas. It’s just so… WARM. It’s warming and warmy. If I could think of another word besides warm I would definitely use it. But I can’t. So it’s Christmasy and warm. And let me tell you why that’s a problem for me, okay?

I just get so confused when things aren’t in the right seasons. While I’m not exactly Type A anymore, I like my seasons to be a bit… rigid. Oh and while we’re on that topic, I used to be the Type A-est person ever, until I married the Type A-est person ever. Tip: two seriously Type A people in a marriage is a tricky, tricky thing. Tip: A very Type A and very Type B marriage is also a tricky thing. I don’t know what I am anymore but I’ve been forced to end up somewhere in the middle, which is sort of fine by me since it means I can slack a little when it comes to putting away the dishes or folding men’s underwear since I NEVER DO IT THE RIGHT WAY.

But the seasons. I like my crunchy leaves and pumpkin in the fall, some snow and hot chocolate in winter, some floral breezes and mimosas in the spring and some sunscreen and sand in the summer. I just can’t work with unseasonal things. Does.not.compute. So cardamom in my crumble was a BIG deal.

But it was a good big deal. A great big deal. A big deal that I want to eat again. Like a million and twenty times.


Cardamom Cream-Filled Bundt Cake

Cake is our weakness. We want to have a second third slice, but we know we&rsquoll end up having major regrets (and a major stomachache). This light-as-air cardamom cream-filled Bundt cake is an updated twist on a classic yeasted Swedish dessert called semlor. Every bite is like eating a frothy cloud, so you can have as many pieces as your heart desires.

Erin McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker, chatted with us about her recipe. &ldquoThe dough is either formed into buns or shaped into a ring before baking,&rdquo she explained. &ldquoTraditionally, the cake is scored to show people where to cut it. My version is much easier to shape because it&rsquos simply baked in a Bundt pan. The results are impressive with minimal effort.&rdquo

We&rsquore calling it: Swedish desserts are trending. Who&rsquos ready for a slice?

4½ cups (542g) all-purpose flour

2¼ teaspoons (7g) instant yeast

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Filling and Finishing

⅓ cup (38g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. MAKE THE CAKE: Grease a Bundt pan with nonstick spray. In a medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half over medium heat until warm to the touch (about 95°F). Remove from the heat.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, salt and nutmeg until combined. Add the half-and-half, vegetable oil and egg, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough to a medium-size greased bowl, cover and let rise until about double in size, 30 to 45 minutes.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a ball. Flour the handle of a wooden spoon and stick it into the center of the ball. Use your hands to widen the center until it will fit around the center tube of the Bundt pan.

5. Cover the mixture and let it rise for 45 minutes, until the dough looks visibly puffy. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 190°F, 30 to 35 minutes. Unmold from the pan and cool completely.

7. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream, confectioners&rsquo sugar, cardamom, orange zest and vanilla extract to medium peaks.

8. Cut the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife and spread the filling on the bottom half. Place the top back on and dust with confectioners&rsquo sugar.


Ros Omelette

Ros is Konkani for gravy, and the versatility of the Ros Omelette is that you can curate your version depending on your favourite flavours. So the awesome part is that this has elements from your favourite dinner and your go-to omelette recipe, all rolled up in one. Here’s a recipe from Condé Nast Traveller India’s Abigail Rodrigues.

Ingredients

Any leftover coconut-based curry

Method for ros omelette recipe

Heat up the leftover coconut-based curry in a pan and let it reduce a bit. Melt some butter in another pan and fry the garlic. Beat the eggs well and add onion, chillies and salt to taste. Add the eggs to the butter and garlic and proceed to make an omelette like you usually would. Just as the eggs are getting done, add the curry and let the omelette cook in it. It should take a few minutes. Serve with pao.


Time Travel and Revisiting Gulliver

This Time Travel Revisiting Gulliver Cheat lets you quickly get Gulliver's entire collection of souvenirs and can help you farm rusted parts. Cheat credit to Doug Chin for contacting us about this exploit. Here's how to do it.

    appears randomly so Time Travel one day at a time until you find him. Check your beaches for his location.
  1. Once you find him, give him his communicator parts so you can get your reward (or ignore this task and collect the rusted parts the next day from the bin).
  2. Save and exit the game. Move the clock forward one day. Start the game, get the present Gulliver sent, then save and exit.
  3. Change the clock back to the day Gulliver appeared and you'll be set!
  4. Rinse and repeat.
  5. Remember: You can use this trick to farm rusted parts (you get 5 if you don’t return the communicator parts to Gulliver) or to quickly get his entire collection (30 unique gifts including the golden shovel recipe).
  6. Advanced Gulliver trick: He will give you a gift you haven’t received before, so if you want multiple of that item, just don’t take the gift from his letter the next day. You can use this method to get as many Pagodas as you want.

And you can learn more tricks like this by checking out our Cheats and Secrets page.


12 Irresistible Dishes Inspired by Eat, Pray, Love

In the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert travels the world to rediscover herself&mdashand her appetite for life. Reeling from a messy divorce and unbearable depression, Gilbert picks up the pieces while guided by three simple words: eat, pray, love. Seeking pleasure from Italy's cultural delights, spiritual guidance at an ashram in India and harmony on the Indonesian island of Bali, Gilbert's yearlong journey spoke to our hearts, our souls&mdashand of course, our stomachs. And now, with the story adapted for the big screen, what better time to eat through an incredible journey of our own? From a classic Neapolitan pizza to a slow-cooked vegetable curry, we've rounded up a dozen dazzling recipes inspired by Gilbert's travels.

It's no wonder Gilbert's first destination&mdashadored for its commitment to beauty, passion and pure indulgence&mdashbrought her swiftly back to life. From enjoying a Neapolitan pizza with the power to seduce (as Gilbert wrote: "I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair.") to indulging in gelato at any time of day, Gilbert happily packed on 20 pounds during her "no carb left behind" tour of Italy. Whether you find your fill with some classic rigatoni Bolognese or a decadent slice of tiramisu, a taste of Italy's rich culinary tradition is an adventure not to be missed. Photo courtesy of Paula Hible.

Trading worldly indulgences for peace, sobriety and devotion, Gilbert headed to India, where a rich and inspiring culture awaited. Passing her days (and some very long nights) in meditation and prayer, Gilbert found earthy comfort in the ashram's simple vegetarian fare. While Indian specialties vary from region to region, common ingredients include rice, fresh local vegetables and an array of savory spices such as coriander, cumin, cardamom and chili powder. From Curried Yellow Split Peas to No-Hurry Vegetable Curry, these bold, hearty dishes are sure to let the healing begin. Photo courtesy of Kate Sears.

With its warm, generous inhabitants and fresh, flavorful cuisine, it's no mystery why Gilbert's third and final destination opened her heart to boundless love. Surrounded by wild rice paddies and lush mango, pineapple and coconut trees, Gilbert delighted in the sweet and the savory of Bali's deliciously harmonious fare. From traditional Indonesian Chicken Satay Skewers to succulent Pork Spring Rolls with Mango Dipping Sauce, these dishes are sure to put a smile on your face! Photo courtesy of Kate Sears.