I love spices. I could spend hours browsing the aisles at my local spice shop and have enough jars in my own kitchen to prove it. Everything from chili and curry powders to truffle salt and Szechuan peppercorns — you name it, chances are I have it. But one of my favorites in that drawer is cardamom — an Indian spice that’s ground from the seeds found in cardamom pods. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, savory, spicy and smoky and it works well in all kinds of dishes.
I actually remember the first time I had it. I was at Semiramis, my favorite Lebanese restaurant located in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood (actually, Semiramis is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago, period). One of the must-order offerings on their menu is the Arabic coffee, a strong coffee made with raw (not roasted) coffee beans and spiced with cardamom. To make it, ground raw coffee beans and cardamom are boiled in hot water for three minutes, steeped for five, and then poured directly into small cups for drinking. It’s not run through a coffee filter or pressed like a French press, so Arabic coffee tends to be a bit thicker as the grounds don’t get completely separated from the coffee before drinking. My husband and I love it.
I’ve since begun using cardamom at home more frequently and I’ve found that it works particularly well in granola. This recipe, which is a bit on the savory side, is my current favorite — oats, nuts and dried fruits coated with olive and flax oil and dusted with cardamom. It’s the perfect breakfast.
Savory Cardamom Granola
Adapted from The New York Times
What you need:
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cups raw pistachios, shelled
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flax seed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
How you do it:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (with the exception of the apricots, cranberries and yogurt). Spread on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until well toasted.
- Transfer granola to a large bowl and stir in apricots and cranberries. Serve with Greek yogurt.