Cardamom pods

Pods or ground? That’s the decision you need to make when you cook with cardamom.

“Whether you choose the ground spice vs. pods depends on how you plan to use the ingredient,” says Chef Anis Toumi, a chef instructor at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena.

“Roasting and grinding a fresh pod leads to a stronger flavor vs. using the spice pre-ground,” he tells Organic Authority. “You can use the full pods to infuse flavors and then discard them, whereas if you use ground cardamom, it cannot be removed.”

Here’s Chef Toumi’s recipe for a cardamom-flavored flan. Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, Organic Authority recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.

Cardamom Flan

8 ounces sugar (for caramelizing)
2 ounces water
12 fluid ounces milk
3 pods or a pinch of ground cardamom
3 eggs
2¾ ounces sugar

  1. Combine 8 ounces of sugar and the water in a saucepan to make a caramel. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture becomes golden and caramelized (not too dark, not too light).
  2. Let caramel cool; coat the bottoms of several ramekins with it.
  3. Pour the milk and cardamom into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Whisk the eggs and 2 ¾ ounces of sugar in a separate bowl. Add the milk to the mixture.
  5. Strain the custard and pour it into the ramekins.
  6. Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish. Add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins (a “water bath”). Bake at 300°F to 325°F until set.
  7. Chill for 24 hours. Unmold upside down onto a plate.

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