Chef David Lawrence

David Lawrence is a huge fan of cardamom—a spice he frequently uses in his favorite recipes for Indian cuisine.

“Indian culture and influence are steadily gaining popularity in the United States and finding their way into everything from music to fashion to food,” says the Los Angeles private chef, cooking instructor and coauthor of KidShape Café. (Visit Chef Lawrence’s website for more information on the KidShape program.)

“This trend sees more home cooks stocking their spice cabinets and experimenting with the exotic spices of that culture: among them, turmeric, curry blends and cardamom,” he says. “If you’ve ever tried Indian cuisine, sipped a chai latte or used the spice blend garam masala, chances are you’ve had cardamom.”

Here’s Chef Lawrence’s recipe for Masala Chai.

Masala Chai

Serves 4

1 half-inch piece fresh ginger root, roughly chopped
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom seed pods, crushed
2 cups water
1 cup milk
3 Darjeeling tea bags
3 tablespoons raw sugar

  1. Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and allow to steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, and serve hot in mugs.

Read More About Cardamom

A Passage to India
White Hot Chocolate
Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Pecan Streusel Topping
Cardamom Flan