Spicy connections – Cardamom!
Originating in Southern India, cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla. With a long history that datesback as far as the 4th Century BC, the Ancient Greeks were partial to cardamom, although there may have been a few different spices masquerading under the same name. Over the years it has been used as a breath freshener, digestive aid and, of course, as a cooking ingredient.
Scandinavians have had an affinity for cardamom ever since the Vikings first sampled the aromatic spice during their raids on Constantinople.. So, cardamom has in fact been in Scandinavia for the last 1,000 years. Cardamom is more popular than cinnamon In Scandinavia, which consumes almost half the world’s supply (India, of course, lays claim to the second half). Bakers use both the seeds and cardamom extract when preparing baked goods like cardamom bread, the Swedish kanelbulle, Finnish sweet bread pulla or in the Scandinavian bread Julekake. and Icelandic pönnukaka; it’s often used to flavor aquavit, pickled herring, and even meatballs.
Can one spice connect two regions? Two cultures or two food cultures? Indian flavours are loud, full of expression, rich in ingredients. Scandinavian flavours on the other hand has clean flavours, subtle in expression and is minimalistic. When Indians eat sweets they like there sweets to be super sweet. Swedes are less for sweety sweets and prefer their sweets to have a hint of acidity. Cardemom connects our two countries in a strange and wonderful way. Swedes and the scanbdinavians have taken to cardemum with their dessert just like the indians.
Try my fusionista/ mixologist recipe and bring a bit of heaven into your lives, albeit swedish and indian heavens. Bon appetit!
- (300g) fresh Strawberries
- 450g / 1lb. Greek yoghurt
- Vanilla stick (fresh)
- tbsp sugar/honey
- Freshly crushed cardamom seeds
- Divide the Strawberries in 4 serving bowls
- Mix the yoghurt with the fresh vanilla, cardemum seeds and honey and pour over the blueberries.
- Roast walnuts in a dry pan for 1-2 mins until they get brown
- Caramelize the walnuts with some sugar or honey
- Serve the walnuts at the top with some more garnish