Cardamom Chicken



How do you describe cardamom?  Such an curious flavor, ‘A hint of camphor, eucalyptus, and lemon’, it is one spice that does not hide—like dill, saffron and caraway you really must intend to add this flavor, it will not go quietly.  But that’s okay, because there’s no need to be quiet when you taste like cardamom.


Originating in southern India, it’s a key ingredient of garam masala and is used in many Indian dishes both sweet and savory, even in coffee.  In Ayurvedic terms cardamom is ‘warming’ and is good for balancing all three doshas.  It’s also used to improve digestive, circulation, and lung issues.  Traditional Scandinavian pastries and cookies almost always have a hint of this curious spice.



My pods have been sitting for a while so they’ve turned to a greenish-tan.  Ground cardamom can be found in most grocery stores and the pods are sold in specialty stores and online.  Buying and storing your spices whole can slow down the dissipation of the aromatic volatile oils (a.k.a. the flavor) — it really make a difference if you don’t mind the extra step of grinding.  A dedicated coffee grinder works well—check out Fine Cooking’s review of coffee grinders-turned-spice-grinders.




Other edibles that might go with Cardamom:

  • Rice
  • Squash
  • Chocolate
  • Chile peppers
  • Whipped Cream
  • Custard
  • Oranges and Grapefruit
  • Pears and Apples
  • Almost any pastry, pie or cake
  • Meats (Lamb, Duck, Pork, Beef, Chicken, Bison)
  • Coriander and Cumin
  • Garbanzos and white beans
  • Parsnips



This chicken would be great for grilling and enjoying on one of these very long summer days.



Cardamom Chicken

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes


Whisk marinade in a bowl:

2 – 3 cloves Garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated)

2 teaspoon Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Cardamom, ground

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt


In a shallow pan arrange:

1 pound Boneless Chicken Thighs, or 2 pounds Bone-in Thighs

Smear the marinade over the chicken and let marinate in a refrigerator up to 2 hours.  Occasionally flip the chicken so it can marinate evenly. 

Cook the chicken by either grilling (for the most flavor!) or searing it in a hot oiled pan then transferring to a 350 degree oven.  

Taste and adjust seasonings, especially salt. 

Goes well with many Indian dishes: 

Mango relish

Lentil Dal

Rice Pilaf

West Indian Spinach



Oh just one more tidbit from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The Mardi Gras Museum inside the Historic L & N Train Depot Community Center features the work of renowned costume designer Carter Church.  These creations were (and still are) lovingly crafted by many volunteers in the Bay St. Louis area, including our friend Mary Kay.  Each costume is made under extreme secrecy until its unveiling, then is only worn for one season.










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