French Fridays with Dorie – Cardamom Rice Pilaf

There are no quotes floating around the Internet about cardamom, other than trade quotes for its price in the commodity markets.  I hesitated before plunking down over twelve dollars for an ounce of green cardamom pods because I have ground cardamom in my cupboard.  After making this rice pilaf, I decided that the expense was worth it, even if the specialty food store took quite a premium on my purchase.  That’s the laws of supply and demand for you… limited supply, higher prices!  I might be able to recoup my initial investment as soon as I find a good chai recipe.

(I will remove my Finance person hat before you start missing my writer’s block from last week.)

The fragrant Thai jasmine rice was a great foil to the cardamom seeds and pods.

Although I have cooked with cardamom before, it was limited to baked goods (usually paired with guava).  This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was a cardamom scented rice pilaf.  Rice dishes with soft, melt in your mouth onion pieces are an easy sell for me.  I find few things simpler than sauteing onions on the stovetop in the insert of my rice cooker, tossing and toasting rice, adding stock or broth, and returning the pot to the rice cooker.  It is just a matter of twenty minutes and voilá, the side dish is ready without much hassle. The most important aspect of cooking with a rice cooker is to figure out the correct proportion of rice to liquid.  I almost never end up using all the amount of water recipes call for.  For short grain rice, I usually follow 1:1;  the jasmine rice  required 1.25 cups of water for every cup of rice.  I chose to make the pilaf with vegetable stock, but forgot all about the lemon zest.  Can’t wait to read everyone’s take to see how much (or little) I missed out from that omission.

I served the pilaf with grilled ribeye steaks – dug out of the freezer two from the Bistrot Paul’s Costco run – and a simple salad of shaved asparagus tossed with a bit of black truffle oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  I borrowed some ideas from fellow Doristas: Candy did her salad last week with shaved asparagus and Liz served steaks to celebrate her son’s birthday topped with a luscious garlic/herb/cognac butter.  We opened a Chilean Cabernet/Carmenere blend and had a great meal to wrap up my thirty-third birthday weekend.

This is my fourteenth week cooking out of Around My French Table!  Time does fly when one’s having fun.  Check out the book, Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful blog, and all our French Fridays posts.

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Author:Adriana

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

34 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie – Cardamom Rice Pilaf”

  1. Cher
    May 27, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Glad you decided to let the jar of pods join your ground cardamom! Sounds like a great celebratory meal. Happy Birthday!

  2. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    May 27, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    What a gorgeous picture of the pods 🙂 Happy happy birthday and have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Anne-Marie
    May 27, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Looks delicious! I can almost smell the cardamom!

  4. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    May 27, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    This pilaf did smell and taste great, didn’t it? I also used Thai jasmine rice and together with the cardamoms, the aroma was amazing! Your accompanying dishes also looked great, shaved asparagus and steak…yumm!

  5. ThatSkinnyChick
    May 27, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    That top photo is fabulous! I think my oldest (who accidentally got a LOT of the lemon zest in his serving) would have preferred I omitted the zest, but it gave a lovely subtle flavor. Happy birthday (it looks like a wonderful celebratory meal) and thanks for mentioning my blog 🙂

  6. Elaine
    May 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Love your photos, Adriana! I bet it was good with the jasmine rice. Happy Belated Birthday. Your celebratory meal sounds fabulous.

  7. yummychunklet
    May 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Your dish looks great! I’m drooling over the steak and wine, though!

  8. Denise
    May 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Looks like a beautiful birthday weekend dinner! Hope it was happy and looking forward to many more weeks cooking with you! Chilean reds are one of my favs, too.

  9. K
    May 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Chiming in to say that the top photo is absolutely gorgeous. And what a fantastic complete meal!

  10. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    May 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    It all looks wonderful. And that first photo is just gorgeous! 🙂

  11. Susan
    May 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Lovely post, Adriana – and great photos! I’ll bet this rice was perfect with steak & asparagus. I really need to get better at adding wines to my posts! Have a lovely weekend!

  12. kathleen
    May 27, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Adriana! Your meal looked wonderful! Empty cardamom seeds you said? Hmmm, I never opened my pods up (I am very literal sometimes, it didn’t say to do that) just hit the whole pod to ‘bruise’ them as Dorie suggested. So I guess that’s why I thought there wasn’t enough flavor. Will do a redo! I am having a good laugh at myself.

  13. Tammy
    May 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    I love that first photo! And happy birthday.

  14. Tammy
    May 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    I love that first photo! And happy birthday.

  15. Christina
    May 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I was glad to see the first picture. I couldn’t find cardamom pods at our local stores, so I’m glad to know what the look like!

  16. kathleen
    May 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi, I think you wanted to post to greatfood360 and perhaps you clicked on my comment on her page?  Try again.  By the way, I thought the picture of the pods was a great help to those who haven’t seen them before as well.   Kathleen 

  17. Patty
    May 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Soft melt in your mouth onion pieces are a big sell for me too!I love your green cardamom pods photo, just beautiful with such a peaceful quality to it, just like spending quality time in the kitchen. Your special birthday dinner looks delicious and I hope you pass on the good chai recipe, when you find it;-)

  18. Yuri
    May 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    If you find a good chai recipe, please share it with me 🙂 xoxo

  19. Yvette
    May 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Love the pic of the cardamom pod! Your meal looks fantastic. I’m too adding this as a side dish staple.

  20. KarenP
    May 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Looks like a wonderful meal!

  21. Heather
    May 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    What lovely pictures! I look forward to trying your recipe for Harina de Maíz as well, sounds delicious!

  22. Kate@Diethood.com
    May 28, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I always think “What the &*#&?” when I go to buy cardamom… too expensive. BUT I love the smell. 🙂 At least it was worth it for this recipe… I thought the rice was really good.

  23. mygreatmenu
    May 28, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    Your pictures are beautiful and dinner sounds delicious. What kind of rice cooker allows you to used the insert on the stove top?Happy Birthday!

  24. Krissy
    May 28, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Great post…your dinner looks like what I’d like to be eating about right now. Happy Birthday!

  25. Manu
    May 28, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I love rice with cardamom! This looks so yummy! And look at that transparent onion… mmmm lovely!

  26. tricia s.
    May 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Happy birthday !!! So glad you loved the results- Nana and I were not expecting much from this one but were SO surprised at how much we each enjoyed the recipe. And I was happy to use my $12 bottle of cardomom pods…. Your photo at the top is just gorgeous – as are the rest. Great post.

  27. Betsy
    May 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Adriana, your cardamom shot at the top is gorgeous. So artistic. I frequently use ground cardamom in baked goods. I love the flavor. It was nice to find a savory way to use it. I used basmati rice, but also have jasmine rice. I might try that next time. Hope you had a very happy birthday celebration!

  28. Adriana
    May 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Thank you all for your wonderful birthday wishes!  I had the best time on my actual birthday last Saturday, and then to wrap it up with a relaxed 'Dorie Sunday' (when I usually work through the recipes) was the icing on the cake.  

  29. Adriana
    May 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    @ Wendy (mygreatmenu) – I have two rice cookers and I use the inserts for both of them on the stove top.  One  is aluminum and the other is a non-stick material.  I figured if the rice cooker heats from the bottom, they can handle a couple of minutes in the stove top over medium (ish) heat to sautee aromatics/toast rice. My Mom has been doing it as far as I can remember.    

  30. kitchenarian
    May 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Hope your birthday was great. Your pictures are lovely and that meal sounds so incredible. Great post.

  31. Cakelaw
    May 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Happy belated birthday! This rice with steaks is a great idea – juicy steaks with rice means juice to flavour the rice 🙂

  32. Candy
    May 30, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I love your photo of the cardamom pods! Your rice looks yummy.

  33. sanya
    June 1, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    What an impressive photo of the cardamom pods! You steaks sound delicious!

  34. Jenn
    June 4, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    awesome photos! i love that 1st one of the cardamon pods. very artistic!

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