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I am currently attempting to make the “Fragrant Spiced Rice Pudding” on page 136 of “Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking.”

I am a novice with cooking so forgive me if my question is common sense for those more experienced.

The recipe calls for “2 cardamom pods lightly crushed” along with some other spices which I heat in a pan prior to mixing in any other ingredients. In the image accompanying the recipe I can see he leaves in the vanilla pods, and thiis leads me to believe that I am leaving in the husks of the cardamom pods.

My question is regarding the phrase “lightly crushed.” Does this involve breaking open the husks and crushing the seeds inside or just crushing the husks so that they crack open?

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    This one (and many others from that book) are available as TV shows / on youtube, here is the particular one for the Fragrant Spiced Rice Pudding that shows what he does for "Lightly Crushed": youtu.be/AeejA5TTHYE?t=318 – user2813274 Apr 17 at 20:06
  • Oh wow I was not aware of this. Thank you very much. – Brandon Thomas Van Over Apr 17 at 20:16
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I'm pretty sure it's just crushing the husks a bit so they crack open - that's how I do it when I see "lightly crushed" for cardamom pods. It gives access to the seeds inside so flavor can infuse out of the pod and into the dish. The whole pod should be visible in the recipe, and removed before eating (would be a woody bite, else).

If you crush the husk in smaller bits, which would be needed to get to & crush the seeds, it would be harder to find and fish out, and more likely some huskish bit would find its way into and leave its texture in a bite. Its similar to how cinnamon would be used in big chunks of a stick that can be fished out, or else ground really finely into dust, but not left in a dish in in-between-sized little fragments - the texture is just not desirable

If the recipe wanted crushed or ground seeds to release the flavor, it would have asked for seeds instead of (or as well as) a whole pod.

  • Yes, I'd expect "2 cardamom pods, crushed seeds only" or to remove the whole pods; the latter appears to be the case here. Mine tend to split without leaving fragments of husk if I do break them open, so it would also be easy to put whole seeds in, but then the flavour might be too concentrated – Chris H Apr 17 at 6:46
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    I'm pretty sure this is exactly correct -- I've seen Gordon Ramsay do this in recipe videos. – David Richerby Apr 17 at 13:56
  • He does this in his roasted pork belly recipe also. Just bash the pod with the back of your chef's knife – JacobIRR Apr 17 at 20:20
  • If you're doing a lot, then a food processor with the plastic kneading blade works well. Follow that up with a sieve through your pasta colander. Seeds go through, husk stay behind. If that's not good enough, round seeds roll down a cutting board, while the irregular husks stay up at the top. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 17 at 22:03

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