Black cardomon pods

This article in the New York Times Magazine prompted a visit to the Savory Spice Shop and the purchase of black cardomon pods. Captured by the author's descriptions of these vegetarian dishes as "rich and fiery, sweet and salty" (the grilled coconut kale) and darkly autumnal (the chickpea masala), I vowed to put these recipes into service.

The black cardomon pods are slated for the chickpea masala, a heady-sounding mixture of legumes, onions, garlic dates and spices, were a suprise. Looking more like nutmeg seeds, they smell vaguely of ketsup with only a hint of the cool sweetness we associate with their smaller green counterparts. The recipe asks cooks to crack the pods' shells to release the seeds and then crush them with a rolling pin or mortar and pestle.

(If you don't have a mortar and pestle, they are quite handy when making Indian food and easily had at Asian markets.)

If the day goes well, I might even whip up a green tomato chutney from summer's last tomatoes. Will report tomorrow.

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