Monday, 4 November 2013

Cardamom ambush

I'm a bit of a sucker for Indian desserts, but I've always held back from actually making any. There's just something a bit weird about them that puts me off putting one together.

I took the cheats way out tonight by making a dessert with cardamom - that's close enough for me.

It's a lime and cardamom sauce for bananas. Just the sort of thing that's needed to fuel a hungry cyclist.

I made this with just one large banana - the recipe calls for 6 small bananas. I reduced my quantities a bit for one large banana. Here is the recipe proper. It should be enough to feed two hungry cyclists.

Here we go.

- 6 small bananas
- 50 gm butter
- 50 gm flaked almonds
- seeds from 4 cardamom pods
- 2 limes - juiced and zested
- 50 gm 1/4 cup) brown sugar. Or molasses
- 2 tablespoons of dark rum
- ice cream to serve

Here's how you do it.

Lightly squash the cardamom pods and pull out the seeds. Don't smash the pods - if you do, you'll have bits of pod stuck to your banana. Just crack them hard enough so that the pods split open.

Add the pods to the 50gm of flaked almonds. (I like to put everything in its place beforehand, so I had a little bowl for the almonds and chucked the seeds into that). I didn't have flaked almonds - but I did have slivered almonds. They did the trick.

Peel your bananas - as in take the skins off. Slice them in half down the middle. Chuck half the butter into a frying pan and fry your bananas until brown on each side. As I was doing one banana in a medium sized frying pan, I had an easy time of it. With 6 bananas, you'd probably need to do 2-3 batches. Be careful turning the bananas as they tend to fall to bits as they cook. I started with 2 slices of banana and finished with six chunks of banana.

When the bananas are cooked, slide them onto a plate - or even into the bowls you are going to serve them in.

Chuck the other half of the butter into the frying pan and add the almonds and cardamom. (This is why I put them together in one small bowl). When the almonds are a nice brown colour, tip in your lime juice and lime zest. Whizz it around for say 10-20 seconds and then throw in the sugar. Reduce it a bit and then tip in the rum. Stir some more, then pour over the bananas, add ice cream and scoff.

I used very dark sugar - it was almost black. That was quite good. I might try it with a lighter sugar next time. I also added the sugar before the lime, but it appeared to make no difference. I also paid no attention to the measurement of rum, simply tipping in a reasonable quantity. Probably a lot more than the recipe called for.

To begin with, I could only taste the merest hint of cardamom. I was starting to think that I had wimped out by only adding the seeds of one pod.

However, the little buggers ambushed me towards the end - all the seeds must have ended up in the last three spoonfuls, because I was pounded with cardamom. That's not a bad thing, but it can be a bit overpowering, when hosed on like that.

This thing is a piece of cake to make, and it's very tasty. I reckon it took me no longer than 10 minutes from reading the recipe to eating it.


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