A little over a year ago, I set out to develop a recipe for sweet, moist fresh corn muffins for Cook’s Country. While researching, I stumbled upon a recipe for cardamom cornbread in Asha Gomez’s cookbook, My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen (2016). The cornbread was delightful.
Since I was after a pretty straightforward—or maybe better said, cornforward—recipe for the muffins, I didn’t want to add cardamom, which has such a distinct flavor, to the batter. But I loved the combination of perfumy, sweet, slightly spicy cardamom with sweet corn, so I decided to develop a recipe for a cardamom compound butter to go with the corn muffins.
The Complete Cook's Country Season 15 TV Show CookbookCook along with the cast of the hit TV show Cook’s Country with the 15th anniversary edition of this best-selling fan favorite. Every recipe from every season is inside, along with exclusive variations, and a 55-page equipment and ingredient shopping guide. You'll enjoy reading this cookbook as much as cooking from it!
What Is Cardamom?
Cardamom, a spice from the ginger family, is sold in pods, as shelled seeds, or ground. The flavor is hard to explain but easy to recognize. It has a citrusy, sweet, herbal warmth. It’s often used in curries, rice pudding, and chai. The spice blend garam masala typically has a good dose of cardamom.
It’s not a cheap spice. In fact, cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world (behind saffron and vanilla) because it is hard to harvest. But thankfully a little goes a long way.
Sign up for the Cook's Country Dinner Tonight newsletter
10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
How to Make Cardamom Butter
In the case of this butter, a bit of ground cardamom mashed with a stick of butter, salt, and brown sugar creates a delicious compound butter that is far greater than the sum of its parts. You get a salty, sweet, complex mixture that’s great slathered on those aforementioned corn muffins but also worth keeping in the fridge to spread on toast or biscuits, smear over a piece of roasted salmon or chicken, or toss onto freshly popped popcorn.
Cardamom–Brown Sugar Butter
Serves 12 (Makes about ⅔ cup)
Total Time: 15 minutes
This recipe is inspired by Asha Gomez's cardamom cornbread in her book My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen (2016). Serve with our Fresh Corn Muffins.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup packed (1¾ ounces) light brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon table salt
Using fork, mash all ingredients in bowl until fully combined.