Recipes with Cardamom: Arabic Coffee

12-13-2010-cardamom seeds

Cardamom is most commonly referred to as the queen of the spices.

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Makes 2 three-ounce servings 

This style of coffee is best prepared in the traditional upward-tapering ibrik (a small, tin-lined brass, stainless steel, or enameled pot) or the similar but long-spouted Bedouin or Egyptian pots. For the best flavor, use a dark or semidark Arabian or Ethiopian Mocca bean, though a good French- or Italian-roast coffee will do. Sugar is optional.

• 3/4 cup water
• Seeds from 1 green or white cardamom pod
• Up to 6 teaspoons sugar
• 1 tablespoon Turkish or espresso-grind dark-roast coffee

1. Place the water, cardamom, and optional sugar in the pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the ground coffee and boil until it foams.

2. Remove the pot from the heat immediately, rap it on a hard surface to reduce the foam, then reboil. Repeat these steps twice.

3. Set the pot aside for 15 seconds to allow the grounds to settle. Decant the coffee into demitasse cups, pouring a little of the foam into each cup before pouring in the liquid. Avoid drinking the dregs in the bottom of the cup.


Cornelia Carlson exercises her passion for growing tropical spices in her San Diego–area home. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is the author of The Practically Meatless Gourmet (Prima, 1996). 

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