A Taste of History with Joyce White

Recipes, A Taste of Spices

Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

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Spiced Pear Compote

4 29-Ounce Cans of Sliced Pears in Pear Juice From Concentrate
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Saffron
20 Pods of Cardamom (Green and/or Black), Cracked Open with a Mortar and Pestle or Mallet
2 Teaspoons Ground Cardamom Seed

Separate the pears from the pear juice, and place the juice in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the saffron and both types of cardamom to the heavy syrup and whisk all together. Bring to a boil and reduce the temperature to medium-low. Cook the spices in the syrup for 30 minutes, or long enough to infuse the syrup with the scent of the spices to your particular liking. Careful not to let the syrup boil over the pot.

Add the reserved pears to the syrup and bring to a boil. Then reduce temperature to low and  cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.  Drain the pears from the syrup and spices and discard the liquid/spice mixture. Serve the pears warm or at room temperature as is, or accompanied by whipped cream.​


Curried Indian Chickpeas


1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable broth

2 15 1/2 ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp coriander powder or turmeric

1 tsp cumin

3 tbsp prepared chutney

2 15 1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes




Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. Cover, and allow to cook for at least 5   minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.


Basic Curry Powder Spice Blend


2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds

1 tablespoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground ginger


Mix all ingredients together; store in an airtight container. If time permits, purchase whole cumin, coriander, mustard and cardamom seeds; toast in a dry skillet over medium heat for about ten minutes, or until spices are fragrant and slightly  darker. Cool completely, grind and add powdered spices.