Are you guilty of skipping the common recipe directive to freshly grind spices like nutmeg, coriander, and the subject at hand: cardamom? Sure, it tacks on time to your recipe prep, but the results are more than worth the minimal time and effort. As soon as spices are ground (often months earlier, if buying preground spices), aroma and flavor begins to dissipate; wait a year to use your spice stash, and you'll be working with what's essentially lightly scented dust. Instead, make the extra effort; trust us, you'll be a freshly ground convert once you taste the difference.
Open the Pods
Firmly press down on each cardamom pod with the flat side of a sturdy chef's knife. (It's the same method one employs to peel garlic cloves.) Pry open the cracked pod, pick out the seeds housed within, and discard the outer shell of the pod.
Grind the Seeds
Transfer the cardamom seeds to a spice grinder (we use an inexpensive coffee grinder devoted solely to grinding spices), and grind until they're pulverized into a fine powder. Then get cooking!