A lot of you know, I love to read. And like everyone, I get excited when good books get turned into good movies! I can’t wait to see Life of Pi. It just opened on the 21st! Life of Pi is the story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper’s son, who survives a disaster at sea and is thrown into an epic journey. While adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he forms an unexpected connection with a fearsome Bengal tiger. (You can watch the trailer for Life of Pi here!)
In celebration of the movie, I thought an Indian-inspired dish was in order. Since making my instant spiced chai mix, I’ve been on a bit of a cardamom kick. It’s an Indian spice, and I love how it tastes, how it smells… YUM! So I got creative in the kitchen (hey, don’t look so surprised) and made an Indian-inspired dessert recipe using cardamom and a few other gourmet spices I found at World Market. I LOVE World Market, and I was shocked to see the prices on their spices – they are easily half of what I was paying at my grocery store.
I love fruit, and while mangoes are the national fruit of India, my “recipe” for mangoes are to peel them and eat them immediately. ;) So I focused on some other fruit grown in India: apples and pears. I based this recipe off one I spotted over at Morsels of Life, though I made quite a few modifications to suit my own palate.
- 2 large apples
- 2 pears
- 1/4 c. butter
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. cardamom pods
- 1 tsp. crystallized ginger root
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
You can substitute ground cardamom and ginger, but if you do, decrease it to 1/2 tsp. each.
I chopped the ginger and cardamom. World Market is actually the only place I’ve been able to find whole cardamom pods. I recently paid over $9 for the same size jar of ground cardamom… so I was giddy to have found the pods at World Market for $3.99! All their spices are very reasonably priced. When I chopped up the pods, though, I did remove the outer pod from the mixture. It is edible, I just couldn’t get it chopped finely enough to want to add it to my recipe. I just picked it out – there are only about a dozen pods in 1 tsp. so it really wasn’t too bad a task. It smells SO delicious when the seeds are freshly chopped!
Melt the butter in a large skillet, and wash and slice your fruit, removing the core. I sliced mine into 1/12, but do what you like. I left the skins on.
Now, add everything to your skillet and cook over medium heat until the fruit is your desired tenderness. I like mine to be very soft, so that was about 10-12 minutes. The fruit was done before the sauce carmellized, so I removed the fruit, and continued cooking the juice and spice mixture on low until it began to bubble. Since I’m serving it with ice cream, I wanted a nice thick spiced caramel sauce. (If you don’t care about that, you don’t have to continue cooking the sauce – it’s optional.)
Then, just serve over a scoop on vanilla ice cream. (Bonus points if you can also enjoy it with a good book or movie!)
Now, I have to confess, here. I went a little crazy while shopping at World Market. My husband has asked a few times if we can have an Indian food night. And I knew that my little recipe isn’t quite what he was talking about. So I browsed their international foods, and they have all kinds of pre-packaged sauces, mixes, and marinades to make meals easy.
I thought the Tandoori Tikka sounded fantastic, so I picked up the marinade. It was SO easy to make – all you have to do is add 1 c. of yogurt to the mix, and marinate your cubed chicken in it for an hour. Then you skewer it, grill it, and serve it over Basmati rice (also available at World Market).
It turned out fantastic! I wish I could show you a better photo – this really doesn’t do it justice. But it was a perfect simple dinner that I threw together for a hungry husband (who has already asked me to add it to our regular meal rotation)!
On my shopping trip, I also managed to conveniently time it so that I could enjoy World Market’s complimentary Saturday afternoon wine tasting. Ahem.
I tried the two Rieslings – and really enjoyed the Firestone. So naturally, I had to bring a bottle home. :)
World Market is also offering a Life of Pi Sweepstakes right now!
The Grand Prize package includes: a dream trip for 2 to India and a $1,000 World Market Gift card. There will also be 3 runner up prize winners that will each receive a $500 World Market gift card! You can enter now through December 28! If you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via Facebook share or email), you can receive 5 additional bonus entries. (This is part of the registration process when entering.) You can even enter daily for more chances to win. You can enter at the World Market website or their Facebook Page.
If you’re as much a fan of World Market as I am, you can stay in touch with them any of the following ways:
And don’t forget about their rewards program for exclusive discounts. I got $10 off this shopping trip, just for being a World Market Explorer member. ;)