Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice #cardamom #rice #Indian #savory #recipe #vegan

Referring to this recipe as cool calm and collected Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice is my playful way of suggesting that this dish has its act together! Generally, white rice is an overlooked side that rarely gets any attention; its place typically diminished to a lowly filler of sorts. But hold on now, roles are about to change! 

It’s time give this spectacular seed its due. That’s right; rice is the seed of a species of grass. There’s so much more to this ancient glistening grain than meets the eye. And in this dish, in particular, the flavor the rice contributes deserves much more space on the dinner table than that of a dull side. Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice has a presence that threatens to steal the stage.

Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice – It’s So Much More than a Side!

In this precious recipe, I’ve found a staple that I use alongside many favorite dishes. But when I say alongside, I do not mean to imply that it stands invisibly. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, cool calm and collected Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice has become a constant player at my house. I keep a container of this dish stocked in the fridge to assist in multiple meals. It’s the rice that I pair with my No-Cook Tofu Curry in a Hurry. Tofu Curry in a Hurry is another dish that I often make ahead to store in the fridge for a simple go-to meal on busy days.

Cardamom is a spice that offers a cooling effect to the body which is why I thought to use the word cool in the title of this dish. While it’s worth adding cardamom to your food for the flavor alone, its health benefits are also something to consider the next time you break out your savory spices.

5 Benefits of Cardamom:

  • Digestion
    Cardamom is related to ginger and can be used in much the same way to relieve digestive issues. Use it to help fight nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, constipation, and more.
  • Detoxify
    Cardamom helps the body eliminate waste through the kidneys.
  • Halitosis
    In India, they chew cardamom after meals or any time they need to freshen their breath.
  • Diuretic
    Part of the reason cardamom is such a good detoxifier is due to its diuretic properties. It helps clean out the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, removing waste, salt, excess water, toxins, and fights off infections too.
  • Depression
    While the science behind the antidepressant qualities of cardamom hasn’t undergone official study, Ayurvedic medicine swears by a tea made of cardamom as a means to fight depression.

Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice #side-dish #rice #indian #vegan #vegetarian #cinnamon #bay leaves #spices

Coconut Milk Has Nutrients Too

Along with the cardamom, I use a lite unsweetened coconut milk for half of the cooking liquid in this delicious rice dish.  In this section we explore the nutrients in regular unsweetened coconut milk. 

Coconut milk comes from the flesh of mature brown coconuts, and it’s used in many traditional cuisines around the world. And even though coconut milk does contain fat, about half the fat in coconuts comes from a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid. There’s some evidence that the medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fats in coconut milk may benefit weight loss, body composition, and metabolism. MCTs, go from the digestive tract directly to the liver, where they’re used for energy or ketone production, which means they are less likely to be stored as fat. I like that! Additionally, coconut milk packs a long list of nutrients.

According to the article mentioned below, one-quarter cup of regular coconut milk, full-fat, not lite coconut milk, provides:

138 calories
1.5 grams protein
2 grams sugar
14 grams fat
.55 milligrams manganese – that’s 27 percent of the RDV
.15 milligrams copper – that’s 8 percent of the RDV
60 milligrams phosphorus – that’s 6 percent RDV
22 milligrams magnesium – that’s 5.5 percent of the RDV
3.9 milligrams iron – that’s 5.5 percent of the RDV
157 milligrams potassium – that’s 4.5 percent of the RDV

Additionally, these health benefits of coconut milk might surprise you. For instance, did you know it helps you burn fat and build muscle? Also, did you know that coconut milk improves heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol? These are just the beginning. Coconut milk is an excellent ingredient to incorporate into your cooking. To read more about the many of the health benefits of coconut milk, click this link.

Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice #rice #bowl #staple #simple #recipe #coconut milk #recipes

How Does Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice Taste?

Now, let’s get down to the flavor and experience you’ll enjoy when eating this rice. Just as the title promises, Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice, though not the slightest bit soupy or mushy, is creamy! The creaminess you’ll recognize comes from the coconut milk we just discussed.  The particularly unique quality about the texture of the rice itself is that while it’s creamy, the rice still manages to hold its shape, which I appreciate.

Taste-wise,  after your first bite or so, you may come to think the cardamom as a rock star and the dusting of cinnamon as its more dimly lit backup singers.  The sprinkling of earthy cinnamon imparts a very slight hint of sweetness that allows the coolness of the cardamom to come forward without having to fight for the stage.  I love this aromatic pairing!

While it cooks at my house, my family starts walking in and out of the kitchen smiling and sniffing the lovely aroma-filled air while saying, “Mmm… cardamom rice.”  I cannot wait until you try Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice. I’m convinced it will become your most favorite appreciated side, too, so be sure to pin this recipe for safe keeping.

Happy eating!

Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice #Thanksgiving #holidays #make-ahead #freeze #meal planning #gluten-free

Exciting Recipes You’re Sure to Enjoy with Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice:

Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice

  • 10
  • 20
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 22 Servings

Welcome to the side dish that will most likely become your new favorite new staple: Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice! The cardamom and coconut milk complement each other beautifully in this satisfying recipe. And while I love it as a spectacular side, I promise you will want to scoop yourself a bowl of this to enjoy all on its own. This batch makes enough for about 22 generous one cup servings and freezes well making it a terrific make-ahead dish for meal planning. Creamy Savory Cardamom Rice pairs nicely with No-Cook Tofu Curry in a Hurry, and I highly recommend that you try these two dishes side by side topped with a few bright green peas… it’s delightful!  Instant-Pot Black Beans also pair well with this rice dish and even though they’re made from scratch, they couldn’t be easier!


  • 4 1/2 cups of rinsed and soaked rice of choice - We often use this aged jasmine rice or this organic, non-GMO basmati rice -  but we've recently been enjoying this dish using organic brown jasmine rice, Indonesian Volcano, and 'Forbidden' varieties of whole grain rice.  Just be sure to adjust cooking times according to the package instructions for whichever variety of rice you are using.
  • one can (13.5 oz) of unsweetened lite coconut milk - We use this brand of lite coconut milk and purchase in bulk to get the best quality for less. When we originally wrote this recipe we used regular unsweetened coconut milk which also works beautifully in this recipe
  • one empty lite coconut milk can full of water 
  • one generous tablespoon of cardamom pods smashed to loosen some of the seeds -  Alternatively, you may use ground cardamom in place of the smashed cardamom pods.
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of ground cardamom 
  • 1/2  of a cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 
  • a couple of  bay leaves


  1. In full disclosure, I tend to use my rice cooker for making rice rather than the stovetop.  I've grown accustomed to this guilty little pleasure since I make rice at least three to five times a week. The orange clickable link connects you to the rice cooker that I use and love.  If you are using a rice cooker to complete this recipe, follow the instructions for your particular rice cooker.  And if you are considering purchasing a rice cooker, do it—I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate my rice cooker!
  2. To make rice on the stovetop, begin by pouring the lite coconut milk and water into a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the liquid is boiling, add the rice, crushed cardamom pods, ground cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon to the boiling liquid. Stir just enough to make sure that the rice is separated.
  4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting. Allow the rice to simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes, and then remove from heat. Let the rice steam in the cooking pot for another 5 to 10 minutes or so, undisturbed.
  5. Before serving, remove the significant bits of cooked spices, such as the broken hulls of the cardamom pods, but leaving a few of the lovely blackish-brown cardamom seeds, if you like. Fluff the rice a bit with a fork, serve and enjoy!


  • Rinsing and soaking the rice before cooking aides its digestibility and it's something that I always try to do.  Soaking makes all grains more digestible because it breaks down some of the trickier proteins and neutralizes things called phytates.  Phylates inhibit the absorption of valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. To soak your rice, cover it in water after giving it a good rinse. If you have the time and forethought, soak the rice overnight, then drain and cook as you usually would. If you do not have time to soak overnight, by all means, soak it as soon as you think of including it in your menu.   In my book, any soaking is better than no soaking.  Soaking grains is standard practice in many countries, and I'm convinced that is why they do not seem to have as many issues with digestion, inflammation and other types of wellness concerns.
  • Regarding the cardamom pods; my method of smashing open the pods before dropping the hulls and loosened seeds into the pot is as follows.  Place the whole pods on a paper towel or clean dish towel folding it over to enclose and secure the pods.  With a wooden spoon or tenderizer tool, whack the covered, secured pods a time or two to break them open.  Breaking open the pods allows the cardamom seeds to escape which lets their aromatic flavor to distribute throughout the lovely pot of rice.
  • About the rice, feel free to use the rice you enjoy eating. Organic whole grain brown jasmine rice is another variety of rice we enjoy. As mentioned in the ingredients portion of this recipe, be sure to follow package instructions for whichever rice you use.


% DV

Calories Per Serving: 147
  • Total Fat 1.1 g 2 %
  • Saturated Fat 0.9 g 4 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 4.2 mg 0 %
  • Carbohydrates 30 g 10 %
  • Fiber 0.3 g 1 %
  • Sugar 0.3 g ---
  • Protein 2.8 g 6 %
  • Vitamin A 0 %
  • Vitamin C 0 %
  • Iron 8 %
  • Calcium 0 %

Leave a Comment


  • I’m wondering about the quantities of rice and liquid: 4.5 cups of rice to 1 can of coconut milk and 1 of water. My cans are 400 ml (total 800 ml) and 4.5 cups of rice is equal to 1,125 ml. So I have less liquid than rice. Surely soaking rice makes it absorb some water, still I had to add a full cup of (hot) water to get the rice properly cooked and not stuck burning to the pot.
    It might be useful not to say “one can” but be precise how much that can is.

    1. Thank you for your suggestion, Sirpa—the can of lite coconut milk now has its exact measurement specified. Regarding your results, soaking the rice as mentioned, makes all of the difference. When skipping the soaking of the rice and cooking the rice on the stovetop, you would need to adjust the ratio to two cups of liquid to one cup of rice.

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