Nashville Cornmeal Cookies with Cardamom, Orange, and Pistachios is just the latest, fabulous variation of Nashville Cornmeal Cookies, the recipe that just keeps on giving. This time our Nashville favorite made with a little self-rising cornmeal mix for just the right amount of leavening and crunchy cornmeal is combined with Indian flavors in honor of our neighbor Raj who recently passed away.
Boy, did we hit the jackpot with a great neighbor. Raj is the guy who taught us how to make foolproof basmati rice, how to hack open a young coconut and sip enough of the milk to leave plenty of room for a big slug of rum. How tasteless would our lives be without those Shan Indian seasoning packets? We sprinkle the vegetable packet on all kinds of oven-roasted vegetables–you’ve got to try it on okra.
Of course, all those samosas and pakoras from the toaster oven were the perfect snack to pair with bubbly Dewer’s and soda on the rocks. While most new Nashvillians are just now becoming aware of our city’s diverse food culture, thanks to Raj, we’ve been trolling Nolensville Road’s Kurdish markets and bakeries and Patel Brothers Indian Market for more than 15 years. He spiced up our lives and expanded our thinking. As Raj would say, “Come in! Let’s have a drink!” Thank you, Raj. These Nashville Cornmeal Cookies with Cardamom are thanks to you.
Nashville Cornmeal Cookies and variations:
- 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (white, brown or combo of both)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest of one orange
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
- Additional white sugar or coarse sugar for rolling cookies in before baking.
Heat the oven to 375 F. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add the egg, cardamom, salt, orange zest, and vanilla. Blend well. Blend in the pistachios. Add the flour and cornmeal gradually until well blended on low speed of the mixer. Roll dough into about 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on a baking sheet--I do 20 per sheet, 4 rows of 5 cookies. Press the dough down with your fingers to form small discs. Bake about 13 minutes or until the sides and bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 55 cookies.
Write a date on your cardamom so you know when you bought it. If it's not too fresh use the larger amount.