When chef Akhtar Nawab was developing his new restaurant in Manhattan, he wanted to call it Ela, after an Indian word for the cardamom plant, as a reference to the Indian heritage of both the American-born chef and the prized South Asian spice. But the name was already taken, so they changed it to Elettaria—cardamom in Latin. Not surprisingly, at Nawab’s restaurant the spice is all over the menu. He coats sweet-breads with cardamom-scented flour before sautéing them in ...

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