Split the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Pound the seeds to a powder in a pestle and mortar with 1 tsp of the sugar.
Beat the butter until soft, then gradually add the remaining icing sugar and the ground cardamom. Continue beating until light and creamy, about 10 mins.
Sieve the flour and gram flour into a bowl and whisk in the semolina and a pinch of salt. Stir into the butter and sugar in two increments. Gently bring everything together into a soft dough.
Roll the dough into small, marble-sized balls with your hands and arrange, spaced out, on baking trays lined with baking parchment.
Slightly flatten the top of each ball and press a whole almond or some chopped pistachios in the middle of each one. Chill for 20 mins.
Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Bake the biscuits for about 20 mins or until golden. Leave to cool before storing in an airtight tin.