Cardamom is a wonderful spice that has many medicinal properties. In India and other parts of Asia, cardamom is used to treat a number of ailments including asthma (the seeds are crushed and mixed with honey and given to the patient), indigestion and sore throats along with being used as a breath freshener 🙂
Cardamom pods can be bought whole or as ground powder. The seeds inside the pods are small and black, like peppercorns. It is better to buy them in the pod form because the flavor lasts longer when stored that way.
Cardamom is available in 2 main varieties – green and black. The green variety has a strong fresh aroma and a subtle sweet taste. The black variety is less fragrant but more pungent than the green kind. Both kinds are suitable for sweet dishes but the black variety goes well with savory dishes too as it imparts an exotic spicy flavor to them.
There are many different types of cardamom pods, but the two most popular varieties are green and black. The black cardamom pods are used in Indian cooking and the smaller green cardamom pods are used in Scandinavian cooking.
The best way to describe the taste of green cardamom is that it is warm and sweet. It’s aroma is also sweet, but with a hint of spiciness. Green cardamom is often used in sweet dishes, but it can also be used in savory recipes like curries and stews.
You can buy green cardamom either as whole pods, or you can buy the seeds by themselves. You can also buy cardamom in powder form, but this option isn’t as fresh. With crushed or powdered cardamom, you miss out on the strong aroma of freshly crushed seeds.
From the earliest times, cardamom has been used as a spice and for medicine. It is one of the world’s very ancient spices. As ancient as the civilization itself, cardamom was a highly prized commodity valued equally with gold and pearls. Archeologists have discovered that cardamom was part of Egyptian culture as far back as 4,000 B.C., as evidenced by cardamom seeds found in pharaohs’ tombs. The Egyptians chewed cardamom seeds as a tooth cleaner; they believed it would make their breath smell better. Cardamom is mentioned in the Bible and other holy books as well.
In Asia, the first use of cardamom was in India, where it was known as “the Queen of Spices”. Indian sages and healers used it to cure many illnesses, including digestive problems and respiratory issues. Over time, traders from all over the world began to import cardamom from India.
Cardamom is considered a rare commodity in today’s world because it only grows in certain tropical areas of South India and Sri Lanka (and some parts of Central America). The tropical climate that produces the best quality cardamom is hard to find outside these regions. Because of this, cardamom
Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. It has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smokey, though not bitter, aroma with a coolness some identify as minty. Although it is best known as one of the ingredients in curry powder, cardamom is used in many sweet dishes in India and Middle Eastern countries. It is also used to flavor coffee and tea.
Cardamom can be used in sweet or savory dishes, but it seems particularly suited to hearty meat stews and similar recipes. When buying the pods, make sure they are plump and not shriveled; they should be green or pale brown in color. Avoid any that have been bleached white by sulfur fumes (which may also indicate inferior quality). Cardamom seeds lose their flavor quickly once the pod is opened, so for maximum flavor buy whole pods and crush them yourself just before using. The seeds may also be bought already ground, but once again will rapidly lose their flavor. Ground cardamom is best kept refrigerated in an airtight container out of direct light; it will keep for about 6 months this way.
Cardamom, or cardamon, is a spice native to India. The seeds of the plant have been used in Indian cuisine for thousands of years. They’re also found in some other cuisines. For example, the spice has been used in Scandinavian baking since the Middle Ages.
Today, Green Cardamom is mainly cultivated in South India and other parts of Asia. Egypt and Guatemala are also important producers of Cardamom. The seeds are traditionally handpicked and then processed by being dried over open fires for several days.
Cardamom is an herb. The seeds are used to make medicine.
Cardamom is used for breathing problems including chronic cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, and loss of appetite. Some people use cardamom to increase urine flow and kill germs in the urinary tract.
Cardamom is applied to the skin for swelling of the eyelids (styes), as well as for treating cancer sores and swollen nipples caused by nursing.
In foods and beverages, cardamom is a common flavoring agent. It is also used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
How does it work?
Cardamom contains chemicals that might have activity against bacteria and fungi.
Green Cardamom is a spice that most people have heard of, but few people use. I used to be one of them, until I discovered how wonderful it is in sweet and savory dishes. It is one of the main ingredients in my favorite spice bread, Swedish Limpa Rye, and it is fantastic in savory dishes like curry or pilafs.
It has a very distinct flavor; somewhat sweet, somewhat smoky. The pods are usually sold with the seeds still inside (either whole or ground), so you have to open them up before using. At first glance this may seem like a hassle, but after doing it once or twice you will learn just how easy it is to do so.