The cardamom pod, known as elaichi or ella in India, is a prized spice for its sweet, aromatic, and spicy flavor. Cardamom is the third-most expensive spice in the world, after saffron and vanilla. It is the seed of an herbaceous perennial plant and is used in both sweet and savory foods. This pepper originated in India, but has since spread to Indonesia, China, and the West Indies, among other places.
Cardamom pods, cardamom seeds, and green cardamom are all the same product. Cardamom pods are native to southern India. The botanical name for cardamom pods is Elettaria cardamomum.
When cardamom is dried, you get green cardamom pods, also known as true cardamom. Cardamom comes from the ginger family, but it has a powerful aroma that is a bit more intense than other members of its family, such as ginger and turmeric.
Cardamom Pods: A History of Cardamom Pods
Ancient Egyptians were believed to have been the first people to derive benefit from the cardamom plant. They used it in their everyday cooking as well as for its medicinal and spiritual properties. The Romans later continued to use it for its culinary purposes, spreading it across Europe and the Mediterranean region. Culinary uses continue in modern times, with many people using organic cardamom pods ground into their tea as an alternative to coffee or hot chocolate, which has become a relatively popular method of getting caffeine.
The cardamom seeds are green in color and are medium-sized oval-shaped pods that contain hundreds of tiny seeds. The history of green cardamom goes back almost five thousand years!
Although cardamom pods are native to southern India, they are extensively cultivated and sold in Guatemala. In fact, Guatemala is the largest exporter of cardamom seeds.
Believe it or not, green cardamom is also a very popular spice in Scandinavia! The reason why is that the Vikings found the spice during their voyages and would bring the cardamom pods back home with them. In Scandinavia, cardamom seeds are used for loaves of bread, desserts, and traditional mulled wines.
What is a Black Cardamom
Black cardamom comes from a completely different species than green cardamom seeds. Black cardamom is part of the Amomum subulatum family. Only the seeds of the black cardamom are edible; the pods must be discarded. Like its relative, the green cardamom, black cardamom is used as a flavoring additive. The black cardamom pods are described as having a cool and minty flavor.
Black cardamom is a spice that can be found in a variety of products, both prepared and raw, but it is most commonly used as a flavoring agent in baked goods. This spice has an assertive flavor that delivers a fragrant aroma when it is crushed or ground. As a result, you can always find black cardamom in everything from baked breads to cookies, cakes, and pastries because of its strong scent.
What is a Green Cardamom Pod
Cardamom is found much more commonly than black cardamom. Crushed green cardamom is delicious either whole or crushed. The flavor of green cardamom is herbal, citrusy, and semi-sweet. It is recommended to lightly toast them in a saucepan prior to use.
You should roast them until they are fragrant. When using cardamom pods, remember that a little bit will take you a long way, so use less of what you think you need!
Cardamom has a slightly astringent taste and a fresh aroma with woody notes. This exotic spice has a sweet, resinous flavor that is reminiscent of ginger but with an earthy undertone. Green cardamom provides warmth and depth to Middle Eastern dishes, especially rice pilafs, vegetable stews, and lentil dishes, as well as baked goods like puddings and breads.
It's not a secret that bright, powerful flavors make everything taste better. By adding organic cardamom pods to your spice cabinet, you'll be able to create dishes that are savory and exotic.
While most people are familiar with the sweet uses of cardamom, this versatile spice has many other applications. The seeds have a warming heat and a slightly pungent flavor that works well in savory dishes. They're used in Indian cuisine in meat and vegetable curries, as well as rice and lentil dishes.
Cardamom is also one of the main ingredients in traditional Arabic coffee, which is flavored with cloves, dark sugar or molasses, and cardamom pods or powder. You can use it to make your own spiced coffee by grinding the pods along with coffee beans before brewing or by adding ground seeds to brewed coffee.
How to Use Cardamom Pods
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) pods have seeds inside. Open the pods and use them whole or grind the seeds for use in a recipe. Pods are also used to flavor beverages and dishes. Cardamom can be added to curries, lentils, stews, desserts, cakes, and cookies to enhance the overall flavor. Try adding crushed cardamom pods to ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil when cooking.
In India, cardamom pods are a very popular spice. It is one of the most commonly used spices and herbs found in Middle Eastern and Indian curries.
The pods are used in pastries, chai tea, coffee, and candy. The flavor of cardamom is described as resinous, and it is often used in sweet foods such as desserts and pastries.
If you are planning to use cardamom seeds in your next lentil or curry dish, put the whole pod in while you are cooking. This way, the cardamom pod will be infused with the cooking food. Once the meal is finished, remove the pod. Cardamom can fall apart in your food and release a harsh taste.
Cardamom seeds are also typically used in different Middle Eastern and Indian spice blends. Cardamom is also widely used in China to make a popular cardamom tea
Tips for use: Add a whole pod to your curry or stew for an exotic, aromatic flavor. Grind a few pods and add them to mulled wine—yum! Gristle with a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder and sprinkle over rice, pork, roasts, and stews.
How to Make Ground Cardamom from Seeds
To grind cardamom seeds, first you need to squeeze them to remove the pods, then you can use a food processor, a blender, or a coffee grinder. Continue to grind the seeds until they're a fine powder, then proceed with your recipe. If you have only a handful of cardamom pods, it might be easier for you to crush them in a different way. One of those ways is to use a mortar and pestle. What if you don’t have a mortar and pestle? That’s okay! You will want to remove the seeds from their pods; just give them a squeeze and gather the seeds on a surface such as a cutting board. Once the pods are all de-seeded, roll them over with a rolling pin. Keep rolling until you reach the desired consistency.
Are Cardamom Pods Healthy:
Cardamom contains essential oils that give it its distinctive taste and aroma. These oils also have medicinal properties that make this spice effective in treating certain ailments, including indigestion and flatulence, and more recently for its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Cardamom, the world's third-most expensive spice by weight (only saffron and vanilla beans are more valuable), is harvested from a ginger like plant that grows in India, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala.
Cardamom 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 consider similar to mint. Cardamom is used for sweet dishes, while black cardamom is often used for savory dishes. The spice is used in cooking in both whole and ground form, as well as in medicinal form.
Consuming cardamom can be beneficial for your health because it can help treat digestive issues such as indigestion or nausea and cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure or hypertension. Cardamom also has antimicrobial effects that can help fight infections caused by bacteria and fungi.
Can You Substitute Ground Cardamom for Green Cardamom Pods
You can, but I would strongly recommend against it.
Ground cardamom is a different spice, and the flavor won't be all the same. If you need to substitute green cardamom pods with ground cardamom, you're probably going to have to make other adjustments as well.Conclusion:
Cardamom is a unique herb that goes best when infused in curries, stews, or lentil dishes. Remember, there are two different types of cardamom pods: black cardamom and green cardamom. If you do not have green cardamom, do not swap it for black cardamom. One should not substitute the other because the black cardamom has an overpowering taste that will take over the whole dish.
Cardamom is aromatic, and it goes well with other herbs, berries, and all kinds of fruits. You can also mix the powder with other spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. This aromatic fragrance is extracted from the cardamom pod and then it is transformed into a spice we use in cooking. Culinary experts from all over the world believe that this spice is one of the best for various dishes, but only if you cook it properly, so your dish will get its delicious taste and unique aroma.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician's advice. Please consult with your health care professional before buying this product.