There is a difference between cardamom pods and green cardamom pods. Cardamom pods are the dried fruit of the cardamom plant, while green cardamom pods are the unripe seeds inside the black shell of a mature cardamom pod.
Cardamom pods can be used whole or ground into powder to flavor foods such as rice, breads, and beverages. They have a very strong aroma and a distinctive taste that comes from an essential oil within the pod. The green version of this spice is called safed musli in Hindi and is considered one of India's most prized spices. It's also known as elaichi in Hindi and Urdu because it's often used in desserts like halva tikki kheer (milk pudding).
Cardamom pods are the dried fruits of a plant in the ginger family. There are two main varieties of cardamom: green and black. The green variety is more common in Western cuisine, while black cardamom is more common in Indian cooking. However, both varieties may be used interchangeably in recipes.
Cardamom pods are sold whole or ground into a powder. The seeds inside the pod are aromatic and flavorful, but they're often removed before consumption so that only the shell remains. This makes them easier to use as a garnish or flavoring for foods or drinks. Cardamom powder can also be used to season food before cooking or baking it.
Cardamom pods come from a member of the ginger family native to southern India and Sri Lanka but now cultivated in many other tropical and subtropical regions around the world (including Indonesia, Guatemala, and Madagascar). They are used primarily as a culinary spice but also have medicinal uses due to their antiseptic properties (they can even be used as an insect repellant!).
How are green cardamom pods used?
Green cardamom pods, also known as cardamom seeds, are the dried fruit of the plant Elettaria cardamomum. The pods are harvested when they turn from green to brown and are then sun-dried and carefully hand-cleaned before being sold.
Green cardamom pods can be used in a wide variety of ways. They're often seen in Indian cuisine, where they’re ground into a powder to flavor rice dishes such as biryani and biryanis. They're also used in spice blends like garam masala and curry powder. In Western cooking, they're used sparingly in baking recipes or ground into pastes for use in soups and stews.
Green cardamom pods have a strong aroma and flavor that's reminiscent of mint, camphor, and citrus fruits such as lemons or limes. The seeds themselves have a distinctive taste that's stronger than black cardamom (which is often used in curries) but not as strong as black pepper or ginger root.
What can I use in place of green cardamom pods?
Green cardamom is a spice that's used in Indian cooking. The pods are green when they're picked and dried, but they turn black when they're ground. They can be found in many grocery stores and specialty markets, but if you can't find them, you can substitute other spices as a replacement.
Here are some suggestions:
- Ground ginger - 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger = 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon = 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Ground nutmeg - 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg = 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Ground allspice—1 teaspoon ground allspice = 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.
Should cardamom pods be crushed?
Cardamom pods are considered by many to be the world's most expensive spice. It's not hard to see why—cardamom seeds are encased in a papery pod that needs to be removed before use. If you're cooking with cardamom, you'll usually want to crush the pods before incorporating them into your dish, but there are several methods you can use.
Crushing Cardamom Pods
If you've ever had a recipe that called for crushed cardamom pods and tried to do it yourself, you may have been disappointed by the results. Cardamom pods are hard and brittle, so they don't crush easily or evenly. If you try to crush them with a rolling pin or other heavy object, it's easy to end up with unevenly crushed pieces of spice that won't distribute well throughout your dish.
To avoid this problem, most cooks prefer to use an electric spice grinder for crushing cardamom pods. These inexpensive devices can be found at most grocery stores or online retailers and allow anyone to quickly and efficiently grind spices into powder without having to get out any special equipment or tools.
Are cardamom seeds the same as cardamom pods?
Cardamom seeds and pods are both parts of the same plant, but they have different uses. Cardamom seeds are often ground into a powder that is used in cooking and baking. Cardamom pods are often used whole and then discarded after the seeds inside them have been removed.
Cardamom pods are found inside cardamom seed capsules. They look like small green fruits with ridges on them. Cardamom seeds come from these pods. The pod itself is not edible, but it can be used to store the seeds inside until they are ready to use.
There are two types of cardamom — black cardamom and green cardamom — but only green cardamom has pods and seeds that can be used for cooking or baking purposes. When they are ground into powder form, there is no difference in taste between black and green cardamoms when they are ground into powder form, although green cardamom has a slightly sweeter flavor than black cardamom does when eaten whole or in pieces.
Other applications for cardamom:
Cardamom is a spice commonly used in South Asian cuisine, especially in India and Nepal. Cardamom is also used in Arabian, Moroccan, Ethiopian, and Afghan cuisines.
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste that can overwhelm other flavors if too much is used. Try pairing cardamom with cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg to create a more complex flavor profile.
Cardamom is often ground into a powder before being added to recipes. When you toast cardamom, its essential oils are released, which makes it easier for your body to take in the nutrients they contain.
Cardamom can be purchased whole or ground from most grocery stores or specialty markets such as Whole Foods Market or online at spicyorganic.com. Store it in an airtight container away from light and heat to preserve its quality for up to 2 years.
Cardamom is a spice that's used in many different types of food and drinks, including coffee, tea, and sweets. The cardamom plant produces seeds that are dried and ground into a powder, which can be used to flavor foods and drinks. Cardamom is known for its sweet, floral flavor.
Cardamom is commonly used in Indian cooking, where it's added to rice dishes like biryani (rice with meat or vegetables) or pilafs (pilafs are made with rice, meat or vegetables). It's also added to pickles, chutneys, and other Indian sauces.
In Middle Eastern cooking, cardamom is used in cakes and pastries such as baklava (a dessert made with phyllo dough) or kunafa (a dessert made with cheese). It's also used in spice mixes such as ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice mix) or garam masala (an Indian spice mixture).
Cardamom is also popular in Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In these countries, it's often used in desserts like rice pudding or baked goods like almond cookies called Saramellkake.
I have used both cardamom pods and green cardamom extensively and can say that there is no difference in taste or quality. The only difference is that the pod is green in color for the green variety, but you could use either in any recipe.
From SpicyOrganic.com: "When you first use cardamom pods in your cooking, do not be alarmed at the characteristic smell of these pods. This pungent aroma is typical of cardamom, and it should subside somewhat after the pods have been used a few times. They also state that this pod has become a popular choice as a spice to add as part of tea blends or coffee blends. Some examples are Scandinavian berry tea, Arabian chai tea, and Moroccan mint tea.
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.