Cardamom - Elettaria cardamomum - Buy Green cardamom - Indian spices - Europe's Spice shop
What is cardamom? One who has a love of spices has no difficulty describing these little green pods. They exude a fragrance reminiscent of the Orient. They are strong tasting in contrast to their small size. In India, cardamom is considered the queen of spices, and not just because it's one of the most expensive spices, but because it has been used there for over 2000 years.
The best cardamom grows only in shady places of the forest, where it is very humid. The perennial, high-growing plant is similar to bamboo and belongs to the family of ginger plants. It grows to a height of 3-4 meters. Its flowers enclose oval pods with three chambers filled with brown grains. The cardamom fruits are picked before bursting in the period from September to December. Then they are dried for about 4 days under the sun. These dried pods are hard and green.
The grains of cardamom capsules contain an essential oil, which has a sweet, spicy-hot aroma. They exude a fragrance of lemon, eucalyptus, sandalwood, rose and honey. This composition and diversity makes it something very special. Not only in Indian, but also in Arabic and Asian cuisine has cardamom been used as a seasoning for centuries. Its popularity continues to increase in our region because it offers such a wealth of taste.
Cardamom in the Kitchen
In India and Pakistan, rice is seasoned with cardamom pods. For this, some pods are put into the rice water and boiled. Flavored cardamom rice goes well with curry dishes. In Vietnam, it is an ingredient in PHO, a noodle soup with beef or poultry. Cardamom also goes well with fruit salads, chicory fish marinades and rice pudding. Cardamom is also very good at seasoning intense foods such as venison.
In Spice Mixtures
It is a popular ingredient found in spice blends such as Curry, Masala, African Rub, Baharat, Berbere, Lamb Tagine, Melange Tahitienne, Pain d'épice, Raz el Hanout and many more. In Europe, the spice is used to bake gingerbread and speculaas cookies. In Arab countries the spice is used in Mahallebi, a milk pudding with cardamom.
With cardamom you can also refine drinks very well. In India, you can spice Yogi teas or other black tea varieties with cardamom. In Germany, you can use it in mulled wine and in Arab countries in coffee. Also, try adding ground cardamom to a glass of warm milk sweetened with a teaspoon of honey or in cocoa.
Cardamom is also chewed in India to refresh the breath, as well as to relieve stomach discomfort or bowel issues.
Cardamom with Other Spices
Cardamom combines well with the following spices: cinnamon, clove, allspice, fennel, caraway, long pepper, black pepper, vanilla and nutmeg.