What is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a spice. They are small, green, oval pods. They have a very nice scent reminiscent of the Orient. Anyone who has ever drank Arabic coffee knows cardamom. It is often used for flavoring coffee. In contrast to its small size, cardamom has a strong taste. In India, it is the queen of spices. Here they have a long tradition of using this spice for over 2000 years.
In the shady places of the forest the best cardamom grows, because it is nice and humid there. This perennial, tall plant belongs to the ginger family and is very similar to bamboo. It has a stature height of 3-4 meters. Their beautiful flowers enclose oval pods with three chambers filled with brown grains. These delicate cardamom fruits must be harvested before bursting in the period from September to December. Then they are dried under the sun for about 4 days. The cardamom fruits are hard and green.
How does it taste?
The small black grains of cardamom pods contain an essential oil. These have a sweet, spicy-hot aroma. They smell beguilingly of lemon, sandalwood, eucalyptus, rose and honey. This unique composition has been valued not only in Indian cuisine, but also in Asian and Arabic for centuries. In Germany, it is becoming increasingly popular due to its complex aroma profile.
Indian and Pakistani cuisine uses ground cardamom for rice dishes, curry, and stews. The Vietnamese kitchen uses it for PHO, a noodle soup which is served with either beef or poultry. Ground cardamom can be sprinkled over fruit salads, chicory fish marinades and rice pudding.
Spice Mixtures with Ground Cardamom
Many spice blends have cardamom as an ingredient. It can be found in Curry, Melange Tahitienne, Masalas, Berbere, Baharat, Lamb Tajine, African Rub, Pain d'epice, Raz el Hanout and many more.
A Spice for Drinks
Ground cardamom is ideal for seasoning drinks. It spices yogi teas or other black tea varieties. In Germany, it is given in mulled wine and in Arab countries in coffee. It can be added to a glass of warm milk sweetened with a teaspoon of honey or in cocoa for children.