CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review…Cardamon…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Cardamon…

I use cardamon frequently and it’s apt that Cardamon is nicknamed the “queen of spices,” it livens up baked goods, adds a touch of warmth to cup after cup of milky, sweet tea …few spices or flavours match the aromatic complexity of cardamom…one of my favourite spices.

Cardamom is a spice in the ginger family recognisable by its trigonal pod husks containing small black seeds. While native to subtropical Asia and a prominent ingredient in Indian cuisine, modern-day cardamom is also produced in Guatemala, Malaysia, and Tanzania. It is sold in whole pods, shelled whole seeds, or in powdered form.

Cardamon is one of the more expensive spices by weight although Saffron and Vanilla rank higher in the expensive spice range…

There are two main types of cardamon the “black” and the “green”…

Black Cardamom…

Black cardamom, the seed pods,  dark brown to black in colour take on their smokey flavour due to the way they are dried over an open fire. Growing in pods on a herbaceous plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family.

The pods have tough, dried, wrinkly skin, that is roughly one inch in length, and have small, sticky, dark-coloured seeds inside. Black cardamom has a pungent aroma with a citrus and eucalyptus flavour.

Black cardamom pods are nearly always used whole and fried in a little oil to release the flavours…if a recipe calls for powder then remove the seeds and grind but use them immediately or they lose their flavour… my mango chutney recipe calls for whole cardamom pods plus some deseeded…which I am making today as I have run out of mango chutney…

Black cardamom pods should be available at Indian food markets, gourmet markets, and very well-stocked grocery stores, while the ground version is often in the supermarket spice aisle. Always try to buy black cardamom whole rather than in seed form as this spice begins to lose its potency and aroma once the skin is removed… For the same reason, it is also better not to buy the powdered form if whole pods are available… pods are also less expensive than ground cardamom. Look for fragrant, well-formed pods that are plump, firm, dry, and about an inch in length.

Stored correctly in a well-sealed container away from light and heat the pods should remain fresh for about a year… ground cardamon, however, loses its flavour very quickly and only lasts 2-3 months max which is why I buy pods and grind the seeds if a recipe calls for powdered cardamom.

Green Cardamom…

The green pods, Elettaria cardamomum, also known as “true cardamom,” have the characteristics most recognized as cardamom flavour: a herbal warmth like a fragrant cross between eucalyptus, mint, and pepper—more citrusy than fennel and sweeter than cumin.

It wasn’t until I was looking for green cardamom that I realised why it was harder to find and more expensive than its black cardamom sister…

Green cardamom goes well with savoury dishes but is also the spice of choice for many sweet desserts like rice puddings, pannacotta and ice creams…

The cracked pods are also lovely added to sugar to make a wonderful cardamon flavoured sugar…

Thank you for joining me today …do you use a lot of cardamom in your cooking?

See you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets x

 

 

 

 

28 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review…Cardamon…

  1. Pingback: This week in my Kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 8… Spices! | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 6th February-12th February 2022-Monday Musings, Health, A-Z World Cuisine, Albania, Cardamom and Saturday Snippets. | Retired? No one told me!

  3. tidalscribe.com

    I have been using cardomon pods for for many years after being told to by Delia Smith. I have used her spicy ( 5 different spices ) brown rice recipe ever since, I just love the smell when the wholegrain pilau rice is cooking. But my first contact with a cardomon pod was very different. In 1974, early on in my ‘working holiday’ I had a holiday job in Harrods and a Pakistani staff member took me for lunch round the corner at his student hostel. My main memories are that I was the only girl there and the food was delicious; but while enjoying the tasty rice I came across the strange pods which made me wonder if a lavender bag had been included in the ingredients!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. tiffanyarpdaleo

    I have been adding ground cardamom to my coffee every day, after watching the video, I will appreciate it a lot more! I know it’s expensive, but I didn’t realize how tedious it is to grow, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you for popping in and leaving a thoughtful comment I think it makes us more appreciative as you say when we know how it is grown and harvested you can appreciate the cost as well… It is easy to assume that something expensive is not justifiable when one doesn’t see the bigger picture. Have a great weekend, Tiffany 🙂

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      1. Sowmya

        You can add ginger too Carol. Or just cardamom. Or crush 2 cardamom, 2 cloves and a small piece of ginger while brewing. This will be more like masala chai if you add milk

        Liked by 1 person

  5. beetleypete

    My main contact with Cardomom is in Indian restaurants and takeaways here. They tend to leave the hard green pods in the rice to add flavour as it cooks. But they can be hard on the teeth if you don’t see them and remove them before eating your meal.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 3 people

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