Cardamom has been used as a flavoring agent since time immemorial.
Many chronological Indian scriptures dated 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD refer to cardamom as a medical herb used in the preparation of some medicines.
In the 11th century in India, cardamom was incorporated as one of the elements of ‘five-fragrance betel chew'. Gradually it became incorporated in recipes like biryani and sherbets.
There are mainly 2 types of cardamom- green and black.
Both green and black cardamom are spindle-shaped pods that contain a number of seeds.
Green cardamom or Choti Elaichi, has a typical earthy bittersweet aroma. It is a top choice in Indian households to add zing and flavor to sweet and savory recipes.
Black cardamom or Badi Elaichi, as it is called in the local tongue, has a smoking element making it an ideal choice for savory dishes. Black cardamom is one of the major constituents of Garam Masala.
How to use
For green cardamom, the entire cardamom pod, cardamom seeds or the ground cardamom (cardamom powder) can be used to enhance flavor. It can also be sprinkled as a dust for garnishing.
Black cardamom has a more pungent and smoky flavor. It is usually used as a whole, to offer a refreshing aroma and minty notes to savory dishes. The pods can be discarded once the cooking is complete as biting into the whole pod is irksome.
- Green cardamom is used as a mouth freshener. It prevents the buildup of plaque by neutralizing the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Green cardamom herbal tea is a big hit. It is made by boiling cardamom seeds or cardamom pods in hot water along with other ingredients of tea.
- Tea India Cardamom Chai available at Singal's, a blend of finest teas and real fragrant cardamom is sure to delight you with its aroma and authentic flavor.
- Green cardamom tea can also be enjoyed in an iced version. Prepare green cardamom iced tea by boiling cardamom seeds or cardamom pods in hot water. Then add a dash of lemon, half teaspoon black salt and half teaspoon honey. Let the mixture cool. Add ice cubes and enjoy this divine potion on a summer day.
- Green cardamom dust can be used as a garnishing for sugary dishes as well as a flavouring in coffee and tea.
- Cardamom (green and black) is diuretic, antioxidant and has antiemetic properties
- Cardamom (green and black) is also known to cure digestion problems such as heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome diarrhea and constipation.
- Black cardamom has good anti-inflammatory properties.
- Black cardamom is used as a garnishing agent in biryani, curries and some daal recipes such as dal makhani.
- Use cardamom powder only when recipes call for powdered cardamom because freshly ground cardamom seeds or cardamom pods add more flavour to recipes.
- 5 cardamom pods are equal to 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder.
- Cardamom pods are best stocked in an airtight glass jar as they lose their flavour in the open air.
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