Cardamom

What Is Cardamom?

used to spice both sweet and savory dishes. It is widely employed in Indian, Middle Eastern, Arabic, and Swedish cuisine. It comes in two types and is used as whole pods, seeds, or ground.  found in the garam masala spice mixture that seasons meat and vegetable dishes, and in hot beverages such as masala chai and Turkish coffee.

Cardamom is a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped and have a triangular cross-section. The pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole or ground. The seeds are small and black, while the pods differ in color and size by species.

 

What Does It Taste Like?

has a strong, sweet, pungent flavor and aroma, with hints of lemon and mint. Black cardamom has a smoky note and a cooling menthol one as well.

 

Cooking

You can use powdered cardamom added directly to recipes that call for ground , but you will get more flavor by starting with the pods. Toast green cardamom pods in a dry skillet for a few minutes. Let them cool for a minute and then remove the seeds from the pods. Save the pods to use for adding to coffee or tea for flavor. Grind the seeds in a ​mortar and pestle for best results, or you can use a motorized spice grinder (like a coffee grinder).

If you are using green cardamom for hot drinks such as coffee, simply grind three to four cardamom seeds along with your coffee beans and pour your hot water over as usual. Some traditions grind the whole pod, but it’s fine to use the seeds only.

It will be hard to find a true substitute for the unique flavor of cardamom, but in a pinch, you can blend other warm spices to help replace it. Cinnamon will be the key, and the best blend would be equal parts of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. If you don’t have nutmeg, use ground ginger or ground cloves along with the cinnamon.