One of the best known aromatic spices- known as the ‘Queen of Spices’. Used in most Indian cooking – biriyani’, sweets and curries. An excellent flavouring agent and a favourite premium gifting option for festive occasions.
Arabs use a lot of cardamom in coffee and tea. Available in various grades, specified by their size, boldness and green colour.
The best variety is known as Alleppey Green Extra Bold (AGEB).
Uses in cuisines
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is often used in baking in Scandinavia. One of the most expensive spices by weight, little is needed to impart the flavour. Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1½ teaspoons of ground cardamom.
The pods can be used whole or split when cooked in Indian substantial meals — such as pulses. Otherwise, the seeds can be bruised and fried before adding main ingredients to the pan, or pounded with other spices as required. Keep the pods whole until use. The pod itself is neutral in flavour and not generally used, imparting an unpleasant bitter flavour when left in dishes.
In India, green cardamom (A. subulatum) is broadly used to treat infections in teeth andgums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonarytuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.
Cardamom is popular flavouring agent for centuries. Used widely in the west in custards, pies and bakes, it is used heavily in eastern cuisine in curries, meat dishes and even sweet meats. Extracts and oleoresins are also widely available to impart the exotic cardamom flavor.
Good quality cardamom is a fragrant and premium gifting option for those visiting India. Cardamom packed in decorative boxes or woven into garlands are innovative gift options. Cardamom is sometimes added in pot pourri and even made into fragrant pouches in silk fabric as deodoriser.