Cardamom is a well-known spice. It is used almost everywhere around the world. It is also called the “queen of all spices” due to its exceptional flavor, aroma, and benefits. This spice is made of seeds of different plants in the Zingiberaceae family of plants. This family is also known as ginger in the layman language.
Cardamom has its origin in Indonesia and Indian Subcontinent. That’s why it is a prominent spice in almost all types of cuisines in the Indian Subcontinent. Besides, Cardamom is also produced in some other regions like Tanzania, Guatemala, and Malaysia. This spice is normally sold and used in the whole form. However, sometimes people also use the ground form or its small pieces and seeds. In addition, cardamom is also used in a special Indian spice called garam masala, a blend of different spices. Thus, this spice has become an important part of cuisines and drinks around the globe.
What does Cardamom Look Like?
Cardamom is a small seed pod. These pods have a spindle shape with a cross-section triangular appearance. These pods are filled with Cardamom seeds. You can use them in whole, ground, or seed forms. However, this spice has two different types. These are green and black Cardamom. So, their looks vary based on their type. The pod itself will either have a green or brown color. However, the seeds are normally found in black color. The seeds have small sizes.
Where does Cardamom Come From?
Cardamom comes from a wide range of plants. This spice is usually collected from wild plants. Moreover, the plants grow in moist forests. It is cultivated in large quantities in India, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka. That’s because of their special forests that boost the production of Cardamom plants.
How is Cardamom Made?
Once the Cardamom plant gets ready for cultivation, the fruits are picked. These fruits hang over the stem. You can either clip them or pick them by hand. However, the fruits, i.e., Cardamom pods, are picked before maturity. Afterward, they are cleansed and washed. Once done with washing, the pods are left to dry. You can either put it under direct sunlight and let it naturally dry. Or you can also use any heated curing chamber to dry it. And the Cardamom pods are ready for use. However, for using seeds, you should remove the skin and take out the seed. Besides, you can also use any grinder to get the ground form of this spice.
What Does Cardamom Taste Like?
The taste of Cardamom varies based on its type. The green Cardamom, which is also famous as the true Cardamom, has a herbal taste. It tastes like a combination of pepper, eucalyptus, and mint. Green Cardamom is sweeter than cumin. However, it has a higher citrus flavor than fennel.
On the other hand, black Cardamom has a little smoky note. It has almost the same taste with a slight addition. Sometimes, you also find it with a cooling menthol flavor. So, consider its taste and flavor before using it in your dishes.
How is Cardamom Used in Cooking?
Cardamom is used in different varieties of recipes. Remember, this spice easily overpowers other spices. So, be careful with the amount you use. While cooking, add Cardamom gently to the dish. It pairs well with a lot of ingredients. For instance, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other normal spices that you use for cooking. You can either add it with other spices and let it cook well, or you can add it when the food is half cooked. Moreover, black Cardamom fits well with savory dishes.
What Types of Cuisines Use Cardamom?
Both the black and green Cardamom are the most used spices in Indian cuisines. It is mostly used for cooking with curries and basmati rice. It adds a little aroma to the dishes. While in the Middle East and some parts of Europe, chefs mostly use ground Cardamom, and they use it in desserts, baked items, and sweet dishes. Some famous deserts include Swedish sweet buns, apple pie, and stone fruit galette, etc. Besides cooked and baked items, Cardamom is largely used in teas and coffees.
What is a Cardamom Substitute?
If Cardamom has finished and you are cooking something, then you can use some substitutes. Its major substitutes are the combination of cinnamon and allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cinnamon and ginger.
Where to Buy Cardamom?
If you are looking for some best ground and whole forms of Cardamom, then we have it for you. We are suggesting the best Cardamom products. So, consider buying them next time when you need that.