Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Spice of the Month - Cardamom



Cardamom is an interesting spice from Asia. Cardamom comes from a plant in the ginger family.

Cardamom is said to have grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and in olden times was used as a perfume, digestive aid and breath freshener.

Cardamom is very expensive - only saffron and vanilla are more expensive.  It is known as The Queen of Spices

Cardamom is included in garam masala.

Cardamom comes in green white or brown - buy the pods and extract the seeds and grind as required - the best cardamom is green, the white have lost most of their flavour through bleaching. Brown cardamom has a different flavour.

Its very distinctive – almost medicinal - flavour – has been described as like eucalypt.  It is best to remove the pods from around the seeds before cooking.  You can grind the seeds to intensify the flavour.

In Arab countries cardamom is used in sweet and savoury dishes and also to flavour coffee.  It is also common in Scandinavian countries – for instance in Danish pastries.  Cardamom is a
very important ingredient in curry powders.

Idea – try including a bruised cardamom pod or two when you are poaching fruit.

Posts about Recipes using cardamom - spiced glazed baby carrots, Butter Chicken, Slow Cooker Beef Curry

BIBLIOGRAPHY - with thanks to Auckland Libraries

Cook's Encyclopaedia of Spices by Sallie Morris & Lesley Mackley
Discovering Vegetables, Herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle
Spice Market by Jane Lawson
Spicery by Ian & Elizabeth Hemphill
Spices & Natural Flavourings by Jennifer Mulherin
Spices by Sophie Grigson
Spices Condiments and Seasonings by Kenneth T Farrell
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David
The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander

1 comment:

  1. I use a pod or two in my mulled grape juice and it's quite traditional in some puddings both in Asia but even in old fashioned British ones too.

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