What is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a perennial herb and member of the ginger family, one of the world’s very ancient spices, and native to the East originating in the forests of the western Ghats in southern India. It's a leafy plant (5-20 inches) long, each bears many flowers about (2 inches) in diameter with greenish petals, the fruit is a green, three-sided oval capsule containing reddish-brown to brownish black, hard, angular seeds. It has a strong, pungent flavor and aroma, with hints of lemon, mint and smoke. It’s an expensive spice, second only to saffron and vanilla. Cardamom known since centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties, these aromatic pods are rich in many vital vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin-C that is essential for best health.
The Potential Health Benefit of Cardamom:
- This spice packed with antibacterial properties could cure teeth and gum infections, if you have bad breath chew on some pods, the strong flavor and a pleasant smell will help you beat bad breath.
- Good for your digestive system, clinical study showed that cardamom acts to rouse the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls digestion and saliva production. It will help with gas, bloating, heartburn, excessive thirst, nausea, and vomiting.
- It can detox and cleanse your liver, improves the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder, help your bladder to get rid of salt, waste, toxins, and even helpful at breaking up kidney stones and improving kidney function.
- Helps regularize your heart rate and keeps your blood pressure under control, it can reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes by preventing platelet aggregation and inflammation.
- Increases circulation of blood within your lungs as a result relieving the symptoms of breathing problems like asthma, chest congestion, and allergies.
- Cardamom brings down the craving or urge for smoking because of the strong flavor and smell.
- Help with diet, you can drink Cardamom Tea throughout the day to keep the sugar cravings away.
Types of Cardamom:
If you search the stores for some cardamom, you are going to find three types of them available:
- The green cardamom is the most common form of pod that used, the pods harvested and dried at an early stage to make sure they remain closed. The green cardamom used as a spice, a masticatory, and in medicine.
- Black cardamom: harvested later than the green one, and has strong smoky flavor, though not bitter, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. The skins of the pods are wrinkly and a bit thicker.
- Whit cardamom: it’s the same green pods that bleached for aesthetic purposes, so avoid them unless you need a light color for your recipe.
Cardamom Uses and Recipes:
Coffee and tea aren't the only way to use cardamom, it’s widely used in Indian cooking and in Scandinavian baking, if you’re using cardamom to flavor dishes such as stews and curries, crush the pod and add it to the recipe, use the ground one with baking, pudding, cookies, cake, and chocolate recipes, cardamom and chocolate goes very well together . For freshness, flavor, and cost-savings, I recommend buying cardamom pods over ground cardamom, grind them at home as you need them. Adding this amazing spice to your recipes is not hard, it's similar to vanilla and black pepper. This is my simple healthy (herb roasted chicken) recipe, I'd like to share it with you,
- 4 pounds’ chicken thighs.
- 1 tablespoon sage.
- 1 teaspoon anise.
- 1 teaspoon fennel (I have them already mixed with the anise).
- 12 cardamom pods.
- 1 lemon, or lemon juice.
Prep: 5 mins
Bake: 45 mins-1 hour
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken and add the lemon juice, no water and no oil is needed.
- Crush the spices and the seeds just before cooking and add them to the chicken. Then salt as you like.
- Reheat the oven to 450 degrees, place the chicken in baking sheet, cover with foil, bake for 45 minutes.
- After 45 mins remove the foil and bake for other 15 minutes or until the chicken is gold and crispy. Time will vary depends on your oven and the chicken size, your clue is the chicken juices is thick and the chicken is crispy.
This is another great sweet recipe to use cardamom .
Orange and Cardamom Crème Brûlée Recipe
This easy recipe for the classic French dessert is flavored with orange and cardamom.