Picture of cardamom pods

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okkijanFlat lay liver detox antioxidant tea and the ingredients for it on a light background, top view. Herbal homeopathic recept

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okkijanIngredients for liver detox antioxidant tea on a light background, top view. Dry herbs, roots, flowers for homeopathy recipe for detox drink. Flat lay

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Sours: https://depositphotos.com/stock-photos/cardamom-pods.html

What Is Cardamom?

Cardamom is 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. Cardamom is found in the garam masala spice mixture that seasons meat and vegetable dishes, and in hot beverages such as masala chai and Turkish coffee.

What Is Cardamom?

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.

Varieties of Cardamom

There are two main types of cardamom: black cardamom and green cardamom, and there is also white cardamom which is a bleached version of green cardamom. Green cardamom is the kind found most often in Nordic and Middle Eastern cuisine, while recipes in India and Asia will often specify whether green or black cardamom is used.

Green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomom) is known as true cardamom. This is the most common variety you will see sold in the spice aisle of the supermarket. It is the top choice for sweet dishes but also works well in savory dishes. The bleached version, white cardamom, has less flavor. It is grown in tropical areas including India, Malaysia, and Costa Rica.

Black cardamom (Amomum subulatum) has larger pods that are dark brown. It has a smoky element that makes it more appropriate for savory dishes, but it is used in sweet dishes as well in southern India. It is grown in the eastern Himalayas.

Cardamom is found in Indian cooking as well as Middle Eastern cuisine. In Indian recipes, whole cardamom pods are used in preparing basmati rice and various curries. In Middle Eastern recipes, ground cardamom spices certain desserts.

Whole vs. Ground

Recipes using black cardamom often call for using the whole pod, with the seeds intact. The pods are then discarded after cooking is done as chomping into the whole pod is unpleasant.

If you're using green cardamom in a recipe, ideally you'd start with whole cardamom pods. If you buy ground cardamom (i.e. cardamom powder) from the spice section, it won't be as flavorful since the essential oils of the cardamom seed will lose their flavor relatively quickly after the seeds are ground.

What Does It Taste Like?

Cardamom 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 With Cardamom

You can use powdered cardamom added directly to recipes that call for ground cardamom, 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.

Recipes With Cardamom

Interestingly enough, one of the countries that consume the most cardamom is Sweden, where cardamom is employed to season everything from baked goods to hamburgers and meatloaves. It matches well with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in autumn-spiced recipes, and these spices are also included with cardamom in Indian spice mixtures, such as garam masala. Drinks from mulled wine to hot cider to eggnog will benefit from an unexpected hint of cardamom. 

Substitutions

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.

Discover Cardamom Substitutes

Where to Buy

You can find green cardamom sold as ground cardamom and whole cardamom pods in the spice section of the grocery store. Black cardamom is best found at an international specialty grocer, and you will find green cardamom there generally at a much better price than the usual supermarket.

Storage

It is best to store cardamom as whole pods in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Ground cardamom can be stored similarly, but will quickly lose potency and should be used as soon as possible.

Sours: https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-cardamom
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hand drawn cardamom plant, spicy ingredient, cardamom logo, healthy organic food, spice cardamom isolated on white background, culinary herb, label, food, natural health food, vector graphic to design.
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Set spices. Black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, mint, cloves, cocoa, poppy, chilli, vanilla, bay leaf, anise, garlic, cardamom, ginger. Vector color vintage engraving illustration isolated on white Vector Illustration
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Sours: https://wwwrf.com/stock-photo/cardamom_pods.html

If your spice cabinet were a high school, cardamom would not only be voted most popular, it would also have played every sport, scored a 5 on its AP history exam and won a full scholarship to the college of its choice. In short, cardamom is the spice you want to be. Everyone fawns over its spicy, citrusy scent and its ability to make every dish taste infinitely more dramatic.

With a grand, over-the-top flavor (as well as its healing properties) that has earned it the title, queen of spices, there&#x;s no doubt cardamom&#x;also written as cardamon or cardamum&#x;is indeed kitchen royalty. Here&#x;s what makes it so desirable.

Flavor Profile

Cardamom comes in green, black and white&#x;though technically the latter is the product of green cardamom bleached from light exposure&#x;and can be purchased as seeds in pods or ground. Considering the discrepancies in color and texture, there&#x;s a natural flavor spectrum.


The taste commonly associated with cardamom is that of the green seed pods. Green cardamom is herbal with notes of pine, yet something about it whispers sweet. Black cardamom pods, which technically belong to the species Amomum subulatum (as opposed to green cardamom&#x;s Elettaria cardamomum), are larger and dark brown in color. With a smoked mint, almost menthol-like flavor, black cardamom is much more severe in taste than its fragrant green counterpart.


Pre-ground cardamom is handy in the spice cabinet, yet it can diminish in potency quickly, so buying and grinding the pods is the best way to harness the spice&#x;s full flavor. Plus, pods tend to be cheaper than ground cardamom.

What Can I Use It For?

Cardamom&#x;s deeply intense flavor and scent complements both sweet and savory dishes in a variety of cuisines. The seeds alone can be cracked or ground for use in cooking, or the whole pods can be thrown into a dish and removed before serving. However you plan to use cardamom, it&#x;s important to keep in mind that a little truly does go a long way: It will quickly overpower a dish if used too generously.

RELATED   Bake Pistachio-Cardamom Bars That Perfume Your Kitchen »

One of the important spices in traditional Indian cooking, cardamom is found in everything from spice blends for stews to masala chai. Though typically used in Middle Eastern and Asian cooking, cardamom has found a home in many varieties of Scandinavian sweet rolls and breads. It&#x;s also a guaranteed home run for jazzing up typical baked goods, like muffins and bars. Even the most basic pot of rice can become the star of a plate with cracked cardamom pods added to the water before boiling.


Cardamom is also used medicinally to aid digestive complications like bloating and gas. Due to their vaguely menthol-like quality, cardamom pods can be chewed like gum as a breath freshener as well.

Cardamom Substitutes

Like many unique spices, cardamom&#x;s deeply intense flavor is difficult to mimic with other seasoning combinations. Yet if a recipe calls for green cardamom, a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves is the best way to season the dish. Black cardamom is not a substitute for green cardamom, but green cardamom can be used to stand in for black&#x;although the dish will lack the smoky notes for which black cardamom is known.

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Sours: https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/national/cardamom-uses-recipes-substitute-taste

Of cardamom pods picture

Two photos in a collage; one showing close up of cardamom pods growing on the bush and the other showing the folliage of elettaria cardamomum.

Elettaria cardamomum

Spicy, citrusy, minty… it’s difficult to describe the flavor of cardamom, other than to say it’s delicious!

Two photos in a collage; one showing close up of cardamom pods growing on the bush and the other showing the folliage of elettaria cardamomum.

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This tropical perennial herb is treasured for its use in the cuisines of India, the Middle East, and surprisingly, Sweden.

What is Cardamom?

Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of two different species in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae.

The spice is made from the seeds which are found in small, thin pods. The pods have triangular cross section and a paper-like outer covering.

Before we get too far, let’s chat about color. This article focuses on Elettaria cardamomum, commonly called green cardamom.

You may have also heard of black cardamom, which comes from Amomum subulatum or Lanxangia tsaoko (formerly known as Amomum tsao-ko), and white cardamom, which usually refers to a bleached form of the green variety.

Here we’ll concentrate on the green version, which is often included on lists of the most expensive spices because of its labor-intensive commercial harvesting process.

E. cardamomum is a 5- to foot-tall forest-dwelling plant that thrives in partial shade.

As you might have guessed from our earlier allusion to its tropical nature, it can be grown as an outdoor perennial only in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and South Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, this one’s for you!

The clumping plant, with rigid and erect stems featuring leaves that are up to 2 feet long, regrows each year from large underground rhizomes.

Let’s learn more about growing this heady spice!

Cultivation and History

Native to the mountainous forests of southwest India, this spice became a staple ingredient in that country’s cuisine, with its use dating back at least 4, years. Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians were fond of the spice.

Green cardamom plant leaves and vegetation.

During their roamings, Vikings discovered the spice and brought it back to Scandinavia, where it became a popular ingredient in mulled wine, pastries, and bread.

Today, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the biggest importers of the spice. Guatemala is the largest commercial producer, followed by India and Sri Lanka.

The unique taste of cardamom is often described as being very aromatic with resinous fragrance with some mint like flavor.

Over at our sister site, Foodal, you’ll find a detailed guide describing the culinary and medical uses for cardamom. We’ll wait while you go read it…

Propagation

From Seed

Purchase seed specifically designed for planting, as opposed to just cracking open a couple pods from the pantry.

Put the seeds in a glass jar and cover with percent nitric acid solution. Stir for about two minutes, then pour the seeds and acid into a strainer. Rinse the seeds thoroughly.

Place the seeds into a bowl and cover with lukewarm water; allow to sit overnight.

If planting outdoors, plant your seeds ½ to 1 inch apart, about &#; inch deep in a partially shady place. They prefer rich humus soil that’s slightly acidic. Alternatively, you can plant cardamom seeds in a pot, so you can bring the plant indoors to overwinter.

Cover with a mulch of straw or grass. Germination can take anywhere from 20 to 40 days.

Division

You can also divide cardamom rhizomes that are at least one year old with two growing stems to get more plants. Check out our perennial division guide here.

How to Grow

Make sure your plants are always partially shaded – don’t be taking a chainsaw to nearby trees. And most importantly, keep the ground moist. They do not like soil that dries out; water regularly if rain is not plentiful.

A cluster of cardamom plants (Elettaria cardamomum) growing in a garden.

You might also give your plants a misting now and then, since they’re natively accustomed to high humidity.

If you’ve planted cardamom in a container, bring it inside when temps drop below 50°F. Place the pot in a spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of bright but filtered light.

Container-grown E. cardamomum plants can become root bound, which can discourage blooming. If you suspect this is the case, divide your plant.

Close up of Elettaria cardamomum flowers in bloom.

Expect flowers after about three years; the rhizomes may live for years.

From winter to midsummer, feed your plant fish emulsion every couple weeks.

Growing Tips

  • Water, water, water
  • Not too much sun
  • Not too chilly

Purchasing Options

You won’t find a wide variety of cardamom buying choices here in the United States. In fact, your options pretty much boil down to cardamom seeds or a live cardamom plant.

A small cardamom plant in a 3 inch pot.

Potted Cardamom Plant via Burpee

If you’d like to purchase a plant, consider this one from Burpee. You’ll receive a plant that’s 3 to 8 inches tall in a 3-inch deep pot.

Managing Pests and Disease

Insects

You may see thrips on your plants, which you can treat with traps.

You may also see evidence of detrimental nematodes, which manifests in poor growth and damaged-looking plants.

If you suspect nematodes, dig up a plant and see if you can spot fairly severe root damage, which is caused by the tiny pests burrowing in, laying their eggs, and robbing the plant of nutrients.

If you have a nematode infestation, you may have to destroy your plants and treat the soil by solarization or with a chemical nematicide to try to get rid of the pests.

Disease

These plants may be bothered by oomycetes or fungi; prevent spread by keeping the growing area clean and removing dead plant matter. You can also treat these problems with a fungicide.

Harvesting

At the base of the stalks, the plant forms long bracts of flowers that then develop into seed pods. These seed pods may be harvested by hand in the fall, days after flowering.

Green cardamom pods still on the bush.

Harvest timing can be tricky. You want to harvest the pods just before they are fully ripe and begin to split and release their seeds.

If you are unsure, pluck a pod and check the color of the seeds inside. A ripe capsule has black seeds, whereas an immature capsule’s seeds are white. Another indicator is the fact that ripe pods will easily come away without much tugging.

Start harvesting at the base of each stem and move up the stem, leaving for another day any pods that resist.

Preserving

Thoroughly wash the harvested pods, removing stems and extraneous matter.

You’ll want to begin the drying process soon after harvesting to retain flavor. Dry the pods in a dehydrator at a temperature no higher than °F.

Close up of dried, green cardamom seedpods in a wooden bowl.

You can also dry the pods in the sun. If you choose this method, be aware the seed pods may bleach, losing their (commercially) desirable green coloring.

The final product should have no more than 10% moisture content.

Quick Reference Growing Chart

Plant Type: Upright clumping perennial Flower Color: Multi-colored purple, cream, yellow blooms
Native To: India Maintenance: Low
Hardiness (USDA Zone): Soil Type: Rich humus
Season: Summer Soil Drainage: Well drained
Exposure: Part to full sun Soil pH: Slightly acidic,
Spacing: Thin to 48 inches Water: High
Planting Depth: 1/8 inch Family: Zingiberaceae
Height: 5 feet Subfamily: Alpinioideae
Spread: feet Genus: Elettaria
Pests & Diseases: Thrips, root nematodes, oomycetes, fungi Species: E. cardamomum

Recipes and Cooking Ideas

Looking for a sophisticated dessert for a bridal shower? Consider Sweet and Crunchy Cardamom Saffron Cookies.

Top down view of homemade sweet and crunchy cardamom and saffron crackers.

Topped with chopped pistachios and sea salt flakes, they are light, crispy, buttery treats!

Get the recipe on our sister site, Foodal.

For a refreshing drink, consider this Cool and Creamy Indian Lassi.

Cool and creamy Indian lassi on a wooden table.

Made with yogurt, sparkling water, or milk and your choice of mix-ins, this is a flavorful alternative to the usual soda or iced tea.

Find the recipe at Foodal.

This slightly sweet bread will impress friends and family.

Cardamom Cinnamom Loaf on a wooden table.

The elegant form may look daunting, but you’ll actually find it quite easy to make this Twisted Cinnamon and Cardamom Loaf.

The recipe is at Foodal.

A Flavorful Plant

Even if you aren’t a resident of the limited US regions in which cardamom will thrive in the ground, you can still enjoy this bountiful tropical plant with a little extra love and care.

Plant it in a container and bring it in to overwinter. Be sure to give it space, as it can grow to 10 feet tall!

Imagine the joy of harvesting your own delicious spice.

Is this a challenge you’re willing to undertake? Or perhaps you have already, and you have some tips to share in the comments section below? We’d love to hear from you!

If you found this guide valuable, learn how to grow other culinary treats here:

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via SAFLAX and Burpee. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

About Gretchen Heber

A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.

Categories HerbsSours: https://gardenerspath.com/plants/herbs/grow-cardamom/
Cardamom: Benefits and Uses

McCormick Gourmet™ All Natural Whole Cardamom Pods

Allergen Statement

For the most updated allergen and nutritional information, it is important that you read the ingredient statement printed on the packaging at the time of your purchase.

We are aware of allergies and sensitivities. We will always declare the following ingredients on our label in the ingredients statement - they will never be hidden under the notations of "spices" or "natural flavors":

Priority Allergens:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnut (filbert), macadamia nut, walnut)
  • Gluten containing grains - including barley, rye, oats, spelt, triticale, and kamut
  • Milk & Milk Products
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Monosodium Glutamate (or MSG)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Yellow Dye #5 (Tartrazine)
  • Sulfites over 10 ppm

If no ingredient statement appears on the product label, then the products is as it appears in the product name (e.g. black pepper). This labeling policy is compliant with US or Canadian food labeling laws, as appropriate. All our retail Extracts and Food Colors are formulated without gluten.

If any product has a Gluten Free claim, the product and the manufacturing line has been validated Gluten Free.

Our facilities have allergen, sanitation, and hygiene programs in place. Our employees follow good manufacturing practices and are trained in the importance of correct labeling and the necessity of performing thorough equipment clean-up and change over procedures to minimize cross-contact of ingredients.

Again, we encourage you to read the ingredients statement on your package at the time of purchase to ensure accurate, up to date information.

Sours: https://www.mccormick.com/gourmet/spices-and-flavors/spices/cardamom-pods-whole

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