Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cardamom

Cardamom

Image

Cardamom is a Middle Eastern spice that is originally native to India.  It is related to ginger and is considered the “queen of spices”.   It is commonly used in such dishes such as west Indian curry, garam masala,  kulfie, German pferrernuse cookies, Russian liquors, Swedish meatballs, and gingerbread.  Cardamom has a warm, floral flavor.  Each type varies just slightly.

Cardamom come in three varieties; white, green and black.  The seeds grow with a pod or shell.  The outer shell has little flavor, where as the seed is intensely flavorful.  Black cardamom is a staple in African cooking, and has a unique smoky flavor.  Green cardamom is light pistachio and is the size of a cranberry.  There are approximately 20 seeds in a pod.  It takes roughly 3,000 seeds to make one pound of cardamom.

In the Mid East, the seeds are mixed with green coffee beans before brewing.  In Northern Europe, the white seeds are used in baked goods, such as Christmas Stollen.  The Green seeds are preferred in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.  Indians and Arabs use the seeds to freshen their breath after spicy meals.  It is also used as a medicine, an aphrodisiac and a perfume.The Holy Hindu scriptures note the fact that warm spices increase the production of bodily heat.

Cardamom is 3rd expensive spice in the world behind saffron and vanilla.  Cardamom will stay fresh indefinitely if kept in an airtight container.  Cardamom is grown in Asia, South America, and the Pacific Islands.

Image           SPICE, CARDAMOM, BLACK

Green Cardamom Pods, seeds, and ground seeds   Black Cardamom Pods

Cardamom’s Flavors

chicken
coffee
curries
duck
lentils
meat
oranges
peas
rice
squash
soups
turnips

Chef Denlinger’s Chai Tea

1.       Combine:

  • 1 tbsp. anise seeds (or fennel seeds)
  • 9 green cardamom pods
  • ¼ tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 oz. of sliced ginger root
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper corns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cups water

2.       Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat, and let step for 10 minutes.
3.       Add to the pot:

  • 4 tbsp. loose black tea.  (Darjeeling)

4.       Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
5.       Strain through a coffee filter.
6.       Add:

  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Yields 6-7 cups

Originally Published 9-5-13
© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.
Please contact me if you wish to receive “Food For Thought” in your mailbox.

Advertisements