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Known as the queen of Indian spices, this aromatic citrusy green cardamom pods bring a magical essence to any dish. Learn how to use it to immediately transform your dish.
Green Cardamom Pods – The Pearl of Spices
Green cardamom is perhaps one of my most favourite spices especially if I am looking to lift flavours instantaneously.
It is one of the most expensive spices in the world, next to saffron, so you know you are dealing with something amazing here.
Surprisingly is it a common spice, used extensively in the Indian, Middle Eastern and Scandinavian countries.
The initial production of green cardamom pods was in Southern India, however, is now popularly grown in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Guatemala to name a few countries.
Each green cardamom pod contains a row of small black seeds that can be removed and ground to powder.
There are three different kinds of green cardamoms : Green Cardamom. Black Cardamom and Madagascar Cardamom.
Lets look at how you can use these little flavour bombs to enhance your dishes.
What Is Green Cardamom Called in Other Languages
English – Green Cardamom pods
German – Kardamom
How Does Green Cardamom Taste
Green cardamom is an aromatic spice and does more than just flavouring.
Depending on the type of cardamom you use, it has a semi-mild to strong flavour which becomes pronounced if used in larger quantity.
You can smell and taste the spice when added to a dish. It has a very fresh citrusy undertone with hints of eucalyptus.
It has a strong, unique spicy-sweet taste which instantly lifts the flavour of the dishes it is used in.
How to Use Green Cardamon Pods for Cooking
Green Cardamoms can be used either whole or powdered.
You can buy green cardamom powder which has a very strong aroma.
A small pinch or two of green cardamom powder goes a long way.
If you have cardamom pods you can split open the pods and grind them to powder in a mortar and pestle while discarding the green outer cover.
The neutral flavoured green papery cover grinds well too, so I do not bother discarding it but use the whole pod and grind it into powder.
The other option is to use it whole with the seeds intact or only the cardamom seeds.
It adds to the aroma of the dish.
Whole cardamom pods are added right at the beginning of cooking while the powdered version can be used during or at the end of cooking.
You can easily remove the pods before serving.
If you are looking to instantly spruce your plain boiled rice then add a pod or two of green cardamom along with some of these other spices.
You will thank me for the tip. 🙂
Use green cardamom for making curries, rice dishes, broths, stews, even in drinks and desserts.
Difference Between Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom
Another cardamom that is extensively in Indian cuisine is Black cardamom pods.
Although they are called cardamom, green and black cardamom are completely different to look, in taste and in some way cooking use too.
You can read all about the difference between green cardamom and black cardamom here.
Benefits of Green Cardamom
Like most spices adding these small cardamom pods does not alone add flavour but has other health benefits too.
I have highlighted the top benefits of using Green Cardamom to everyday cooking, but there are many more advantages.
Aids digestion and counteract flatulence
Cardamom is good for curing stomach problems like indigestion, gas and constipation. The strong aroma enables the secretion of enzymes effective for digestion especially if consumed after heavy meals.
Prevents bad breath
Munching on cardamom helps fights bacteria that cause bad breath. The strong floral sweet aroma of green cardamon is a natural breath freshener.
Green cardamom has diuretic properties. It helps clean out the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, removing waste, salt, excess water and toxins from the body.
Assists in Weight Loss
Green cardamom is a fibrous spice. It helps boosts energy metabolism and burn more body fat efficiently.
Where and How to Buy Best Green Cardamom
Since it is a common and a popular spice, you can buy green cardamon from any supermarket.
I would recommend buying the spice whole and use a mortar and pestle to ground it into powder when needed.
But of course there is no harm in buying green cardamom powder.
Look for small and bright green cardamoms. They have a fresh and stronger flavour compared to the pale once.
Since it is an aromatic spice it needs to be well stored in an airtight container away from light and heat.
If stored correctly green cardamoms will retain its properties for almost a year.
Best Food and Spice matching
Cardamom is a sweet spice which means that it combines well with almost any spice.
Best food pairing: Rice, legumes, lentils, all vegetables, red meat, chicken, marinades, soups, stews and curries
Best spice pairing: Cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, black cardamom
What is the Best Green Cardamom Substitute
Being an aromatic spice, it can be substituted with other aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cloves, or even kafir lime leaves.