Crush cardamom seeds properly

cardamom

Spicy, strong taste of liquorice

cardamom

Cardamom is a typical spice in Indian, Asian and Oriental cuisine. Its tangy, sweetish spicy taste is also very popular with us and should not be missing at Christmas time. Whether it's gingerbread, stollen, mulled wine or other pastries - cardamom gives you the typical aroma. It is also part of important spice mixtures such as curry or ras el Hanout.

It is best to buy cardamom whole as capsules. This is the longest way to keep the quickly volatile aroma. Inside the capsules are up to 20 small sticky seeds that are the actual spice. Since cardamom is very popular and harvested by hand, it is one of the most expensive spices on the spice shelf alongside vanilla and saffron. When it comes to quality, the bigger the capsules, the more expensive cardamom is.

A distinction is made between green (dried) and the rarer black cardamom, which is roasted to give it a completely different smoky aroma. It is grown in India and Guatemala, Ceylon, Sri Lanka and Tanzania are other important suppliers. There is also white cardamom, but it is only bleached green cardamom.

Cardamom is said to be stimulating for health, similar to coffee. It also has a positive effect on the stomach and heart.

button

Green cardamom tastes spicy, sweet and hot, with a combination of a fruity floral note, paired with a freshness that is a little reminiscent of camphor, menthol or eucalyptus. Since this aroma evaporates quickly, cardamom should only be used freshly ground directly from the capsule. The capsule itself is only a natural flavor protection and is usually not used for seasoning. Therefore, only open the capsules shortly before processing in order to obtain the full aroma.

The rarer black cardamom, on the other hand, has a smoky, tart, earthy aroma, which is created by smoking the capsules. The taste is not comparable to that of green cardamom. Therefore it cannot simply be replaced by a green one.

Tip:

To give the cardamom a more intense flavor, the Indians roast it in a pan without fat before processing. Find out how to roast spices yourself.

Recognize quality

With ground cardamom you can tell the quality by the color. If the powder is made purely from the seeds, it is light in color. If the capsules were also ground, the powder is darker.

use

Cardamom is particularly important in Asian and Oriental cuisine. You can either use cardamom whole with the closed fruit capsule, the whole seeds, or the ground seeds. Closed fruit capsules are often simply cooked whole in Indian dishes. If you only want a light cardamom aroma, we also recommend that you only cook the capsule as a whole in order to slowly get used to the aroma.

To grind the seeds, first crack them and free the sticky oily seeds. Then crush them in a mortar. Alternatively, you can mash or grind these with a wide knife.

Since cardamom has a very spicy aroma, you should season it carefully at first. It goes well with sweet and sour or salty dishes. In Germany it is a popular spice during the Christmas season.

dishes

  • Bread, rolls or cake batter
  • Christmas biscuits and baked goods such as gingerbread, Spekulatius, Stollen, Christmas stollen, pepper nuts, Christmas trees, gingerbread, mulled wine, ginger bread
  • Curries
  • Spicy chutneys
  • sweet and sour pickled vegetables, roasted or grilled vegetables
  • couscous
  • Tabouleh
  • Soups
  • sweet marinades and sauces
  • Oriental rice dishes
  • Marzipan, confectionery, pudding, pudding sauces
  • Exotic lamb and mutton dishes, braised, roasted veal and pork, duck, grill skewers, veal breast, offal, steaks, goulash, roast pork, roast beef, minced meat, roast ribs
  • Fish, carp, sole, halibut, tench, goldfish
  • Crustaceans such as lobsters, lobsters, crabs
  • salad
  • Sausages, pies
  • Desserts such as crème brûlée, panna cotta, rice pudding, chocolate strawberries, poached figs
  • Fruit salad and other fruit dishes
  • compote
  • Ice cream
  • baked apple
  • Danish pastries
  • Mulled wine, punch, punch, liqueurs
  • Spiced tea, cinnamon blossom tea, mint tea, chai masala
  • Arabic coffee

Spice mixes

Cardamom is also an important part of spice blends. Above all, an important component of curry. It is also used in spice blends such as the spicy Ethiopian Berbere, the North Indian Garam Masala (originally with black cardamom), the Moroccan Ras-el-Hanout and the Arab Baharat. Cardamom is also often used in sausage seasoning mixes.

Difference between green and black cardamom

Green cardamom is mainly available in stores. In India, however, black cardamom is also known, but its taste cannot be compared with the green and cannot be used as a substitute for it. Black cardamom is much rarer and often difficult to buy from us.

Green cardamomBlack cardamom
Growing areaCeylon, Sri Lanka, (South) India, Guatemala and TanzaniaHimalayas
ManufacturingDried capsulesSmoked capsules
buttonSweetly sharp aroma with a hint of eucalyptusSmoky tart earthy with a note of campers
useSweets, Christmas cookies, gingerbread, cookies, desserts, ice cream, liqueurs, tea, coffee, ...hearty dishes, roast lamb, meat dishes, hearty dishes, roast lamb, masalas, tandoori chicken
OccurrenceoftenRare

In India there is also white cardamom, but it is no different than green cardamom bleached with sulfur dioxide.

Spice mill

You can also use cardamom in a spice mill to grind it if necessary. To do this, simply press the capsules lightly and then put them in the spice grinder.

combination

Cardamom is a spice that goes well with other spices. It goes very well with anise, coriander, cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, caraway, fennel, star anise, citrus peel, marjoram, mint and vanilla.

replacement

If you don't have any cardamom in the house, you can easily replace it with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, aniseed powder, allspice or ginger. Find recipes for replacing cardamom here.

storage

Cardamom is not only one of the most expensive spices in the world, but also a very delicate one that quickly loses its aroma and taste when it comes into contact with light or air. This is also the reason why you mainly buy cardamom pods and only crack them shortly before you use them. In this way, the aromas of the seeds inside the capsules are protected longer. Like all other spices, you should store cardamom in a cool, dark and airtight jar, aroma box or spice jar. This way it can be kept for up to a year.

to buy

Cardamom can be bought as green cardamom, cardamom pods, ground powder or black cardamom pods. Note that black cardamom is a different spice. Not only can you buy cardamom online or in the supermarket, pharmacies also sell the spice. Ground cardamom is convenient to use, but not as intense as the cardamom pods. When it comes to capsules, the bigger the capsules, the higher the quality.

plans

Cardamom is a bushy herbaceous plant that can grow up to 1 meter tall. It has long, lance-shaped green leaves and is related to ginger. At the foot of the plant, it forms side shoots that climb flat over the ground, on which flowers form, from which the seed pods, the so-called cardamom pods, form. In a capsule there are approx. 20 2-4 millimeters large, sticky seeds from which the actual spice cardamom is extracted. The stickier the seeds, the fresher their condition and the more aromatic their taste.

health

Cardamom is not only a spice, but also a traditional medicinal plant. It has a beneficial effect on a stressed stomach, promotes digestion, relieves flatulence, stimulates the appetite and relieves cold symptoms. It is also said to have an aphrodisiac effect. The Romans already valued the digestive effect of the spice and used it to cure themselves after eating and gluttony.

Tip:

Chewing the seeds helps against bad breath, garlic odor or alcohol.

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