USES OF CARDAMOM
 
 
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Cardamom

All the different cardamom species and varieties are used mainly as cooking spices and as medicines. In general,

  • Elettaria subulatum (the usual type of cardamom) is used as a spice, a masticatory, and in medicine; it is also sometimes smoked; it is used as a food plant by the larva of the moth Endoclita hosei.
  • Amomum is used as an ingredient in traditional systems of medicine in China, India, Korea, and Vietnam.
  • Can be used as a traditional flavouring to Turkish coffee.
Uses in cuisines around the world
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is often used in baking in Scandinavia. One of the most expensive spices by weight, little is needed to impart the flavour. Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour. However, high-quality ground cardamom is often more readily (and cheaply) available, and is an acceptable substitute. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1½ teaspoons of ground cardamom.
 
In traditional medicine

In India, green cardamom (A. subulatum) is broadly used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It is also reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venom.

Species in the genus Amomum are also used in traditiona indian medicinel . Among other species, varieties and cultivars, Amomum villosum is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach-aches, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems. "Tsaoko" cardamom is cultivated in Yunnan, China, both for medicinal purposes and as a spice.

 
Culinary Uses

The pods can be used whole or split when cooked in Indian substantial meals — such as pulses. Otherwise, the seeds can be bruised and fried before adding main ingredients to the pan, or pounded with other spices as required. Keep the pods whole until use. The pod itself is neutral in flavour and not generally used, imparting an unpleasant bitter flavour when left in dishes.
Cardamom is used mainly in the Near and Far East. Its commonest Western manifestation is in Dutch ‘windmill’ biscuits and Scandinavian-style cakes and pastries, and in akvavit. It features in curries, is essential in pilaus (rice dishes) and gives character to pulse dishes. Cardamom is often included in Indian sweet dishes and drinks. At least partially because of its high price, it is seen as a ‘festive’ spice. Other uses are; in pickles, especially pickled herring; in punches and mulled wines; occasionally with meat, poultry and shellfish. It flavours custards, and some Russian liqueurs. Cardamom is also chewed habitually (like nuts) where freely available, as in the East Indies, and in the Indian masticory, betel pan. It is a flavouring for Arab and Turkish coffee which is served with an elaborate ritual.

 
 
 


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