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The seeds from cardamom pods are prized for their flavor.
Cardamom is a spice derived from the seedpods of a bush native to tropical Asian regions. It is a member of the ginger family and bears a faint lemon taste with eucalyptus overtones. While saffron remains the most expensive spice, cardamom is second (with vanilla being the third).
Favored in many Middle Eastern and Indian recipes and an essential part of curries and pilaus, cardamom is included in dishes ranging from savory to sweet. In
The finest species are of the Elettaria cardamomum genus and are produced in
Generally, whole pods are of Indian origin while loose seeds (called “decorticated” cardamom) or ground spice is from
Less expensive products are generally inferior in flavor.
The oil of cardamom seeds is known to inhibit bacterial growth. Small quantities are included in some foods as a preservative.
Pods (about the size of blueberries), which protect the seeds, are best. They should be green or black (larger pods), but some vendors bleach the husk, which causes a flavor reduction.
Seeds are also sold loose or in ground form. These will not retain flavor and should be used quickly.
Store pods in an airtight container for about two months. Discard individual pods that show signs of mold.
• The pod can be lightly crushed and cooked with seeds inside. Discard the hull before serving.
• The seeds from five pods, when ground, will produce about one-quarter teaspoon.
• When using in coffee, add a small amount to the basket before brewing.
• Add unroasted split or whole seeds to lentils.
• Combine seeds can with other whole spices and roast before adding to a dish.
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