Know Your Ingredients - CARDAMOM
Hey guys, Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day celebrating the special dad in your lives.
Today we are going to talk about an exotic spice - Cardamom. Cardamom is a spice that is native to India and is called the 'Queen of Indian Spices' for it's ability to add a wonderful essence to any dish. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world, second to saffron that has been used extensively in Indian, Middle Eastern and Scandinavian cuisines for centuries.
There are 3 varieties of cardamom that are available - green cardamom, black cardamom and Madagascar cardamom. Green cardamom is has tiny black seeds inside the green pod which can be crushed and powdered. It has a sweet and strong flavor while Black Cardamom has a thick pod and bigger seeds and has a smoky flavor. The black pod is usually discarded after use.
Just like other spices, Cardamom has a lot of health benefits. Some of the health benefits include:
AIDS DIGESTION: Eases symptoms of indigestion, reduces acidity and may help relieve nausea. You can make a cup of cardamom tea and sip it throughout the day to help your stomach calm down. Recipe for Cardamom tea below.
AIDS DETOXIFICATION: Cardamom has diuretic properties which means it helps eliminate toxins in the body by cleaning out your urinary tract, bladder and kidneys aiding detoxification.
HELPS FIGHT SORE THROAT, COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS: The anti-bacterial properties of Cardamom may help reduce symptoms of Sore Throat.
MAY HELP WITH SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION: Cardamom tea has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat symptoms of depression.
CULINARY USES OF CARDAMOM
Cardamom can be crushed and added to curries, soups and stews for added flavor
Green cardamom can be added to both desserts and savory dishes like kheer, pancake batter, smoothies, pies and pudding like this Coconut Mango Chia Pudding.
Both green and black cardamom can be added to rice dishes like pulao and biryanis
Powdered Cardamom can be used in lemonades for a different flavor.
Green Cardamom is a key ingredient in Masala chai.
Recipe for Cardamom tea: Boil 2 pods of crushed cardamom, 1 tsp of fennel seeds, 1/4" piece of fresh ginger in 3 cups of water. Turn off heat and allow it to sit for few minutes. Strain and sip throughout the day.