Cardamom pods may be green, brown-black, or off-white. Each pod contains brown-black seeds with a characteristic and rich spicy scent. You may find whole pods, seeds, and ground cardamom. Ground spice is the most easily findable but honestly, it’s the least interesting. It’s way better for you to buy whole cardamom pods as the scent keeps way longer and you can do whatever you want with this ingredient.
Cardamom is a staple spice in Middle East and India. Cooks use this key ingredient in many spice mixtures. The famous Gajar Halva — an indian carrot pudding — relies on green cardamom pods to flavor this lovely dessert. The pistacchio and cardamom ice cream, called Kulfi, is well known on the menu of Indian restaurant. Cardamom is also used in some pastries, especially in Scandinavia. Sometimes pods are cooked whole, especially in braised dishes, where they soften a bit. you can also gently crush the pods with the flat side of a knife, remove the seeds, and grind or crush them.
Black cardamom pods are bigger and seeds have a stronger and woody flavor. They suit well with meats and stews. Drop one or two crushed seed in your next pork stew and tell me the news!
Cardamom is also often used to flavor coffee in middle-east. You should definitely try this: add one cardamom pod into your coffee cup to spice it up a bit, it delicious!
Headline picture by LA.Catholique