You might have a lot of questions about cardamom. If you’re not very familiar with this spice, your biggest question will be, “what does cardamom taste like?” You might be guessing it has a pleasant taste since it’s one of the most commonly used spices throughout the globe. We did the research for you and here’s what we learned about the flavor and texture of cardamom that you should know, too:
Cardamom or elaichi is a spice obtained from the pods of true cardamom plant, which grows abundantly in tropical and subtropical Asian countries. Dubbed as the “queen of all spices,” it is known for its many uses. Aside from being an ingredient to many dishes, it is also a medicinal plant.
There are two types of cardamom: green and black. What does black cardamom taste like? How does it differ from the green variety, besides the fact that it’s twice larger than the latter?
The flavor of cardamom is nothing like others. In terms of flavor and texture, there’s no spice as complex as the taste of cardamom. The dominant flavors are spicy and herbal, but it also has a mint-like and citrusy note in it.
The strong aroma of cardamom is one reason why it’s a staple in many Asian countries. It can make dishes smell more inviting. The fragrant of cardamom pods are wood-like and nutty. Its aroma becomes stronger when you make oil out of it. The mint scent is more highlighted that you’ll smell a eucalyptus scent.
What does black cardamom taste like? It has a smoky flavor and it can be slightly pungent. Because of its rich flavor, it’s recommended to only use it sparingly. However, black cardamom is not as versatile as the green ones. With black ones, it’s recommended to discard the pods while with green cardamoms, it’s fine to use both pods and seeds.
This spice comes with many health benefits. For every teaspoon of cardamom powder, you will get around 65 mg of potassium, 22 mg calcium, 13 mg magnesium, and 10 mg phosphorous. You will get all of these minerals, for only 18 calories and less than a gram of fat. You can also add cardamom to your meal or drink to add to your dietary fiber intake.
Some of the cardamom benefits are helping you lose weight naturally, detoxifying the body, relieving joint pains, improving the circulation of the blood, preventing risks of insomnia, and easing dental problems. By taking cardamom, you can have better energy levels because your metabolism will also increase.
One of its lesser-known benefits is that it can help eliminate bad breath. People with gum disease may chew the pod or the seeds after a meal. Cardamom oil contains cineole, an antiseptic known to kill bacteria. It works as a natural remedy to halitosis because it’s often caused by the buildup of bacteria.
As a medicinal plant, cardamom is sometimes used to fight off the flu. The best way to take cardamom for flu is to drink it as tea. It might taste bitter but you can add some honey and cinnamon stick to make it sweet. Some people who are trying to lose weight drink cardamom water. It’s as simple as infusing cardamom to your drinking water. There are people who see the effects in just a matter of days.
Using cardamom is not limited to savory dishes. You can also use cardamom pods for making sweet treats, like rice pudding, cookies, panna cotta, cake, and cinnamon rolls. Some desserts use white cardamoms. Despite their distinct color, the white ones you will see are just green ones that have been bleached to make them more suitable to some desserts like pudding and cakes.
The most common dessert where you can use cardamom is pudding. There are different types of pudding, from lemon greek to chocolate and mango. You can incorporate cardamom in any pudding recipe by crushing the pods before heating them with milk.
Cardamom coffee is conventional in the Middle East, where it’s served in many restaurants and coffee shops. They are popular in Israel and Turkey, where they are served with a slice of bread. This coffee also goes well with sweet treats or desserts. They are used as a neutralizer to caffeine. By adding some cardamom pods to your usual Arabica coffee, you’re giving it a healthier twist and you’re spicing it up.
To make your cardamom coffee, boil your coffee beans and cardamom seeds in your coffee maker or French press. If you use pods, all you will need is the seed. You can grind it a bit to get more of the flavor from your cardamom pods. For a cup, it’s best to use up to four pods of cardamom to achieve a perfect balance of spice.
Cardamom has a unique flavor profile that makes it deserving to be called the “queen of all spices.” It has a trace of nut, mint, wood, and herbs in it. This versatile spice can be used for food and drink and can be availed in most groceries and online stores.
It can be a little expensive, but a small amount can go a long way since you only need to use a small amount in most dishes. More is not necessarily better when using spices. For teas and coffees, you may add a dash to give it some spice.
You can purchase them in pods or in powder form. Pods are ideal for making curries and stews. They are also fine to use if you’re making rice pudding and pickles. They are hard to find in groceries so you might want to check online stores for cardamom pods. Just a tip, simply purchase cardamom pods because you can grind them to make your instant cardamom powder.
Check my other post on how to spice up a scrambled egg and a chicken noodle soup.