Cardamom is next to saffron and vanilla one of the most expensive spices in the world. Cardamom belongs to the ginger family and is very popular in Asian cuisine. In Asia it is used for seasoning hot foods - such as Indian curry - but also for coffee and tea. In Germany, however, cardamom is mainly used during Christmas to refine gingerbread, spiced biscuits or mulled wine.
The spice cardamom
Cardamom distinguishes between green and black cardamom. Both types are used as a spice, but for different foods.
The cardamom spice is obtained from the seeds of the plant, but partly also the dried fruits are used. The seeds contain essential oils that give the spice its typical aroma. However, cardamom is often not used as a pure spice, but is used in spice mixtures.
Green and black cardamom
Green cardamom has a sweet and spicy taste. Since its flavor vanishes easily, instead of ground cardamom powder, one should buy better cardamom capsules that can be used if needed. To do this, open the capsule and then grind the seeds. If the cardamom is fresh, the seeds have a strong green color, while the dried seeds are oily-black. Green cardamom is used for Indian Masalas, Chai tea, Arabic coffee, but also sweet pastries.
Unlike green cardamom, black cardamom has a rather tart taste. That is why it is rarely used for the preparation of desserts. Instead, the spice is used primarily to refine hearty meat dishes.
Effect of cardamom
The seeds of cardamom contain essential oils that can have a positive impact on our health. Cardamom is mainly said to have a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal area. So cardamom should be digestive and help with flatulence.
He should also have an anticonvulsant effect and have a soothing effect on the stomach in case of stomach ache. In case of stomach problems, a cardamom tea is especially recommended. To do this, lightly crush the cardamom capsules, pour boiling water over them and then infuse for at least five minutes. Depending on your preference, the tea can also be refined with other herbs, such as peppermint.
In addition, cardamom is supposed to be able to remedy the halitosis: by chewing the seeds to improve the breath - which is why in some countries even after the consumption of alcohol or the consumption of garlic on cardamom seeds is used.
In Arabia, cardamom is also credited with mood-enhancing and aphrodisiac properties.
5 facts about cardamom - © istockphoto, sam
Dose and apply cardamom
As a spice, cardamom is mainly used in Arabic and Asian cuisine. Black cardamom is used primarily to refine meat, rice and vegetable dishes. Those who cook with cardamom should note that the spice will best develop its flavor when heated. Therefore, the cardamom spice should be added as early as possible to the dish during cooking.
Although green cardamom is also used to season hot dishes such as masalas, oriental tea such as chai tea or Arabic coffee is often refined with a little cardamom. By adding the cardamom drinks should be better digestible.
In Europe, green cardamom is used especially at Christmas time. So it is used in baking gingerbread or speculaas, but also in the production of mulled wine.
Mulled wine recipe with cardamom
To prepare a mulled wine with cardamom you need the following ingredients:
- 1 liter of water
- ¼ liter of brandy
- 1 liter of red wine
- 2 tablespoons angostura
- 1 teaspoon of cardamom
- 2 bars of cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 1 piece of orange
Put all ingredients except the orange in a pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Then add the orange and let it simmer briefly. Serve hot afterwards. For a non-alcoholic mulled wine boil half a liter of fruit tea and then add a small glass of orange juice and the various spices and heat again. Sweet with honey or candy.