Cardamom info Cooking Tips
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Cardamom info Tips and Information|
Cardamom info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
One of the most popular spices in the world cardamom is called the queen of spices second only to black pepper the king. Known to man since ancient times it is mentioned in Greek literature of the 4th century BC. The Mughal emperors of India carried tiny silver boxes of cardamom pods which were chewed as a mouth freshener a tradition that exists even today amongst the rich and famous of the country. The spicereached Europe through the caravan routes and through the Portuguese French Dutch and British merchants who fought endless battles to gain a monopoly of the lucrative trade.
How it grows
There are many varieties ol cardamom the true one being the green cardamom. Ir~dia Sri Lanka Guatemala end lhailand are the ma jor producers of cardamom. l he fat green pods grown in Kerala south India are considered the best in the world. Cardamoms are the dried fruits of a herbaceous perennial of the ginger family growing up to 5m tall. The fruits are
picked just before they ripen and then dried in drying houses or in the sun
Appearance and taste
Cardamom pods differ according to the variety. They are all oval capsules containing between 10 to 40 hard dark brovn seeds that are sticky and cling together. The best variety is the bright limegreen cardamom smooth unblemished and unopened. White cardamom pods are green cardamom pods bleached with sulphur fumes and brown cardamom pods are bigger and hairy. In fact they look like tiny fibrous coconuts. Cardamom is prized for its seeds while the
skins of the pod are thrown away. Whole cardamom seeds have a sweet flavour and a mild pleasant aroma. As soon as they are crushed they release a strong camphorous fragrance and if chewed the taste is bitter sweet aromatic and lingering. Brown cardamom is rather medicinal in flavour. It is also available as seeds or ground to a powder.
Buying and storing
Buy the whole pods with the freshness sealed in. The seeds are easy to use and the powder needs to be used up so quickly that buying it readymade is a waste of time. Grind the seeds in a mortar or in a small food processor. Buy pods that are plump fresh and evenly coloured. Cardamom stores well if whole a cleandry jar kept in a dark place is all that is needed.
Medicinal and other uses
Cardamom is used to relieve stomach disorders and heartburn. Gargling with cardamom water soothes a sore throat. Cardamom tea is a useful remedy for headache. The spice boiled in milk and sweetened with honey is thought to correct impotency. Cardamom can be seen in sllpan blends a mouth freshener made of spices and betel nuts often chewed after heavy onion and garlic based meals. Many indians serve cardamoms coated with edible silver foil after a heavy meal as a scented digestive. It is also used for pharmaceutical purposes in perfumery and to make liqueurs and bitters.
indian savouries and sweets are both flavoured with cardamom. This fragrant spice is used in rich red curries and milky desserts. In India tea and coffee are sometimes spiked with cardamom. Around the world it is used in spiced cakes and breads. Brown cardamom is used only in savouries especially in rice dishes like biryani. Along with green cardamom it is an essential ingredient in gararn masala.
A very fragrant aromatic sweet spice used in both sweet and savoury dishes. It comes in two forms. The green cardamom has a pale green firm shell encasing small black seeds which can be used whole or crushed. Larger grey brown cardamoms have a coarse shell and more seeds. Cardamom is sold pre ground but quickly loses its flavour grind the pod in preference to powdered cardamom.
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