What are Cardamom Pods?

All the reasons you need to start cooking with cardamom pods

what are cardamom pods

There are many ingredients you can use to add a more complex flavour to your dishes. Cardamom is one spice that has an incredibly unique taste.

If you haven’t explored various ingredients too much, you’ll be wondering what are cardamom pods. These seedpods might be small, but they pack a punch in terms of flavour.

If you enjoy Asian cuisine, you’ll want to get your hands on these aromatic spices now. Keep reading below to learn what cardamom pods are and how you can use them in your food.

What are Cardamom Pods?

uses for cardamom

Cardamom is a spice that is very popular in Asian, middle eastern and Arabic cuisines. It is a seedpod from the ginger family, and a single pod can contain many seeds.

These seeds are generally rigid, black and small. The colour and size of the seed pod itself might differ based on the species it’s from.

Varieties of Cardamom Pods

The cardamom pod comes from various species in the ginger family. The pods differ in size, taste and colour.

Green Cardamom – The first type is green cardamom. Many often suggest that green cardamom is the true cardamom, making it the most popular variety.

You can use this ingredient in both savoury and sweet dishes. It has a minty taste and is incredibly aromatic.

Black Cardamom – Black cardamom has bigger pods that are dark brown. It has a much smokier flavour than green cardamom, making it the perfect addition to savoury dishes.

White Cardamom – White cardamom is made by bleaching green cardamom, and it doesn’t have quite an intense flavour as the green or black variety. Apart from white, green and black, there are also ground and whole types.

Ground Cardamom – Ground cardamom or cardamom powder may be easier to use, but it lacks the intensity of flavour. It is due to the essential oils in the seeds drying up after being ground.

When cooking with the whole cardamom, the pod is thrown away after immersing it in the dish for a while. This is because biting down on an entire pod can ruin the experience.

Uses for Cardamom

You can add cardamom to a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. The bittersweet, earthy flavour compliments many cuisines, but it’s used most commonly in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.

If you are new to this spice, you might be wondering how to use cardamom pods.

Green cardamom pods are the main component of chai blend spices, and you can use it in many desserts. You can also add it to curries to give them a complex flavour, or make a cardamom syrup for desserts.

Black cardamom pods have a distinct smokiness, making them ideal for savoury dishes. You can add it to basmati rice, curries, and stews.

So, cardamom pods how to use is very easy and diverse.

cardamom in cooking

How to store Cardamom Pods

When stored properly, cardamom can last you a long time without going bad. You can keep whole pods in an airtight container for years, without them losing any of their taste.

Powdered cardamom is a different story, though. It will start to lose its taste soon, due to the essential oils dissipating.

When storing your cardamom pods or powder, be sure to do so in a dark place away from dampness.

Health benefits of Cardamom

There are immense health benefits of incorporating this tiny but powerful spice in your diet.

Firstly, cardamom has high antioxidant and diuretic properties, making it an essential addition for anyone suffering from high blood pressure. After taking three grams of cardamom each day, participant’s antioxidant levels had increased by 90%.

Cardamom can also lower blood pressure owing to it having a diuretic effect. It can promote urination to help remove excess water in your body.

Cardamom also has certain compounds which can have cancer-fighting capabilities. These compounds can also enhance the ability of our normal cells to fight tumours.

People have also used cardamom for thousands of years to help with digestive problems. When mixed with other medicinal herbs, cardamom can relieve control nausea, indigestion and vomiting.

It can also help provide relief to those suffering from stomach ulcers.

Substitutions for Cardamom

It can be tricky finding an exact substitute for cardamom, given its unique taste. However, in desperate times, you can use a cinnamon and nutmeg blend to get a flavour similar to cardamom.

If you don’t have any nutmeg on hand, you can use ground cloves with the cinnamon as a cardamom pods substitute.

substitutes for cardamom

Is it OK to eat cardamom pods?

It’s perfectly okay to eat cardamom pods. You can chew the seeds, but the pod itself is quite fibrous so it can be hard to chew.

Apart from that, there are no drawbacks of eating cardamom pods, and you can add them to dishes as an infusion.

What are cardamom pods used for?

You can use cardamom pods in a variety of dishes, to infuse deeper flavour. You can use just the seeds, or add the whole pod to infuse deeper flavour.

Their earthy, minty taste can add complexity to many dishes, and you don’t need to add much to get a deep flavour. You can add cardamom seeds to dishes of various cuisines, or even create fusion dishes.

uses for cardamom

Where can I buy cardamom pods?

You can find cardamom seeds at your local grocery store with ease. However, if you’re having trouble finding them, try accessing your local Asian spice store.

Cardamom seeds can be on the pricier side, but you don’t need to use much.

What do cardamom pods taste like?

The first thing you’ll notice about cardamom is its pungent aroma. The smell and taste are reminiscent of menthol.

Furthermore, cardamom seeds have an earthy, minty, bittersweet taste. You’ll find notes of lemon and a slight pepperiness too.

What happens if we eat cardamom daily?

Can you eat cardamom pods every day? Absolutely!

There aren’t any side effects of eating cardamom daily. As discussed earlier, cardamom comes with a host of health benefits.

If you eat small amounts of cardamom daily – whether it’s in your tea or dishes – you can experience those benefits. Cardamom is a spice which can help you feel energized with time.

It can help you relieve various digestive issues and is full of antioxidants too.

cardamom pods

Conclusion

Cardamom is a spice with a flavour profile that is unmatched. Apart from its intense taste, it comes with a host of health benefits.

You can use cardamom in a variety of ways and take your cooking to the next level. If you’re looking to explore different cuisines, using cardamom can be a great place to start.

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Andy Canter

Andy

Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best! 

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