Warm, subtly spicy, exotically fragrant with a flavor that transforms both sweet and also savory recipes right into heavenly dishes. No wonder “cardamom” way “grains of Paradise.”

A member that the ginger family, Elettaria cardamomum is available in numerous forms. The quirky looking, seed-containing capsules are sold as papery thin eco-friendly pods, and also the hard, dark brown particle is sold without the pod in whole or ground form. (“Decorticated” simply refers to the seed without the pod.)

Cardamom’s no newcomer. Ancient Greeks and also Romans offered it in foods, medicines, and perfumes. The Vikings included it come festival cakes, and also Europeans (who tucked the in pomanders) treasured it for its aphrodisiac powers. Today, cardamon can be found in curries and coffees, fruit dishes (like baked apples and fruit salad), coffee cakes, honey, mulled wines, grape jelly, pickling spices (especially pickled herring) and also sausage seasonings. If some describe cardamom as an intense flavor, as soon as used closely it’s actually fairly subtle and also enticing.

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Cooking with Cardamom

Cardamom Tapioca

Cardamom and almond extract provide tapioca pudding a slight twist, yet this is still comfort food in ~ its best.


• 1 cup tapioca, medium pearl, wet in water for 2 hours and drained

• 4 cup milk

• 3/4 cup honey

• 1/8 teaspoon salt

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 tespoon almond extract

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom


1. Integrate tapioca pearls, milk, honey, and salt in a saucepan and cook over tool heat, stirring constantly till the pearls become clear, around 10 come 15 minutes. (Don’t overcook or the pudding will become gummy.)

2. Remove pan from heat. When stirring, add around a cup of the warm pudding to the beaten eggs in a little bowl. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, stirring till well mixed.

3. Add the almond extract and also cardamom. Row well. Permit cool, climate spoon right into serving cups. Refrigerate until ready to offer (consistency thickens even further if left overnight in the refrigerator).

Makes 8 servings.


Cardamom Cashew Rice

Subtly flavored however interesting, this dish makes a flexible side in ~ just about any meal. You deserve to substitute ground cardamom (try about 1/4 teaspoon) because that the seeds, if you prefer.


• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

• 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds

• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice

• 1/4 cup roasted cashews


1. In a large, hefty saucepan, warm oil and sauté onions till golden. Include the floor spices heat oil in a skillet. Include sesame seeds and also cardamom seeds and also cook over tool heat, stirring, around 3 minutes.

2. Add onion and also garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and also lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

3. Include the brown rice and cook till warmed throughout. Sprinkle v cashews and serve.

Makes 2 servings.


Ask the Experts

I desire to grind my very own cardamom seed. How countless pods must I buy?For the freshest flavor, grinding your very own cardamom seeds is a great idea. As a rough guideline, there are around a dozen seed per pod, and 10 pods will certainly produce about 11/2 teaspoons of soil cardamom.

Which country dishes usage cardamom?Indian cooks usage cardamom in meats, vegetables dishes and also desserts. It’s critical ingredient in authentic eastern Indian curry and Indian garam masala and also pilaus (rice dishes). Whole pods are likewise chewed ~ spicy meals to clean the breath. In Scandinavia, where cardamom is much more popular than cinnamon, you’ll find it in spice cakes, sweet pastries, breads, cookies (Dutch windmill cookies), and ground meat (Swedish meatballs). Spanish, Mexican and also German cooks additionally enjoy cardamom. (German Pfeffernusse cookies count on it.) In south Asia, cardamom is used in a spiced tea dubbed Masala chai, and also in the Middle eastern cooks make use of the heat sweetness the cardamom in coffee.

What space “extra fancy” cardamom pods?These are the cream that the crop when it comes to cardamom. “Extra fancy” is the exact same as a “G#1” grading, with “G” signifying that the pods room green and also the number 1 meaning that the the biggest of the pods, which space rated follow to dimension from 1 come 3. (A “P” designation means that the pods space pale. And also “MG” means that yes sir a mixture that pale and also green of miscellaneous sizes, as well as split pods.)


Cooking concepts with Cardamom

Use in location of (or alongside) other heat spices, choose cinnamon and nutmeg.Add to pancake, waffle, and also French toast batter.Add seeds (before brewing) to coffee or tea.Add to any pastry, cookie, cake or scone recipe.Use to flavor to apologize pie or any kind of fruit desserts.Stir right into softened cream cheese because that a fruit dip.Add to stir-fry spices.Add to vegetable, bean, meat, or poultry casseroles.Add, in addition to salt and also pepper to taste, to side- dish vegetables.Include in water as soon as making rice or other grains.Add to rapid bread recipes (like banana or zucchini bread).Stir right into puddings or custards if cooking.Include in her granola recipe; include before baking.Add to baked beans or chili.Stir into stews (a Moroccan tagine, for example)Include in homemade curries.Add come tomato sauce for pasta dishes.Add come homemade ice cream recipes.Stir into cooked oatmeal, along with dried fruit and nuts.


Tips for food preparation with Cardamom

To use cardamom pods, location in a mortar and lightly pound with a pestle. The pods will certainly open and also the seeds will fall out. Usage the pestle to grind the seeds, if desired.Some cooks favor to lightly toast the pods in a dried pan prior to removing the seeds for grinding.To retain maximum flavor and aroma, keep your cardamom in airtight container far from light, heat, and also moisture.


Cardamom Sourcing: note from the Field

In addition to fair wages and also legal services, the co-op provides cost-free traveling health and also dental clinics because that the workers and also their families, even in the far regions. The co-op likewise offers scholarships, help with forest utilization and also reforestation projects, and loans because that expansion and production. And it trains growers in sustainable farming and essential certification.

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By working straight with the cooperative rather 보다 going with middlemen, Frontier is able come ensure that the farmers get the best prices for one of their most necessary cash crops. We additionally support the participating with sector information and technical assistance.