Cardamom Article -
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Cardamom is the dried, unripened fruit of the perennial Elettaria cardamomum. Enclosed in the fruit pods are tiny brown aromatic seeds which are slightly pungent to taste. Cardamom pods are generally green but are also available in bleached white pod form. It is available both in the whole pod and as decorticated seeds with the outer hull removed.


Cardamom is used in Danish pastries, in Saudi Arabian, North African, Asian and Indian cooking and in spice blends such as garam masala, curry powder and berbere.


Whole cardamom pods come from India, while the decorticated seeds are imported from Guatemala. Two varieties are indigenous to India but are also cultivated in Guatemala and Sri Lanka. Indian cardamom is considered to be of premium quality. The Malabar type, rounded in shape, has a pleasantly mellow flavor generally regarded as superior. The Mysore type, ribbed and three-cornered, has a slightly harsher flavor but retains its green color longer.


Throughout the Arab world, cardamom is one of the most popular spices, with cardamom coffee being a symbol of hospitality and prestige. The spice is also very popular in Scandinavian countries, where it is used more extensively than cinnamon.

Flavor Trends

Cardamom is being used in a variety of unexpected ways, making it the flavor of the moment. In many recipes, cardamom plays a supporting role: people may not be able to pinpoint its flavor, but would certainly notice if it were absent. Cardamom is floral and perfume-like, with grapefruit notes. It is important to Middle Eastern, North African, Latin American and Indian cuisines and is also a key ingredient in curries. Chefs at fine restaurants are featuring the spice in savory dishes and Americans, who once thought of cardamom solely as a holiday baking ingredient, are taking notice. Consumption of cardamom has increased an incredible 657 percent over the past two decades.

What The Experts Say

"For a delicious dry rub for lamb, I combine cardamom with coriander and fennel," says Chef Cat Cora, host of Food Network's Kitchen Accomplished.

Perfect Flavor Partners Include:

allspice, black and red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, ginger, paprika, saffron, and turmeric

cardamom pods, seeds, plant


    Bold green pods, hard brownish-black seeds

    Flavor & Aroma

    Aromatic and sweet

    Sensory Profile

    Cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger.

    peppercorns, coarse ground
      Jan. 4, 2010 2:43 pm
      Does anyone have a Northern Indian recipe for a bar cookie with cardamom? I had these from a bakery near Columbus, OH and they were fantastic.
      Mar. 2, 2010 10:13 am
      Jan. 13, 2011 8:54 am
      I love to add ground cardamom in the rice while it is cooking. It perfumes the dish and is so aromatic. Has anyone tried grinding it up with coffee beans for morning coffee?
      Feb. 9, 2011 5:42 pm
      Egyptian coffee has cardamom boiled in it, maybe whole pods?
      more eggplant please! 
      Mar. 11, 2011 10:16 pm
      Good in tomato stews too.
      May 19, 2011 7:48 pm
      Is there a substitute spice for cardamom? I ask this because of the price.
      Dec. 17, 2011 7:46 pm
      I like to add a pod to my single pot of black tea just after I pour the boiling water over it, and let it steep with the tea. The aroma is out of this world, while the taste is warm and rich, simply pleasing to the senses!
      Apr. 21, 2012 4:32 pm
      recently bought a chocolate bar 100g with cardamom flavour which, for my taste,was rather mild but delicious! am living in scandinavia so the food here is toned down to suit their palates Does anyone have any suggestions Am thinking of melting dark cooking chocolate and infusing it with loads of ground cardamom Any ideas
      Aug. 11, 2012 1:25 am
      It would be hard for me to cook some things without cardamom. I use it as a rub mixed with roughly crushed black pepper on rib steaks. Just a !/4 teaspoon is enough to impart that, 'what IS that ingredient." I smile like the Cheshire cat and keep it to myself.
      Nov. 20, 2012 10:59 am
      where does one find cardamom? i need it for a cookie recipe, thanks
      DB Cook 
      Dec. 25, 2012 1:14 pm
      I want to make cookies with cardamon. I have the whole pod,. How can I derive the flavor. Can I boil the pod and use this liquid. I would appreciate a suggestion.
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