Cardamom is a spice that originated in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Today, it is available in most tropical places in Asia, including India, China, Bhutan, Vietnam. Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world and is considered as the “Queen of Spices”. The seeds have a sweet aroma and slightly pungent taste. Its essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of cardamom seeds. Its use is just not just limited to hot and spicy dishes; the seeds are also added to desserts and beverages to complement the sweet flavour. Cardamom tea is a very famous beverage, along with ginger tea, in India.
Health Benefits of Black Cardamom
Black Cardamom helps improve digestive health and prevents certain serious ailments like cancer. It also aids in diabetes treatment and helps you cope with depression. You can include black cardamom in your diet as you usually do or even take cardamom milk (also called elaichi milk) to avail the wondrous benefits. Black cardamom seems to work much better than its green cousin when it comes to heart health. Black cardamom helps in flushing out the toxins that could otherwise harm your skin. Chewing some black cardamom detoxifies your body, thus providing you with clearer skin. Cardamom can contribute to improved hair growth and the treatment of certain scalp issues. The antioxidant properties of cardamom, and especially the black type, nourish your scalp and improve its health.
What Does It Taste Like?
Black cardamom is dried over an open fire creating a distinct smoky aroma and flavour. This spice also has notes of resin and camphor, as well as menthol, a slightly minty aroma that provides balance to an otherwise funky flavour.
Recipes With Black Cardamom
Black cardamom is largely used in savoury Indian dishes ranging from curries, stews, daals and pilafs. In China, the pods are used for jin-jin braised meat dishes, particularly in Sichuan cuisine, and in Vietnam, they are used as an ingredient in pho noodle soup.
Where to Buy Black Cardamom
Black cardamom pods should be available at Indian food markets, gourmet markets, and very well-stocked grocery stores. Always try to buy black cardamom whole rather than in seed form as this spice begins to lose its potency and aroma once the skin is removed.
As with most spices, black cardamom should be stored in a well-sealed container away from light and heat. The pods will remain fresh for about a year while the ground black cardamom will retain its flavour for only a few months.