Cardamom - How To Use
(Also known as Small Cardamom, Green Cardamom, True Cardamom and Queen of the spices)
A spice much appreciated in India for its eucalyptus, citrusy and floral notes, alternatively called "the vanilla of India.". White, brown or green cardamom pods enclose numerous angular seeds. We recommend avoiding white cardamom as they are bleached for aesthetical reasons with a further dilution of aroma. Part of the ginger family, cardamom is used in both sweet and savoury dishes. A highly aromatic spice with cool minty notes. Green cardamom is more versatile than black cardamom with smoky notes and almost nil sweetness, meaning it is not suited to desserts.
Cardamom is the third most costly spice in the world — just behind Saffron and vanilla. Alongside India, Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, they are considered the leading producers.
Although it is less familiar to many Western cooks, it is indispensable to the cooking of India (especially southern India) and throughout the Middle East. Native to India and Sri Lanka, Cardamom has been an important trading commodity for those countries for at least a thousand years. In India, it is widely used to flavour curries, dals, masalas (spice mixtures), rice, pastries, and puddings, as well as for tea. In the Middle East, you will observe cardamom in spice mixes for various pilau rice and wheat dishes and the flavouring of coffee. It is also used extensively in Scandinavia and Germany to flavour all kinds of bread, cakes, and other pastries, similar to some Irish and British bakes.
Cardamom has antioxidant and diuretic properties and may reduce blood pressure. Known for its cooling properties and for boosting digestive health and treatment against gastrointestinal issues. Traditionally it is also used in mouth infections such as sore throat, teeth and gums, often found in tea. It is known as an antidote for the poison of certain snake bites.
- India has a 2000-year-old history of using cardamom for culinary and medicinal purposes.
- Held in high esteem as a perfume and digestive aid in ancient Greece and Rome. In the 9th Century, historians suggest that the Vikings encountered cardamom when they invaded Constantinople, the then capital of the Roman empire. They took it back to Scandinavia, where it is still a popular flavour in bread and bakes.
- In the 19th Century, it was grown as a secondary crop in coffee plantations of British India.
- The Arab world consumes sixty per cent of the world's cardamom. It is a pivotal ingredient in a coffee blend called "Gahwa" that has always served as a symbol of hospitality for guests. In the Canterbury Tales, writer Geoffrey Chaucer wrote that cardamom is "The Spice of Paradise."
Chief Flavour Compound
Cineole: (sharp, eucalyptus and herbal) colourless oily liquid, with a pungent fragrance and balance of cool and spicy in taste. Also found in black cardamom, galangal, nutmeg and rosemary.
Blends to try with Cardamom
Welcome to Ethiopian indulgence of well-balanced, rich and spicy flavours. This heavyweight is our take on a kaleidoscope of spice heat, sweet and deep flavours. Ethiopian cooking is a fine cuisine that uses pure and fragrant spices, but the heat of the chilli peppers is difficult to ignore. Even with this abundance, this Ethiopian spice offers a well-balanced and rounded flavour profile. Its versatility lends itself to homemade burgers in cooking or Bloody Mary's in beverage making.
Advieh-E KHORESH £8.95
Great Taste Award winner-2022. This deluxe balanced and sumptuous blend has multipurpose use. It boasts luxurious saffron as the main ingredient. The name saffron derives from the Arabic ‘za'faran’, meaning 'yellow'. As we know with saffron, a little of this blend goes a long way, adding incredible depth. Alongside the rose petal, black lime and other spice alchemy, this well-rounded Adiveh-E Khoresh has a signature aromatic scent and unique taste. Add to stews, casseroles, grilled meats, tray bakes, risotto and vegetables.
BAHĀRĀT GULF OF ARABIA £8.95
Our grandmother's Baharat is the garam masala of the Arabian Peninsula. This generational timeless spice blend is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky without any spiciness. An all-purpose exotic blend of heady spices, encompassing flavours like black lime (loomi). It packs a punch, so less is definitely more. Used across the Middle East, with each area having a little twist on the basic blend of alchemy. Roast Chicken, Lamb, Bread baking, tomato-based sauces and rice dishes are just many of the ways you can use this spice mix to elevate your cooking and baking.
Advieh-E HALEGH £8.95
A heavenly and fragrant blend that is enriched with the sweet notes of cinnamon and laced generously with rose petals, this blend can be used in a variety of sweet dishes such as cakes, puddings, biscuits, crumbles. It even goes well with breakfast smoothies and porridges.
Advieh BERENJ £8.95
With mild floral notes, this blend has a slight intensity to it and is traditionally used to elevate rice dishes. With mild floral notes, this blend is a slightly more intense flavour than that of Advieh Ash - our soup blend. The combination of cinnamon, rose petals and other spices gives a beautifully aromatic and flavoursome balance.